With a major update: Rice and fish(y) media

29 06 2013

A couple of weeks ago, PPT posted on the yellow-tinged 2Bangkok.com and its construction of a narrative for another anti-Thaksin Shinawatra coup. Amongst a bunch of other actions, the process of undermining the elected government was said to include “a ramping up of media scrutiny (this time being conducted on the internet as the mainstream Thai papers are considered, rightly or wrongly, to be already co-opted by the Pheu Thai) and regular ongoing protests.”

At the time, we commented that the “ramping up” is of  a more politicized reporting and editorializing that is often little more than the repeating of concoctions found on social media. In fact, the media is divided, and there has never been a “ramping down” of anti-Thaksin, anti-red shirt, anti-Puea Thai editorializing.

Thai rath rice

The Thai Rath headline, from Khaosod

A recent story at Khaosod gives some insight into this and details apparent concoction and conniving amongst various media outlets in politicized attacks on the Yingluck Shinawatra government. Khaosod reports that “Thai Rath, the best-selling newspaper in Thailand, has devoted its front page to reports that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has ordered ‘every port’ in the US to urgently quarantine rice grains exported from Thailand.”

Khaosod notes that Thai Rath quoted an unnamed “foreign news agency”on this, linking the “chemical contamination” to the government′s rice buying scheme. This was followed by other unnamed sources, including a “rice exporter”who was quoted as saying this was the biggest crisis for Thai rice exports in 2-3 decades.

Khaosod then notes that The Nation carried the “very same quotes that appeared on Thai Rath” and the unidentified “foreign news agency” as well as the unnamed exporter. It comments: It is not clear who copied whom.”

It is no surprise at all that Khaosod also notes that the yellow shirt outlets have a very similar story:

The report on Manager Online bears many similar wordings to that of The Nation and Thai Rath. Manager Online claimed a “source inside rice export industry” as provider of their story.

Like Khaosod, PPT went to the FDA website and searched for a statement that could match these stories. The closest we found was a late May statement about “rice products” from several countries, including Thailand. But this alert has nothing at all in common with the “reports” in the apparently colluding media.

It seems that the “ramping up” through collusion on the part of anti-government media is proceeding. PPT is keen to observe if these outlets can provide any real evidence for their claims.

Major update: While there is no evidence being produced to support the claims, there is now plenty to refute them. From the Bangkok Post:

Korbsook Iamsuri, president of the Thai Rice Exporters Association, expressed concern about the report, which could cause some other countries to reject Thai rice.

“Thai rice exporters are aware of the random inspections which is why we make sure the rice shipped abroad is always premium grade,” she said.

The US Embassy has also denied the report by the massed yellow media and social media. This new report in Khaosod deserves further reading for it makes clear that the Democrat Party is eager to join the concocting parties. It says:

… the personal secretary to Mr. Korn Chatikavanit, a prominent member of the Thai opposition party, has published on his Facebook account a screenshot of FDA website that he said is an order by the FDA to quarantine all shipments of Thai rice at every port on the American mainland.

In his Facebook post, Mr. Noch Hautavanija also cited the story previously reported by The Nation and Thai Rath newspapers….

Interestingly, Korn’s man has used the same page at the FDA that PPT mentions above. As far as we can tell, even a dopey city slicker should be able to read this alert and see that it is no support at all for the yellow media claims. We can only assume that the Democrat Party leadership is conniving on this concoction.


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