Manufacturing headlines

9 07 2014

Like all mainstream media, the Bangkok Post has been reasonably compliant with the junta’s mandates on what constitutes news. However, a report in the online version of the Post stretches this compliance into being complicit.

The story itself is of some interest. It tells of an allegedly pro-Thaksin Shinawatra general reporting to the police. Next to the notorious junta-loving, self-promoting, business-police general Somyos Pumpanmuang, “Manas Paorik, who is wanted under a warrant issued by the Saraburi military court for illegal possession of war weapons, surrendered…”. The report states that the “warrants went out after authorities seized weapons in Wang Noi district of Ayutthaya province, Muang district of Lop Buri province and Krathumban district of Samut Sakhon. Authorities claimed they turned up evidence that linked the 65-year-old former officer to the weapons.” It is also stated that the “warrant said he was wanted for suspected plotting against the coup makers.”

PPT suspects that the second item is more likely to be the case for the junta is paranoid. No evidence of the former has been produced, and many of the “war weapons” seized in various places appear to follow the old pattern of military set-ups. But who knows? These police and military are using tactics that go back tot he 1950s, so we simply don’t believe them until we see evidence that hasn’t been doctored by them.

Somyos, dusting the gold from his uniform, says that he thinks Manas might be involved in political violence. No, not the military murder of red shirts, but some other violence.

But here’s where the Post gets complicit with the military dictatorship and the anti-democrat movements. The Post headlines its story: ‘Men in black’ general surrenders

Why? It seems the Post is spreading a social media rumor. The Post states that:

Former senator Somchai Sawaengkarn alleged in a Facebook post made on June 29, after seeing the arrest warrant, that Lt Gen Manas could shed light on attacks by ”men in black” in April, 2010, including a clash at Khok Wua Intersection in which then-Colonel … Romklao Thuwatham and several others were killed.

Yes, the Post has taken a yellow shirts’ social media post and used it to make a headline. And it is probably one that Somyos has had a hand in creating given his strong links with the yellow-shirted anti-democrats. Under the military junta, such politically divisive claims are meant to be banned…. but only if you are not for the junta. They keep tripping on their double standards while the Post seems to have learned how to use them for the junta.


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13 09 2014
Suspicion | Political Prisoners of Thailand

[…] by the police since the May 2014 military coup. The miracle worker was, in several such cases, the gold miner businessman and now police boss General Somyos Pumpanmuang. Several of the cases seemed to fade as fast as the miracle was […]

13 09 2014
Suspicion | Political Prisoners in Thailand

[…] by the police since the May 2014 military coup. The miracle worker was, in several such cases, the gold miner businessman and now police boss General Somyos Pumpanmuang. Several of the cases seemed to fade as fast as the miracle was […]