PPT sometimes feels it is altogether too naive. For instance, we had considered that the Constitution Drafting Committee was in the process of coming up with a constitution that suited the military and royalists.
That it is, but what we missed is that the CDC is working for the current military dictatorship, apparently to continue its rule. Silly of us. It is not just working with the junta, but for it, advising on propaganda.
Responding to what it calls “false news about Thailand,” a CDC panel on “reconciliation” wants better control – they say regulation – of the media. It says the idea of the self-regulation has failed.
Of course, under the junta, there is no regulation or self-regulation, just orders and threats.
The panel “believes the media has played a key role in creating endless conflict affecting the country.” Color-coded outlets are considered unable to deliver “accurate information.”
Its response seems to be to demand a return to the days when media was tightly controlled by the state. It observes that “the government sector has not been able to control the media, for fear of affecting freedom of expression.” Funny that, we hadn’t noticed any such reluctance from the military dictatorship.
The CDC panel recommends “that the authorities create mechanisms that manage, regulate or eliminate media that have been provoking conflict.” We know that the military state only sees “conflict” from one political side.
Not content with the local media being controlled, this yellow-shirted panel thinks the “international media” is a threat.
The panel suggests that:
[the] government adopt a proactive strategy to feed them with accurate information. Otherwise, it said, Thailand will find itself “surrounded by the world”, especially when opposition forces use the international media to pressure the government.
This seems to mean dealing with reports the royalists and military dislike. It reflects a view that the international media is somehow manipulated by the devil in Dubai.
The panel wants the “Foreign Ministry set up a public relations body to help counter bad publicity overseas.” It asks: “Why is the government not using the same tools as its opponents for the benefit of the country?”
This is nonsense. It reflects a ridiculous yellow-shirted view of the world as one of conspiracies. It also fails to recognize that royalist and junta “news” is mostly propaganda and seen internationally for what it is.
The panel is “cited newspapers that are influenced by financiers and publish biased news.” It recommended that the “government should exploit the state-owned TV channels 5, 7 and 11 to broadcast reports that focus more on state affairs rather than the interest of the stations.” It adds: “The government should also collaborate with media to exchange information, so the opposition can be prevented from interfering…”.
The panel obviously favors authoritarian and state control of the media and wants the military to stay in power forever.