After a few weeks in the shadow of General Prawit Wongsuwan, The Dictator seems to have his oats again and he is back to his deranged and authoritarian best/worst.
Over the past couple of days he’s been demanding Prawit’s idea for a future constitutional government (yes, these guys are jokers) about a huge and unelected senate be filled with the junta’s members and military brass.
As usual, he’s ticked off with the media and has decided to threaten, “advise,” rant and threaten some more.
The Bangkok Post reports that the self-appointed Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha has “slammed Thai PBS, the country’s sole public TV station for its ‘one-sided’ reporting despite it being financed by the state budget.”
Prayuth means that the station is not keeping the junta happy. He’s essentially threatening before censoring. The Nation reports that The Dictator’s claims of “biased reporting” have caused him to threaten the broadcaster: “The station is funded by the state’s taxes, but it chooses to present only one side of people’s problems…. Should it be granted budgets any further?”
ThaiPBS is hardly “oppositional” and is certainly not “radical” in any way, but dictators like to totally control all things and this is just another example of Prayuth’s paranoia. At the same time it is clear that the idea of public broadcasting is lost on a man who is used to propaganda.
What seems to have set Prayuth off on his threats is that “the channel only focuses on people suffering from the drought and other problems and not on what the government has done to solve these problems.” Prayuth believes that “showing only drought areas and negative issues which allow people to scold the government…”. Because no criticism is allowed, even factual reporting an issue like drought is threatening for the junta and this leads to junta threats to the media.
The demented general wants Thais to focus on propaganda and patriotism.
Prayuth also seems ticked off that all the propaganda channels – National Broadcasting Services of Thailand, Channel 11 and the Royal Thai Army Radio and Television’s Channel 5 – have the lowest ratings of all the major television broadcasters.
Clearly, the Thai people recognize where the media rubbish is.