Thursday, August 30, 2007

Deconstructing Suthichai Yoon: Nominee of Idiotic, Mealy Mouthed, Cryptic Journalism

No kidding: they actually 'own' political parties here

Suthichai Yoon

The Nation

Why have the "few good men" - the handful of well-known personalities with reasonably acceptable "public images" - turned down offers from veteran electioneers?

Take a close look at this question and column. Suthichai is a buffoon. Ask yourself: If you never stepped foot in Thailand and read his column for the first time, would you know what he is talking about?

This is sloppy journalism at its worse.

The roundabout, polite answer is that they aren't quite ready for the fresh excitement. The real reason is because the next election won't be about substance; the name of the game will be for parties to get those votes, at all costs.

Who are "they"? This writing is so horrible that it would not pass a high school journalism class in any country in the world. And how will we know what the parties do and don't do? The Nation won't monitor the polling places during elections(Did it monitor the referendum?). The Nation won't document the vote buying or the murdering of political canvassers. The Nation won't do any investigative reports on campaign financing. All The Nation will do is print baseless accusations and speculate about what is happening.

It's the party's "owner" who counts. The party's leader will only be a figurehead - an "image booster" perhaps, but he won't have a say in anything that's of any significance.

Who is the "owner"? Who is the "image booster"? Suthichai is such a coward and worthless journalist that he doesn't even bother to name names. How is the public supposed to keep politicians accountable if "journalists" don't do any reporting of the facts? I understand this is a column and anything goes, but there has been nothing reported in The Nation to back any of Suthichai's accusations. And, unless he is a coward, he has no reason not to name names. Journalists don't get sued for speculating.

These "wise men" also know that if they were to accept the offers to lead political groupings, they would become part of either a weak coalition government, or a hopelessly impotent opposition party. You don't have to be a highly experienced political pundit to foresee a period of great volatility in the domestic political landscape after the next election.

Who are the "wise men?" Which coalition? Which opposition party? One has to be an experienced media pundit to decipher Suthichai's horrible writing, and even then, it is a chore.

According to Suthichai, we will experience great volatility because of political actors we don't even know the names of.

Obviously, no matter how good an image these academics possess, or how desperate they are to find a meaningful political role to play, the ones with alert minds would certainly decide here and now not to be caught in a position whereby politics is dictated by "party owners" who spend most of their time wheeling and dealing, making compromises, proposing trade-offs and initiating horse-trading deals.

Seriously, is Suthichai on drugs? This column sounds like an incoherent rant of somebody who has spent the night smoking one too many bowls of marijuana.

If they were really intent upon "doing no evil" (as the founders of Google pledged), these "enlightened minds" would not want to be trapped in a coalition government in which conflicts of interest and dividing up the political spoils - and certainly not serious political reforms or corruption busting - would be the order of the day.

Who are "they?" Who are the "enlightened minds?" Of course, the next coalition will do everything that Suthichai says because the worthless Thai media never investigates the government. These morons at The Nation think it is the government's duty to police itself and do the corruption busting, but it is actually the media's responsibility to investigate the government and inform the public about its activities, and it is the public's duty to make the government act or get thrown out in an election

Would anyone who prides himself on having a reasonably clean public record want to be seen as part of a political deal he couldn't even tell his wife about, or know what to say when his children question him on what they've read in the press?

Would anyone who prides himself in knowing the English language allow a horrible column like this in print?

Read what in the press? Suthichai and his worthless cohorts don't print anything worthy enough to be concerned about, because the politicians are never seriously investigated and never named.

Seriously, why should anybody be worried about what is written in this column? As far as we know, Suthichai is talking about phantom politicians and academics that only exist in the imagination of his pea brain.

Worse, they would have to be dragged into such unpleasant areas as "hybrid politics", which carries the highly embarrassing connotation of one being forced to sleep with strange, and at times despicable, partners whose notoriety they couldn't possibly, in their right minds, defend with any conviction.

WTF does "hybrid politics" mean? What are these evil coalitions that he is cryptically talking about? Who are these evil political partners? What exactly have they done?

If the prospect of "hybrid politics" would send chills down the spine of any respectable academic and politician, the term "political copulation", which the local newspapers have been using with almost no sense of shame among the parties' "owners", would certainly be the straw that broke the camel's back - at least for those who still expect society to treat them with any measure of respect.

The only thing sending chills down my spine is the realization that Suthichai Yoon is the editor of a major multimedia company.

If those potentially damaging prospects weren't enough to deter them from jumping onto the bandwagon, these "few good men" would surely wince at the possibility of being labelled "nominees" for politicians with outright corrupt and shady backgrounds. They realise that as "nominees" they run the high risk of their good names being dragged through the mud.

More incoherent babbling. Why should any good man(according to Suthichai's idiotic standards) be concerned about which coalitions he chooses when Suthichai refuses to investigate politicians or even report to the public what "evil" they have done.

The "chosen few" also know that they would be going against the public's confidence, if not the law itself, by fronting for politicians who have been found guilty by the Constitution Tribunal of having bribed other parties to act as "nominees" in the last election.

In some places, rejecting a junta appointed kangaroo court's rulings would make them international heroes.

"Going against the public's confidence"? Notice the spin. I have absolutely no confidence in any media organization that blindly accepts the rulings of an illegal junta appointed tribunal ruling against its enemies.

The term "nominee" in fact smells rather fishy itself - especially after a veteran politician publicly used that label to describe his role in acting on behalf of a former prime minister in self-imposed exile. To be acting as a corrupt politician's "proxy" in the next election, which promises to be tainted with vote-buying and ballot-box manipulation, would be to confirm the worst suspicions of a wary public that those "few good men" may in fact be nothing more than a group of spineless, gullible, opportunists.

Even if every politician in Thailand said that they were acting on behalf of Thaksin, what would that matter? Is it against the law? If Samak ran a campaign in Bangkok in the run up to the election that stated he was to be Thaksin's nominee, and his constituency elected him, so what?

And, even if there was a law that said that it was illegal to be a "nominee" for Thaksin, how do you prove it? Does the army tap all communications between Thailand and Thaksin in England?
Do you keep tabs on Samak's bank accounts?

This is what you have to get about the idiots at The Nation. They really don't believe in political freedom and democracy. They don't believe in freedom of speech. They don't believe that their political enemies should have any rights at all, because any friend of their enemy is their enemy and should be stripped of all their rights to participate in politics. And, if you read this column closely, that is Suthichai's sentiment.

Dirty politics is back. Long live electioneers and all their front-men, henchmen and sidekicks!

Dirty journalism is here to stay! Long live the Suthichai's of the world who speculate, smear, and never print any facts!


hobby said...

Another day & things are now back to normal - I disagree with Fonzi.

I think Suthichai's opinion piece is an excellent rant about the sad state of Thai politics.

It's not so cryptic for anyone who has followed Thai politics for any length of time, and I am really surprised that you don't understand what Suthichai is saying.

I agree that the media is part of the problem, but to single out The Nation is ludicrous.
The mainstream media is hopeless generally, including in most western democracies.

Vested interest rules the day, and even so called 'independent' media like Prachatai end up pushing a one-sided line.

Making things worse is public apathy and obsession with mindless celebrity/sport tittle tattle, so that any serious journalism just passes the masses by anyway.

Fonzi said...


Please find me one example in the western media where an opinion writer doesn't refer to the primary political principles by their names.

hobby said...

"Please find me one example in the western media where an opinion writer doesn't refer to the primary political principles by their names"

When I said mainstream media was hopeless generally, including western media, I was not referring to whether they bother to name political players in opinion pieces or not.

My complaint regarding mainstream media is more along the lines of the Propaganda Model as proposed by Herman & Chomsky - I wont bother to provide links as I expect you are already aware of the theory (Just Google it, if not).

Back to Suthichai's opinion piece, IMO it is a rant at the sad state of the Thai political system, and there was no real need to list all the names.

I still think you should be aware of who most of the people he was talking about are.
(You are a regular of both The Nation and the Bangkok Post and over the last few weeks they have been been reporting on various potential political figures who have declined to enter the fray at the present time, as well as a number of personalities who have decided to re-enter politics)

Fonzi said...


You have a blog now, so please explain who Suthichai is talking about.

Who owns which parties? Which good guys sold their souls to the evil politicians?

And please provide the evidence to back it up.

hobby said...

Fonzi: There are already enough bloggers on Thai politics - I only set up that page as a convenient link to Vichai's well made point about Thaksin's culpability in the war on drugs.

You are welcome to comment over there, but I'm not sure if anyone reads it.

I'm not going to name anyone - the 'owners' are the usual suspects, and the 'few good men' have decided they would be better served by laying low at this time - I have no desire to draw more attention to them, and hopefully they will raise their hands when they think the political situation is more conducive.
As for who have 'sold their soul', I think you could start with the list of ex TRT members and follow the musical chairs.