Friday, December 7, 2007

Asia Times: Shawn Crispin's Interview with Abhisit Vejjajiva

The choice of a new generation in Thailand

By Shawn W Crispin

Asia Times

BANGKOK - Democrat Party leader Abhisit Vejjajiva says that he and his party represent a "new generation" of political leadership, the electoral choice to break with the bad old ways of Thailand's often corrupt political past. The question now looming over the country's December 23 democratic polls is whether the Thai electorate believes that the 43-year-old career politician who first entered politics in 1992 has finally come of age to lead.

Read the interview in its entirety here.

OK, I am not going to call Nong Mark a retard, like I did with Samak, because he didn't sound retarded at all. I am actually elated that there is a Thai leader who is capable of stringing an English sentence together without sounding like an utter moron.

Indeed, Mark was so uncontroversial and boring in this interview that there really is nothing to comment on.

Actually, I have a couple comments, but I haven't decided if these are criticisms or compliments, yet.

First, Mark sounds entirely scripted, which, depending on where you stand on scripted politicians, can be a good or bad thing. I like that Mark is disciplined and stays on message, but, to be honest, I like the Samakian retorts because they are entertaining and controversial.

Second, Mark almost sounded like Bill Clinton. Now, I have a great deal of love and affection for Bill Clinton, but I don't know if it is a good idea for a Thai politician to steal his entire persona, including his 1992 campaign slogan "Putting People First"

Third, and this has nothing to do with either Samak or Abhisit, but I don't think Shawn Crispin should be doing interviews. He should stick with the writing.

Let me put it this way: There are interviewers whom I love and whom I hate. I hate, for example, Thepchai Yong, Suthichai Yoon, Larry King and Tim Russert. These guys are idiots and prove it every time they do interviews. I was watching Larry King the other night and I watched 5 minutes of him before I wanted to blow my brains out.

Then, there is my favorite interviewer, Tim Sebastian, from the BBC. He used to do Hard Talk, which I have to admit was my favorite interview program. Now, Tim Sebastien is tenacious. He is relentless. And he doesn't care who he is talking to, because he wants to cut through the bull.

I'd have to say that Tim Sebastian is my hero. And he should be training every journalist who wants to be in the interview game.

Now, Shawn Crispin ain't no Tim Sebastian. He is more Larry King. From his interview with Abhisit, was there anything new to learn that you couldn't get from a press statement or from the website? He might as well have been soft-balling to Angelina Jolie.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I am beginning to suspect Fonzi that the only interview that would find favor with you is a Thaksin-interview . . . and you won't even complain or pay attention to the interviewer . . .