Hidden Agendas, Thaksin, and Satit
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Hidden Agendas, Thaksin, and Satit

Veera gives a fairly good analysis in the Bangkok Post of Satit’s overreaction to Thaksin’s interview on MCOT well except for the second last paragraph:
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The airing of an interview with Thaksin Shinawatra on the MCOT’s FM 100.5 radio station on Sunday has seriously embarrassed PM’s Office Minister Sathit Wongnongtoey. He should tread warily. Any hasty over reaction might only put him deeper in hot water.
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/>But Mr Sathit is fuming and appears to want blood.
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/>The interview was played up as the front-page lead story by the Matichon and Thai Rath newspapers this morning.
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/>In a message on his Twitter, Mr Sathit said he expected a clarification from the MCOT management today. He said that even though the MCOT has invited outside moderators into its radio programming, it should still be cautious about allowing Thaksin, who is a bail jumper, the freedom to speak on air.
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/>In all fairness, Thaksin’s interview was nothing new and cannot be seen as a threat to national security or to the government. As for the programme moderator, Mr Chom, he is just performing his duty as a journalist, although it is not known whether he has any hidden agenda.
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/>And as far as press freedom is concerned, there is nothing wrong with the airing of an interview with Thaksin, even by a state-run broadcaster, as long as the content of the interview does not breach the law or incite unrest.

/>BP: Hidden agenda? As NationState notes Jom was scheduled to interview coup leader Sondhi B next week, does this mean he has a hidden agenda and supported the coup? Veera won’t be asking that question though. If you want to speculate whether someone has a hidden agenda, perhaps you should at least offer a reason as to why and state the basis for your opinion? Otherwise, if we are just going to speculate and making accusations “to put it out there” then one may come in for the Jon Stewart treatment.
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/>BP is of the view that at the moment, Thaksin is the political figure who most people likely want to hear interviewed – as far as BP is aware this was the first time since the September 2006 that Thaksin has been interviewed on state radio or TV. He is a recent former PM and if an election was held today, he would be the main reason why Puea Thai would win. He is the most influential political figure now. His tweets on twitter – as that is the main way they can report what he says now – are regularly reported. To repeat his words verbatim doesn’t seem a crime, but to interview almost borders on a hanging offence.
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/>On the interview, the phone-ins are complete softballs whereas this interview was fairly standard. It was not Hardtalk, but then no interview in Thailand is. Prachatai have a transcript of the interview (audio available from Thaksin’s website)
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/>He was asked how he finances his living overseas (he says the sale of Manchester City yielded a profit), on the infighting in the red shirts between Jakrapob and the other three UDD leaders (He said there were many too many leaders and they have differing views on things, but other goals like on eliminating double standards is the same [BP: he didn’t take sides.. Hmm, interesting]). Is there any element in the red shirts that wants to overthrow the monarchy? (He said if there was, he would oppose it. He says it is not a goal and he is loyal to the monarchy). There were questions about bureaucratic polity, on whether his assets were seized in the UK (he says “no”). It was certainly not a “please-explain-how-you-are-the-greatest-prime-minister” interview.
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/>In fact as Veera states:
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The main issue of the interview was Thaksin’s offer to hold peace talks with the Democrats and all his other opponents. He said he was ready to talk with all parties at any time to settle their conflicts.

/>Now, the host of the radio show, Jom, has issued (available at Prachatai) a public letter stating he will quit as host stating that after Satit’s request for an explanation from MCOT management. He said he doesn’t want staff or management to face any recriminations so he will take responsibility. He says that he had no hidden agenda. He wanted to create a greater understanding by asking Thaksin about his views on reconciliation. He said he is very disappointed as to what has happened. On Channel 3’s Three Dimensions news program this evening, he said the interview did not stir up unrest or talk about such topics.
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/>On previous posts on Satit and the state media, see here and here. Will the media criticize Satit over his role here? Well, particularly given this:
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PM’s Office Minister Satit Wongnongtaey has told MCOT, the state-run media company under his supervision, not to allow fugitive ex-premier Thaksin Shinawatra’s comments on air again, saying they were a threat to peace.
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/>btw, why didn’t the Democrats ask exactly who Thaksin is involved financially with in the diamond business?