Thai ambassador to the U.S. letter to Wash Post

Posted: August 1, 2010 in Thailand

Don Pramudwinai, Thailand’s ambassador to the U.S., wrote a letter to the editor of Washington Post, criticizing an editorial the Post had published about Thailand. It was terse and pretty blunt. The first paragraph:

First, calling the current government “unelected” demonstrated a lack of understanding of the British parliamentary system. Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva assumed office via majority vote in parliament, as did his immediate predecessor.

The ambassador, of course, is entirely correct. I’ve seen so many ignorant people make comments about the “unelected” PM. You would think that the writers at the Washington Post would at least get that much right since it is a simple historical fact that PM Abhisit was elected by parliament. This is just another in an endless list of examples of inaccurate reporting by media that has demonstrated no news stories can be trusted and in fact most are inaccurate, often completely wrong.

The rest of the ambassador’s letter rebuts some of the other assertions in the Post’s editorial. Those are all contentious issues subject to a lot of opinion about whether the crackdown was too harsh as some say, or too little too late and others say – after all, the central business district of Bangkok was barricaded for two months. What other country in the world would tolerate that? The government tried to do things “the Thai way” by letting the protesters have their way, hoping they would blow off steam, get tired and leave, while the citizens of Bangkok had to just tolerate it day after day. In hindsight that was a gross miscalculation.

Nevertheless those are debatable points. The bit about an “unelected government” is just plain incorrect and worthy of someplace like Fail Blog or Probably Bad News, two websites that celebrate the failures of traditional news media because, as they say over there, “journalism isn’t dying fast enough”.

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