Everyone’s news consumption motto should be this:
When Pheu Thai is in power, watch Top News.
When there’s a military or military-backed government in power, watch Voice TV.
Ideally, every news media must provide checks and balances on the government, every government. But ideal and reality are two different things.
In today’s world, many media openly supports one political faction over another. Hence, many media switch hats between cheerleaders and inspectors.
But at least we should appreciate honesty. The team at Voice TV and at Top News never make any qualm about their political stances. Either case is fair enough. The audiences know exactly what they are getting.
But what isn’t fair in the least bit is the Royal Thai Army Radio and Television Station, commonly known as Thai TV 5, one of the four big networks.
TV 5 recently inked a deal to provide airtime for Top News’ editorial team.
The station’s head, Lieutenant-General Rangsi Kitiyanasap (because, you know, Thai generals are also media experts, Thai generals can do everything), said the move isn’t to boost the channel’s poor ratings.
Rather, it is to inspire “belief” and “confidence.”
Belief and confidence in what? Well, it’s an army station, isn’t it? Hence, pro-establishment propaganda.
It begs to question, taxpayers pay the army to defend the nation, what business does it have running a media empire?
For that matter, why does the army operates a myriad of profit-making businesses throughout Thailand? From golf courses to boxing stadiums, a football club, construction businesses, among others?
This is the problem.
The army is a business entity, an empire in and of itself. If its duty is to defend the nation, then that’s its priority. But since it’s in the business of making money, then no wonder it wants to keep Thailand as its money-making machine (and may even do a coup or ten to keep it that way).