With a headline lauding “Surayud, the Charmer“, the widely discussed sycophantic inclinations of The Nation‘s coverage of Thailand’s military leadership have been given a public airing like never before. The “Charmer” headline links to this blog post by reporter Jeerawat Na Thalang. The comments at the bottom of the blog page neatly sum up a range of reactions that could be expected from reading Jeerawat’s journalistic reflections.

For the convenience of New Mandala readers I have reproduced a selection of indicative comments here:

  • “Propagandist, resign you phoney!”
  • “just let your charmer deliver results. we want convictions. c-o-n-v-i-c-t-i-o-n-s.”
  • “In unsettled times, people tend to become sycophants and flatterers…The Nation should keep its objectivity.”
  • “No narcisstic hogging the limelight stuff – good. As interim PM, he just did what he had to do, and looks like he did fine.”
  • “if I were you reporting at the APEC meeting, I would also write stories on how glorious my prime minister is. I am so proud of you… this is what makes the nation strong…. UNITY”
  • “Yes, you are right. Sounds like Surayud did a fantastic job. He shook Bush’s hand and had a meeting with business leaders. What’s next? Nobel Peace Prize.”

New Mandala readers may have their own thoughts on Jeerawat’s blog post, and the implications of her style of coverage for the standing of Thailand’s media in the international market-place of ideas.