Bangkok, May 14, 2010

The Economist on #thaistory

The Banyan blog at the Economist has covered #thaistory. You can read their post here. They discuss the Thai media’s paralyzed lack of response:

This one has proved far too hot to handle for Thailand’s media. For all the online traffic and Twitter exchanges that “Thaistory” has generated, it has been studiously ignored by Thailand’s mainstream media. Government censors have begun to block access to the story.

They also comment on the fact that #thaistory runs a little longer than the average 900-word Reuters feature. By 53,658 words, to be precise, and that is only for part one:

Presumably, Mr Marshall didn’t expect a newswire to run a book-length article.

That assumption is correct: had Reuters shown an interest in publishing the story, I would have produced something more like this article I wrote for Foreign Policy this week. The full #thaistory is a personal labour of love that I would have published online separately. The Banyan article is worth reading in full, not least for its rather gloomy — but realistic — conclusion:

This is the back-story to Thailand’s political convulsions, which is why scholars will be poring over the “Thaistory”, as will American diplomats and their embarrassed confidants. The Thai public can expect no such privileges from the guardians of public debate. Mr Marshall writes that, “Thailand needs to start dealing with reality”, which includes the likelihood of a messy succession to Bhumibol and the fact that many ordinary Thais no longer believe the royal mythmakers. Easier said than done, which is why politicians can be counted on to ignore these revelations as they race through the final stretch to the polls.