Updated: A PBS watershed?

The Bangkok Post reports that after canning the fifth Torb Chote/ตอบโจทย์ on the monarchy and lese majeste on Friday, ThaiPBS has suddenly shown it, without prior notice or previous advertising (apart from the controversy).

[Update: The original video we linked to has been closed/removed. Here’s a new link which includes the PBS “explanation” for the delayed telecast.]

Apparently, a “committee … at the station supposedly reviewed the tape of the debate between social critic Sulak Sivaraksa and Somsak Jeamteerasakul … and found it fit to show.”

A National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission (NBTC) sub-committee is “to probe whether Thai PBS’s station director had the authority to pull political talk programme Tob Jote off the air…”. Natee Sukonrat, chairman of the NBTC’s broadcasting committee, believes the investigation “will set a precedent for self-imposed delays or cancellations of TV broadcasts in the future.”

Meanwhile, the usual group of royalist and unelected senators has “claimed the content of the banned episode of Tob Jote was offensive to the monarchy.” These stooges demanded “a probe into the programme.” They believe that said “a debate on a sensitive topic such as the role of the monarchy or the lese majeste law could provoke rifts among the public.” They seem to consider the monarchy so “sensitive” that it may not be discussed (except in syrupy propaganda).

Perhaps,  just perhaps, something sensible may result from this controversy.

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