Saturday, May 22, 2010

MSNBC says Taliban attacked Bangkok

Supposedly on account of civil unrest, many buildings in Bangkok burned to the ground on May 19.   It was a scary situation for everyone in Thailand.   But for Americans, it was very nearly just another day.

Fortunately, MSNBC made the most of the images.  Raw Story,  a blog, reports:
People watching MSNBC Wednesday morning could be forgiven for believing that the Taliban had invaded Bangkok. As NBC's Ian Williams reported on violent protests in the capital city of Thailand, a graphic on the lower third of MSNBC's screen read: "New Taliban Attacks, Bangkok Burns."
DoF has nothing but praise for the way MSNBC handled this story.

MSNBC drew upon the depth of the news organization's ignorance about Thailand and conceived a terrifying hypothesis:  Bangkok is falling to our enemies.  The Taliban are on the move. At home, terrified MSNBC viewers would have been asking themselves: Will Honolulu be next?   Or will the Taliban head straight for LA?   

There is a lesson here.  Whenever there is serious violence overseas, the US media should not hesitate to project whatever scenario evokes Americans' worst fears.  Discussion about what actually happened can be left to the following day's newspapers.

1 comment:

  1. Anonymous8.6.10

    Thank God for MSNBC. I live in Bangkok and honestly thought the Redshirt protests were an internal matter. I had no idea the Taliban had managed to infiltrate Thailand, as they have done in so many other countries. They are so devious. For example, I visited the Redshirt zone in downtown Bangkok and noticed that nobody was sporting a beard. They had shaved them off. What a low-down tactic! Also, many of them were speaking a foreign language. I thought it was Thai, but thanks to you and MSNBC I now know it was Talibanese. Yours fearfully. Keep up the good work!


Your comments are important to us. We will make every effort to respond before it's too late.

Dr. Rebecca Wolf
Undersecretary for Community and New Media
United States Department of Fear