Published On: Wed, Dec 18th, 2013

Thailand: Picking the Mind of a BBC Propagandist

Jonathan Head of the BBC is well informed, knows right from wrong, but either is told to, or willfully chooses to deceive his audience.

Jonathan_Head_Lying_in_UdonThaniTony Cartalucci (ATN) , – During an impromptu debate today with the BBC’s Jonathan Head regarding a recent exposé on his deplorable coverage of Thailand’s ongoing political crisis, much was learned about what he really knows and what his reporting willfully omits. It is not that he disagrees with the truth – in fact – he seems to have a very good grasp on it. It is instead, that he chooses to weave a narrative that leads unsuspecting readers away from that truth.

The following transcript has been modified to replace shorthand necessary when using Twitter, with more readable English (see editor’s note at bottom):

ATNN: [the posting on twitter of the exposé involving Jonathan Head of the BBC]  BBC Drops Propaganda Hammer on Thailand - Exposing the BBC’s lies – point by point.

Head: [in reply to a follower of Head's who condemned the article] Thanks. I simply retweeted the ‘expose’. I think the quality of its arguments speak for themselves.

ATNN: A not so clever way of weaseling out of defending your hack piece.

Head: Twitter is hardly the place. You have had your say. Fine. Let other people judge.

ATTN: I think people have judged BBC’s serial deception, i.e. Syria, Iraq, Libya, Iran.

Head: Would those be ‘The People’ who are constantly invoked as the justification for overthrowing an elected government?

ATTNThaksin runs Thailand. He wasn’t on the ballot or even in the country which equals dictatorship, not democracy.

Head: I don’t think you understand what dictatorship is. People voting PT [Thaksin's Peua Thai Party] are very often voting for Thaksin Shinawatra. Agreed it is not good to have a government partly run by an overseas-based billionaire, but it is not a dictatorship.

ATNN: Sorry, that sounds like the result of a deranged cult, not a qualified electorate – surely not to be tolerated by the 65% who didn’t vote for [Thaksin's] PTP.

Head: Deranged cult? Interesting choice of words.

ATNN: Regime supporters who vote for a man not on the ballot is irrational, cult-like, and unacceptable under the rule of law.

Head: No. Their view – not mine – is that he was unfairly convicted and should be leading the Peua Thai Party. They are quite clear about that.

ATNN: After all, he mass murdered 3,000 people in just 90 days. By all measures he belongs in prison for life, not running Thailand  by proxy. Did he not mass murder 3,000 people in 2003 and another 85 in 2004? The land deal [court case] was the only charge that stuck – Thaksin is a monster. And their view is clearly actually Thaksin’s view, regurgitated verbatim from centralized UDD [red shirt] talking points. So then, what do we do when a cult clearly advocates overt criminality in the face of basic human rights and common sense? The answer is the Thai Uprising [the ongoing anti-regime protests].

Head: 2,800 in the first 3 months [were killed]. We in the foreign press were among the few to make a big deal about it. Many Thais were pleased with the campaign. But many other mass killings in Thailand remain unpunished, the perpetrators still respected members of society.

ATNN: Which [mass killing] was on the scale of Thaksin Shinawatra’s mass slaughter in 2003? The answer: None. Many Germans [were pleased] about the Blitzkrieg but popularity doesn’t make something right – a coup by the minority would’ve been justified.

Head: Do you see me approving? Look back at my past coverage of Thaksin Shinawatra. But spare me the humbug. The army that overthrew Thaksin never mentioned human rights. And after Tak Bai and many other incidents you can understand why.

ATNN: The army had every right to overthrow Thaksin. It was an “Operation Valkyrie” that wasn’t too late. I can think of nothing more dangerous than an electorate that excuses, even praises, mass murder with cult-like devotion. It comes down to this: Thaksin is the worst human rights offender in Thai history. The electorate that still backs him have resigned their legitimacy and their say. Clearly democracy has its flaws and weaknesses. Standing up to those exploiting them, like Thaksin, is NOT “undemocratic.”

Finally, you don’t think Thaksin’s unprecedented human rights abuses warrant mention in each [of your] reports to explain why he’s seen as unfit for rule?

Head: Get real.

ATNN: So mass murderers like Thaksin are fit to rule so long as they’re popular? Democracy without rule of law is just another form of despotism. A grown up, saying nothing of a professional journalist, might qualify that schoolyard comment ["get real"]. You’ve come this far…

Unfortunately Jonathan Head, of the “world renowned” BBC, never did qualify just what he meant by “get real.” One would dread to believe he found the idea of informing his audience of the very serious and thus far unpunished crimes against humanity Thaksin Shinawatra committed, unrealistic or unnecessary. It would be equally troubling, however, to believe he thought Thaksin’s dictatorship-by-proxy was acceptable simply because it, along with his many egregious crimes, were “popular.”

Head clearly understands what Thaksin did was wrong and that the people who support him either do not grasp or do not care about concepts like human rights, trials in a court of law, and the presumption of innocence until proven guilty. He must surely understand the danger and future possibilities of allowing such a regime to continue to perpetuate itself, or worse yet, expand its power and reach.

He failed to cite a crime against humanity in Thailand on the same scale or larger than those committed by Thaksin, which indicates he does understand that Thaksin is the worst human rights offender in Thai history. Yet one should not expect Head to change his (and other Western media outlet’s) “class divide” narrative claiming the “elite” are simply trying to “steal the voice away from the rural poor.”

Just like was done in Iraq, Libya, Syria, and against Iran – the BBC’s job is to deceive the public and promote a narrative not based on truth, but a narrative that serves the interests of the corporate-financiers that dictate the BBC’s agenda. This quasi-interview with the BBC’s Jonathan Head reveals that these “journalists” are indeed propagandists, intentionally omitting relevant facts to manipulate their audience’s perception. They do this knowingly, and intentionally – and when the conflict escalates and people begin dying, simple despicable deceit becomes propaganda and a chargeable crime against peace.

For Jonathan Head, it should be noted that it is not unheard of to have corporate media propagandists find their conscience and move on to more reputable and respectable opportunities. We can only hope for Jonathan Head and others like him, that such a day comes sooner rather than later for them.

AltThaiNews Network Editor’s Note: Jonathan Head has re-tweeted the above article, indicating the closest thing to approval of the transcript’s accuracy we may get. The offer for him to have changes made still stands. Screenshots of the Twitter exchange have been saved for future reference. 


Tony Cartalucci, AltThaiNaews Network

nsnbc international’s coverage of Thailand with news, opinion and analysis HERE

Additional, selected examples pertaining BBC, accuracy in reporting, media ethics and related issues:

State Funded Media Monopoly.

BBC World Service to sign funding deal with US state department

US State Department-Funded BBC World Service “Jammed” in China

Media Ethics and Accuracy in Reporting.

BBC News Removes False News Claims About Measles Epidemic “after being busted”

War Propaganda.

BBC world news editor: Houla massacre coverage based on opposition propaganda

BBC illegally uses image of Iraqi victims as propaganda against the Syrian government

Conflicts of interest in the Syria debate

About the Author

- nsnbc international is a daily, international online newspaper, established on 25 February 2013. nsnbc international is independent from corporate, state or foundation funding and independent with regards to political parties. nsnbc international is free to read and free to subscribe to, because the need for daily news, analysis and opinion, and the need for independent media is universal. The decision to make nsnbc international freely available was made so all, also those in countries with the lowest incomes, and those inflicted by poverty can access our daily newspaper. To keep it this way however, we depend on your donation if you are in a position to donate a modest amount whenever you can or on a regular basis. Besides articles from nsnbc's regular contributors and staff writers, including it's editor and founder, Christof Lehmann, it features selected articles from other contributors through its cooperation with media partners such as Global Research, The 4th Media, Aydinlik Daily, AltThaiNews Network and others.

Displaying 15 Comments
Have Your Say
  1. Vuchara says:

    The case of Mr. Head only proof that how evil a man can be when he needs money to feed his family. Thieves and robbers use arms to kill their victims, immoral journalists use pens to destroy and kill innocent people as ordered by those who paid them. He must be so proud of his job.

  2. JWatch says:


    Thanks for this. It gets frustrating sometimes when we see the news always saying its a class war. Its not as if I wake up every morning in Bangkok and say ‘ these stupid country bumpkins, how dare they make more money! ‘. The fact of the matter is that given the amount of people that have taken to the streets, even if considered a minority, clearly there is a group of people severely disenfranchised with the action of the PT government. The question is WHY, which many media outlets never dig deeper than claiming ” oh, its a class war, BKK Elite are jealous of the rural”.

    Ironically, the PT is a ruling class of elites

  3. This article shows that Mr.Cartalucci has a deep knowledge about Thailand and is ethical enough to challenge what has been deceiving about the Thai uprising by the so called western propagandists like Head and Fuller.

    Thank you Tony, from millions of Thai hearts. <3

  4. Suree Cates says:

    Thanks,Tony for exposing this BBC propagandist for the world to see. BBC has become an unreliable source of news about Thailand in the past few years which astounded both Thais and foreigners alike.

  5. DPM says:

    All supporters of Taksin have benefited financially, some more than others.
    THAI and NON-THAI, It’s Bahts or Pounds or $$$.
    Don’t talk of right or wrong to these people.
    It’s a matter of HOW MUCH, and the ink will flow…
    All privatization of Thailand natural resources during Taksin’s period to his followers and family should be revoked. It was done illegally and profits from it are being used to maintain/BUY his influence,

  6. Bkkalien says:

    BBC’s biases had been exposed before, especially during the 2008-2010 yellow shirt and later red shirt rallies. But this organization is unapologetic and shameless in continuing its stereotyped, one-sided reporting. I hope somebody keeps a record of all their news, print, video, audio, on the current issue.

  7. David Clarke says:

    Well done Tony, BBC have now been exposed for everything from Pedophilia to Propagangda – reading your story makes the BBC sound like a deranged cult too ;) Congratulations on your inspiring work that helps give the good people some hope too

  8. sam says:

    great job

  9. shaktey says:

    Association with the wise person like you and your assiciates is the great good omen. Keep up the good work, I encourage you to flight for the better world.

  10. Colin Smith says:

    The BBC has always been a propaganda tool of the British Establishment. To what degree depends upon the government of the day and the people who run it. I recall Thatcher giving a sharp tug on the reins during the Malvinas re-colonisation. She was outraged that the BBC could be critical or not “on-side” when British soldiers were involved. Of more but less obvious significance is the overwhelming domination of the BBC by university products who have no conception of how ordinary people live, but are close the Establishment agenda. Before the 70′s newsmen came up from the street…local papers, the police beat, and often were left of centre. Today the BBC is run by a bland, characterless cabal of mandarins (examine the characters of the last 3 or 4 Dg’s as an example) who are more like Whitehall apparatchiks than journalists. Their mindset is conservative, their profile risk-averse, which has made the BBC the “safe” broadcaster it is today. For issues like Israel, the USA, British foreign policy, the class system, corporate corruption and malfeasance,it is so biased as to be worthless.The poor British still believe their beloved BBC “tells the truth”. They are crestfallen to learn otherwise.

    • Fahwad al-Khadoumi says:

      What you forgot to mention here, is the fact that the BBC, annually, receives money from the United States’ Department of Defense. AS much as I can understand the emotional attachment anyone has to the BBC (or other state sponsored, corporate sponsored, or foundation, party, etc..-sponsored media, let’s clarify that:
      * they will of course always allow dissent, as long as the dissent stays within the set paradigm. Example, you could write articles, criticizing Andropov’s economic policy in Pravda, but you could not question socialism and the Warsaw Pact..
      * we will never achieve peace, international justice, social justice, human rights, until independent media like i.e. nsnbc international reach and are on a daily basis read by at least 5 % of any given population.
      These is no excuse, none what so ever, to justify the continued existence of a BBC or any similar media, not even for the sake of them being a public service function. If they really were a public service function, they would not, for example, cover up the true magnitude of the nuclear disaster of at the Fukushima Daiichi power planet. etc. etc. etc..
      I would rather put my money where my mouth is and donate some of my meager income to nsnbc international as the closest we can get to a true public service.

  11. ray black says:

    Jonathan Head is well known as a reporter who is not independently and impartially reporting the news, as he should. This guy is on Thaksin’s side, he is not a reporter he is propagandist. He associates exclusively with Thaksin’s supporters and mocks those who propose alternative views to the ruling Government’s. We all saw how this creature behaved during 2010.

    • Teeru says:

      I agree with you; BBC’s Head is a big propagandist to the red-shirt followers. Watch his clips on Youtube. That’s mean he is So very back-up Thaksin regime. Shame on him, dare self-calling I am a journalist? I have been wondering if his family (long back some generations) would be someone who hated royal things.

  12. Terai says:

    You wrote…

    The voters who continuously return Thaksin and his proxies to power time and time again despite his serial crimes against humanity, clearly do not grasp or care about basic concepts like “human rights,” “trials,” and the “presumption of innocence until proven guilty,”

    This tells me what you really think of Thai people. You are insulting and you are my enemy.

    • Chudaporn says:

      Come on Terai..
      Can you tell me “any” country in the world where the majority of people really know, let alone really care about human rights, presumption of innocense and so on? Especially in countries where people struggle for daily food? (or watch TV all day and get pumpoy? ;) I don’t know any country. Most people don’t care, not really, and not until someone with military boots and a gun steps on their plate -and then it is too late. Instead of calling someone your “enemy”, maybe a little bit realism and self-critique would give better gam for you. ;)

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