Outrage at anchor prompts U-turn by NBTC

national June 04, 2018 01:00

By The Nation

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SWEARING and cursing are not uncommon, especially when one finds something unpleasant or upsetting.

But some people believe Anchalee Paireeruk, a famous TV news anchor, crossed the line when she used strong words to condemn the police operation that resulted in the arrest of then-Phra Buddha Isara at Onoi Temple on May 24. 

Speaking during her TV programme, Anchalee said parents of the policemen carrying out the operation should slap their sons.

“How dare you raid the Onoi Temple in such an utterly bad, low, ignoble and scummy manner,” she said.

The officers were armed when they knocked on the door of Phra Buddha Isara’s living quarters inside the Onoi Temple. 

Later that day, Phra Buddha Isara was denied bail and defrocked. He is now locked up at Bangkok Remand Prison. 

During the past week, several people have complained to the National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission (NBTC) about Anchalee’s choice of words. 

The NBTC has defended Anchalee, ruling that her words had not stepped over the line of decency. As the complaints kept flooding in, however, the NBCT has reportedly decided to investigate her after |all. 

Asst Prof Dr Warat Karuchit, a lecturer at the National Institute of Development Administration, has said the NBTC in fact even resolved to not punish the producer of a sitcom TV series that often featured impolite words in its scripts. 

This was in spite of the fact that the series had received a “general audience” (GA) rating, he said, and more than 90 improper words including “Asshole” were uttered in a five-minute segment.

Warat said the entrepreneur involved in the series broadcast, who was summoned to testify before the NBTC, promised to improve the series’ dialogues.

Having a GA rating means the series is deemed as appropriate for children, even when without parents by their side. Rude words can throw speakers into legal jeopardy, especially when they can be shown to constitute defamation. 

 A review of the Supreme Court’s verdicts shows “Whore”, “Bloody Liar” and “Douche” warrant a fine because they are deemed “slanderous”.

The fines range between Bt200 and Bt1,000.