Author Topic: Do people even care that they are being lied to?  (Read 632 times)

Offline thaiga

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Do people even care that they are being lied to?
« on: June 23, 2012, 03:51:25 PM »
Controversy over breast painting on a TV talent show reveals deeper truths about how standards mean little in an age of cutthroat commercialism

A half-naked young woman triggering a controversy for being "un-Thai" is nothing new. That she was allowed to show off her breasts on a TV show that was still allowed to be broadcast - albeit with lacklustre blurring - is rarer. But it's not the end of the world for Thai culture. That the whole thing was allegedly set up to boost the ratings of a franchised TV programme whose popularity seemed in decline is what Thais should really be shocked about, even if it sounds "normal" these days.

If the allegations are true that the woman was a nude model hired to go on "Thailand's Got Talent", the controversy takes on a new aspect entirely. An emboldened woman performing what many perceived to be an unacceptable act on a TV stage is one thing. That she might have been paid to do it by people who should have known better is another.

The latter scenario isn't about a "naughty girl". It's about the mindset of TV executives and producers who consider cheating viewers an acceptable way to push up ratings.

Workpoint Entertainment boss Panya Nirandkul surreptitiously denied knowledge of any "payment". He said the show's staff approached the woman was in the same way other contestants are recruited. Panya suggested that if she received money, it was just routine recruiting. On the one hand he's saying that ambitious wannabe performers have been scrambling to get a slot on "Thailand's Got Talent". On the other hand he's implying that everyone who's selected to perform in front of the three judges is paid to be there.

The real issue, therefore, is whether the woman was hired or not. If she was, Workpoint was betraying its own viewers. If its staff knew in fact that she wasn't an artist and still put her there onstage - where she was presented as a daring, new-age painter - there's only one word to describe it: cheating.

This line in media ethics has been crossed before. Talk-show guests have told amazing stories that are hard to verify and have "lies for ratings" written all over them. A Thai thief who stole jewellery from a Saudi palace - wrecking diplomatic relations between our countries to this day - was offered money for exclusive TV interviews. Media outlets have even been accused of commercialising material derived from leaders of the genocidal Khmer Rouge.

Just because bad things have happened before, it doesn't mean they should now be acceptable. And if paying a thief for a purportedly true story is bad, what does that say about paying someone to effectively "lie" to the whole country? Yet the current investigations and inquiries have revolved around why the "obscene" performance was allowed to go on air, not the apparent contrivance behind it.

The mixing of "drama" and reality show has become increasingly common, and viewers have always been lied to, more or less, one way or another. "Professional wrestling" is one sport that's always scripted to amplify excitement or create controversy. The difference between it and "Thailand's Got Talent" is that people who watch wrestling are prepared to be fooled, and even willing. Those who viewed "Thailand's Got Talent" last weekend were made to believe the female "painter" was a real artist, however unorthodox.

This is a slippery slope. When a line is crossed often enough it will disappear, sooner rather than later. If the woman really was "hired" but this incident is allowed to pass because "TV always works this way", then TV will keep cheating us. Its producers will use the same argument invoked to justify the abundance of ridiculous soap operas: That's what the viewing public wants.
When a line is crossed often enough it will disappear
Anyone who goes to a psychiatrist should have his head examined.


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Re: Do people even care that they are being lied to?
« Reply #1 on: June 23, 2012, 04:36:35 PM »
Perhaps there are more important lies being told to the public than this one.


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Re: Do people even care that they are being lied to?
« Reply #2 on: June 23, 2012, 05:47:58 PM »
i think it happens everyday. from our government downwards. most people just accept it.

Offline thaiga

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Re: Do people even care that they are being lied to?
« Reply #3 on: June 23, 2012, 05:51:14 PM »
i think it happens everyday. from our government downwards. most people just accept it.
You can "BANK"on that,if you get my drift.
Anyone who goes to a psychiatrist should have his head examined.

Offline thaiga

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Re: Naked truth behind breast painting scandal
« Reply #4 on: July 08, 2012, 01:44:23 PM »
Pond in deep, Dad's sorry, Bag gibe blues

Coyote dancer Duangjai ''Pond'' Jansanoi, the centre of a morality row after she painted a canvas with her bare breasts, is pleading for understanding after she was reprimanded for taking off her clothes.

Pond, interviewed on television last week for the first time since her appearance on the Thailand's Got Talent show last month, said her life changed overnight when the public rounded on her for offending Thai morals.

As the cameras rolled for Channel 3's talent quest, Pond painted a figure of a person on canvas, took off her top, and after dousing her front in paint, used her breasts to smear it.

Her brief appearance upset the only woman on the three-member judging panel, TV host Pornchita ''Benz'' na Songkhla, who turned her back on Pond, and declared it was ''not art''.

She also chased her two male co-presenters backstage to demand to know why they supported it.

The act quickly became the talk of the town, with the culture minister declaring it offended morality, and the National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission levying a 500,000 baht fine on Channel 3 for airing the daring segment.

Pond said a talent scout invited her to put her name forward as a contestant. She was not trying to seek fame by taking off her clothes as her critics had claimed.

''I did it for my son, who is aged six months, and my husband, who is out of work. We need the money,'' she said.

''I didn't know the name of the show, or when I would appear. The first I knew was when my segment aired on television.

''My friends and family called asking why I did it. It shocked my mother, who said she was too embarrassed to face people.''

As the furore intensified, Pond said she went into hiding rather than face people. ''I took shelter with friends, changed my phone number, and stopped going to work. I took pills for stress, and was admitted to hospital.

''I would like to apologise if I gave the public the impression that Thais routinely take off their clothes. I didn't do it by choice,'' Pond said, offering a wai to the cameras.

The Miracle of Life Foundation, under the patronage of HRH Princess Ubolratana, has now taken Pond and her family under its wing.

Pond, who returned to her family home in Phrae for the interview, says she left school early to take care of her parents.

Her father, a former boxer, is bedridden after a motorcycle accident 10 years ago, and needs hospital care every month.

Pond says her segment in Thailand's Got Thailand was set up to boost the show's ratings. Boy, the agent who spotted her, picked her up at home at 4am on the day in April when her segment was recorded.

He had told her that all equipment including the paint and canvas would be supplied.

Boy drove her to the studios, where she had to wait for more than 12 hours before she could take to the stage.

''The place was full of people filling out application forms. Boy, who filled out mine for me, had offered 10,000 baht if I would agree to paint on a canvas while wearing a bra,'' she said.

That story changed as the day wore on.

''Shortly before my act, Boy spoke to the Thailand's Got Talent team, and came back saying I should take off my bra as well.

''I told him that was not what we agreed. But Boy said that my taking off my bra would ensure I passed into the next round, and make the show look saucier.''

Boy also promised her that if she passed into the next round, she would be paid 10 million baht.

''When I mounted the stage, I performed my act as quickly as I could. I didn't know what I was painting, as I kept my eyes closed. I grabbed a top to cover my breasts. I could barely face the panel,'' she said.

Pond says she was shocked when the male judges passed her into the next round, as she admits no artistry was involved.

Panya Nirunkul, the head of Workpoint, which produces Thailand's Got Thailand for Channel 3, has apologised for the breast-painting segment, which he said went too far.

He said the show is open to everyone, but if they put on an act which is judged in bad taste, they close the door on their own chances.

''Some acts are sourced from elsewhere, such as agents. The producers don't know all the details of every act,'' he said.

He said agent Boy was probably shocked about what happened, and wondering if he did anything wrong. ''But he shouldn't feel that way, as he has introduced many acts to us before.''

Asked if an agent had exploited the show for his own benefit, Mr Panya said it was hard to say.

He had spoken to the Thailand's Got Thailand team, and was sure it wouldn't happen again.

Son doesn't rise to the occasion

The one-time husband of famous country music singer Poompuang Duangjan, wants people to know that he hasn't forgotten his son.

Kraisorn Leelamekin last week left a cheque for 440,000 baht with Channel 3 in the hope it will contact his estranged son, singer Sorapob ''Petch'' Leelamekin, on his behalf.

Kraisorn, himself a former performer, said the money comes from a fixed-term insurance policy which he took out 17 days after Poompuang's death 20 years ago.

It was one of many savings-style policies that he took out for their only son, Petch, in the hope he would use the money on his education.

Kraison has rarely spoken to his son since left the family home six years ago to live with his former girlfriend. He doesn't know where he is living, or his phone number, but hopes they can speak again.

Poompuang, a rags-to-riches success story who is still beloved by many Thais, died from a blood disease at the age of 30. Traditionally, the June 13 anniversary of Poompuang's death is marked at Wat Tap Kradan in Suphan Buri.

Thousands of fans of the late singer gather to mark her passing in the province where she was born. At the 2009 celebrations, Petch argued with members of Kraisorn's family.

Petch, who had entered the monkhood, had called for public donations to build a wax statue in memory of his mother.

''You killed my mother _ all of you!'' Petch charged, as his uncle and aunt demanded he apologise for criticising Kraisorn, and explain how the temple donations would be spent.

In the aftermath of that battle, Petch accused his father of sexual abuse, and Kraisorn said he suspected Petch was mentally unhinged.

The two sides took each other to court.

Kraisorn and his new wife also filed lawsuits against Petch's then girlfriend and her mother. Petch fought back, asking the court to order Kraisorn to reveal details of Poompuang's estate, which once amounted to 80 million baht.

Without going into details, Kraisorn said last week that the court battles with his son were now over.

All he wanted to do was make contact with him, and show people that he was still a caring dad.

''I don't want people to accuse me of neglecting my son,'' he said.

''I want Petch to know that I'm a good dad.

If it's possible, I'd like to talk to Petch again. All I know is what I read in the news. But I want everyone to know my intentions. I never gave up on my son.''

''I was hoping Petch might spend the money on a higher education. But having come this far, and knowing that we are no longer together, I'm happy for him just to have the cheque. All I would ask is that he spend it usefully,'' he said.

Anyone who goes to a psychiatrist should have his head examined.