Samak can't bear to see Thaksin slighted
MV1, the online and cable television channel that supports caretaker Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra and has been branded "pseudo-media" by professional media organisations, launched officially yesterday with a strong attack on media mogul Sondhi Limthongkul, one of the anti-Thaksin alliance's leaders.
At Muang Thong Thani's Grand Hall, Samak Sundaravej, a sharp-tongued anchor for MV1's "Sonthana Panha Banmuang" ("Talks on the Nation's Problems") live talk programme, said he had decided to set up MV1 because he could not tolerate what Sondhi had done to Thaksin with his Asia Satellite TV (ASTV) channel.
"He claims his channel is real media, but in fact he plays dirty tricks, mobilises mobs, is bankrupt, has refused to pay his bank debts and does not even pay for the house he rents from the former United States ambassador," Samak said of Sondhi.
Samak also condemned a Chulalongkorn University academic who commented on the real- and pseudo-media issue. "They are all biased against PM Thaksin," he said of the Thai media, academics and the People's Alliance for Democracy.
He also denied being paid by the government to express support for Thaksin.
"Woe betide me if I was paid Bt100 million-Bt200 million, as they have said," he declared.
Today Samak will be a key speaker at a special dharma session held by well-known preacher Phra Phayom Kalayano of Wat Suankaew in Nonthaburi. The sessions are called "Kwamjring Robdaan" ("The Rounded Truth"), and begin today and continue every Sunday from 1pm to 3pm.
"They are an open forum for people with different points of view to discuss issues without emotion," Phra Phayom explained.
"Anyone can bring friends along, but protest banners, loud noise and alcohol are not allowed," the preacher said.