The premier didn't take it kindly as he was accused of being hostile to reporters and a threat to press freedom. Whether the criticism of Samak is too harsh or slightly exaggerated, Samak's decision to do away with his twice weekly meeting with the press can only jeopardise Thai politics and democracy.
Samak instead chose to continue with his one-way communication through his weekly television and radio talks called "Talk Samak Style". This is no substitute for the barrage of questions Samak used to face from reporters, however. On the other hand, it appeared that these media associations may have undermined their own work by giving a very harsh description of Samak on
World Press Day last Saturday.
If handled with more tact, perhaps all the bridges wouldn't have been burnt - and not being burnt is the media's responsibility because it needs to continue to keep the premier answerable to the people. And part of these answers should be found through the media's questioning of the PM.
What's more, media associations appear to be too fixated on Samak and Thaksin Shinawatra, the ousted premier. It is no secret that the majority of mainstream newspapers are out-and-out anti Thaksin - and now increasingly Samak - too.
But there are other issues that the media associations should have given more time and attention to.
These range from the threat to press freedom through toincreasing commercialisation of the media, the continued trend of "dumbing down" that affects the quality of news the public receives. There's a lack
of union among nearly all media corporations and it's related to the rigid patronage culture that prevails in virtually all media corporations.
No one asks how the media can truly be a force for democracy, press freedom and human rights when the industry's culture and structure, and even ethics, is so anti-democratic.
None of these issues were touched upon by the big media associations.
It appears that while they spent much effort in criticising Samak, they refused to carry out any introspection on themselves.
Just one day after the statement criticising Samak was made, two well-respected academics, Chaiwat Satha-anand of Thammasat University, an expert on peace and conflict resolution, and Ubonrat Siriyuwak, a media expert from Chulalongkorn University, came up with their own statement.
The duo criticised media professionals and organisations for "inciting [political] hatred", engaging in "propaganda" to discredit their political opponents "through all means and tricks".
The two also raised concerns about the associations' failure to look into the issue and for being selective in criticising politicians.
The media war against Thaksin is long and protracted. Apparently, the industry has taken sides so completely that it has lost sight of its role as provider of not just information but fair debate from different camps and perspectives. The public must exercise special caution when reading or watching news reports because although many media professionals take political sides, they are not willing to admit it. And the propaganda war continues, with or without Samak answering reporters' questions.