Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Who is "Andrew Marshall?" And Why Does he Hate Thailand?

He's nobody, doing it for money and fame (and getting little of either). 

July 26, 2016 (ATN) - As children in elementary school, we remember the classmate who was not good at spelling or writing, nor at art or sports. He got no attention in class for anything based on his own merits, so he got attention instead for his many demerits. Making rude-sounds with his mouth, picking his nose, throwing objects at fellow classmates, or shouting comments in class was all he could do to gain any attention, even if it was negative attention.

Image: Marshall on US State Department-funded Prachatai TV. 
What happens to such children when they grow up? They become people like the middle-aged washed up ex-Reuters journalist, Andrew Marshall.

He was a senior editor at Reuters, until he and a colleague were caught in a Reuters online chat room mocking female victims of the horrific 2011 Fukushima disaster with racist and misogynist "jokes."

According to the subsequent 10 page appeal Marshall himself wrote in a shameful and vain attempt to avoid punishment, Marshall and his colleague - the disgraceful David Fox - held the following exchange:
At 2:47 a.m. I sent the following message in the internal Reuters chat room used by journalists around the world to coordinate on the Japan disaster story:

2:47:42 AM Asia_top_story_2 Andrew Marshall thomsonreuters.com So how is the radiation situation mate? Has your hair been falling out?  
David‟s reply came a few minutes later:

2:50:16 AM Asia_top_story_2 David Fox thomsonreuters.com Lets hope it affects all those cute jap girls who do have a strange tendency to grow their pubes ...    
The two, perverted middle-aged men found the exchange not only humorous, but Marshall vigorously attempted to defend it claiming it was merely "black humor" and that it was a "coping mechanism" used to deal with the Fukushima tragedy (despite Marshall not even being in Japan, and Fox being nowhere near harm's way).

Image: The 2011 Fukushima disaster was horrific. While most were moved to tears and charity, Andrew Marshall and David Fox decided to make jokes about Japanese women and their pubic hair. 

His 10 page appeal would make a sweeping defense of his actions. Instead of taking responsibly for his poor judgement like a grown adult, he subjected Reuters to 10 pages of rambling, shameful excuses such as:
It is a well-documented fact that people working in high-stress professions involving danger and/or exposure to traumatic scenes often use humour as an essential coping mechanism. This is sometimes known as “black humour” or “gallows humour”. You will hear it not only in newsrooms covering stories about war and disaster, but also among doctors, nurses, paramedics, ambulance drivers, firefighters, police, soldiers, and so on. It is a phenomenon extensively documented in academic literature. 

If you wish to do your own research, you will be able to very easily find many studies to support this point, but to save you time I will draw your attention to a few. One of the most recent studies directly relevant to this issue was published in January this year in the International Journal of Psychology. I have attached a copy of the article, Coping with traumatic stress in journalism: A critical ethnographic study by Marla Buchanan and Patrice Keats.
He also attempted to use his alcoholism and mental illness as an apparent excuse:
... at times I used alcohol to help me do this, which of course was a terrible idea and led to its own problems. 
Of course, there are no excuses for Marshall or Fox's behavior.

Thousands of journalists around the world cover war, tragedy, and human struggle without mocking the subjects of their coverage, and many make a point of respecting the dignity of the people they encounter and whose stories they attempt to tell to the rest of the world.

It appears that Reuters felt the same way, outright dismissing Fox, and Marshall being let go shortly after.

And despite the apparent fact that this is why Marshall was let go by Reuters, he never mentioned this in 2011. Instead, he claimed he left Reuters on "principle" to pursue his work toward defaming Thailand and its revered head of state in what he called "Thai Story." His work was intertwined with Robert Amsterdam's - admittedly a paid lobbyist in the service of Thaksin Shinawatra and the powerful Western interests sponsoring him.  

Image: As shameful and criminal as Robert Amsterdam's behavior is in supporting a violent political front for a convicted criminal and mass murderer, at least Amsterdam admits he is doing so because he is a paid lobbyist. Unfortunately, it appears he has also constructed a network of faux "third party independent voices" he uses to lend his message credibility his status as a paid lobbyist cannot. 
At one point, Marshall had access to Robert Amsterdam's Twitter account, but posted comments on it even a paid-lobbyist like Amsterdam felt were inappropriate. Claiming his Twitter account was "temporarily hacked," Amsterdam whittled down Marshall's responsibilities. It seems that even the work of being a deceitful liar was above Marshall's character and capabilities.

Since 2011, Marshall has attempted to make a career out of peddling gossip and outright lies regarding Thailand's political and institutional figures, its political system, its history, and its future.

Amid his attempts to pass himself off as a credible journalist who left Reuters on "principles" rather than being fired simply for being an unrepentant, substance-abusing pervert, he has faltered many times.

Image: Despite being fired from Reuters for mocking female victims of the Fukushima disaster and his regular, tasteless mockery of  others, including the handicapped, Western news agencies like the BBC still cite him as a credible "expert." 
Perhaps the most revolting example was during the 2013-2014 protests against the sister of convicted criminal and mass murderer Thaksin Shinawatra, when Marshall posted on Twitter a message mocking a double amputee (pictured above). He also mocked the appearance of an elderly woman attending the protests.

He makes these provocative comments because his attempts to pass himself off as a credible analyst is admittedly an uphill battle. Because his work is only promoted  by the Western media as part of a much larger, concerted media campaign against Thailand, he will never actually be taken seriously as an analyst, or ever "picked up" by a journal or publication to do real analysis. In turn, he will never reach a wider audience or achieve wider recognition unless he does something else for attention. Since honest, useful analysis is beyond his capabilities, like the little boy in elementary school, he has resorted to seeking out negative attention.

Here we see the truth of this "expert" still cited by the BBC, AFP, AP, and many others - he is still the nose-picking troublemaker we remember in elementary school, doing anything and everything for negative attention because he lacks any skill or merit to achieve positive recognition for anything that he does.

It is important to download and save his 10 page appeal letter he wrote in 2011, because it will be important to remind people of exactly who this "expert" is the Western media will roll out in front of the public - that is - if Marshall is sober and sane when the time comes.  

When asked why the BBC still associated with a man who was let go by Reuters for mocking female victims of the Fukushima disaster, and who has since then mocked elderly women and the handicapped, Jonathan Head of BBC here in Thailand, refused to give a comment.