Global tourism news units helping Thai junta play the “Good Cop & Bad Cop” game

A string of heavy hitters in the tourism business global news unit, is massively promoting Thailand Happiness: Mega event in Bangkok, that will kick off July 25. The moves come about the same time that Thailand’s tourism promotion unit, TAT, has paid to bring 10s of tourism units and tourism journalist to Thailand.

Bloomberg reports: “Since taking power on May 22, the NCPO has silenced critics by outlawing protests and threatening the media with sanctions for content critical of the coup. Hundreds of activists, academics, opposition politicians and journalists were summoned and detained by the military in the weeks following the putsch.”

While the junta is massively clamping down on dissent, with threat of arrest and jail and near total media censorship and a flood of propaganda over Thailand, the junta is promoting happiness. That combination, “Clamp Down” and “Promoting Happiness” many observer says, is part of the old “Good  Cop and Bad Cop” game.

Good cop/bad cop, known in British military circles as Mutt and Jeff (from an American newspaper comic strip of that name) and also called joint questioning and friend and foe,[1] is a psychological tactic used for interrogation.

From the Wikipedia:

‘Good cop/bad cop’ tactics involves a team of two interrogators who take apparently opposing approaches to the subject. The interrogators may interview the subject alternately or may confront the subject at the same time.

The ‘bad cop’ takes an aggressive, negative stance towards the subject, making blatant accusations, derogatory comments, threats, and in general creating antipathy between the subject and himself. This sets the stage for the ‘good cop’ to act sympathetically: appearing supportive, understanding, in general showing sympathy for the subject. The good cop will also defend the subject from the bad cop. The subject may feel he can cooperate with the good cop out of trust, or fear of the bad cop. He may then seek protection by and trust the good cop and provide the information the interrogators are seeking.

Although the technique is especially useful against subjects who are young, frightened, or naive, it may still cause an instinctive psychological response in those who are familiar with it. However, as they are aware of the attempted manipulation, they may just close-down entirely or attempt to disrupt the procedure. Experienced interrogators assess the subject’s level of intelligence and experience with the technique prior to its application.[citation needed]

There are various countermeasures available that can disrupt the tactic or cause it to backfire:[original research?]

An experienced subject may choose to deliberately bait the ‘bad cop’ with provocative behavior of his own short of violent provocation (such as derogatory remarks about the bad cop or his family, racial, ethnic and gender slurs if applicable, offensive gestures), hoping that the ‘bad cop’ will lose self-control and react violently towards the subject.

Severe verbal abuse or otherwise insulting behavior targeted at the ‘good cop’ has also proven highly disruptive on occasion.

The good cop/bad cop routine is a common dramatic technique in cinema and television, where the bad cop often goes beyond the boundary of legal behavior. A common variant to subvert expectations is to seemingly introduce the ‘bad cop’ first, only to reveal that he’s actually the ‘good cop’ despite his harshness and that the real ‘bad cop’ is even worse.

On the “Good Cop” side:

The Tourism Authority of Thailand invites everyone to this mega event on July 25 and July 26 from 1500-2400h in Bangkok at Ratchaprasong area: Ratchadamri Road linked with Rama I Road and CentralWorld Square, Parc Paragon, The Platinum fashion mall.

The fair includes:

Happiness Street comprises of 4 activities: 2.1 Happiness Market 2.2 Happiness Surprises 2.3 Happiness Activity 2.4 Happiness Show Off.

Happiness Market: Colourful fairs of trendy, popular products; such as: Vintage Shops & Hand Made Market: Vintage shops from the railway market, old record players, traditional grocery products, chic shop, Volkswagen parts shop, and more. Online on Street: Trendy online shops on Facebook and other websites will participate to present their products on the street; such as, Nine-TwentyFive Jewelry, Nook Atelier, IDK Just Fun, Guvnorstore, etc. Star on Street: Thai celebrities and TV superstars set up booths to sell products; such as, fashionable footwear, T-Shirts, green gourmet cuisine, boutiques, and Thai desserts.

Happiness Surprises: Along the walking street, there will be two giant gift boxes which can only be opened by smiling participants. They will be invited to take photos and post it to the Instagram feed “Return happiness to Thailand”. After getting 100% energy of smiles, the boxes will be opened to find different surprises inside; such as, a chance to meet their favourite celebrities.

Happiness Activity: One of many activities to bring out more smiles. For example: “Connect to Happiness” will offer a free lollipop machine. Visitors can press a button on the smiley stand and lollipop will come out, but the smiley stand and the machine will go further apart. The next person waiting in the queue will need to find a helper to reconnect it, creating bonds and friendship amongst people who do not otherwise know each other.


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