It has been learned that a reporter/producer from the 3News’s program 60 Minutes in New Zealand has been sniffing around to several of the farang private investigators in Bangkok and Pattaya.
The reporter in question, Sarah Hall (photo below), has been asking for help on doing a story, purportedly in an exposé style, on sex-tourism and prostitution in the Kingdom, on the oh-so-dreadful and coerced life of the average bar-girl, and on the Kiwi guys (oppressors! opportunists!) who patronize the girl scene here.
It is apparently on the agenda of the production team — who are arriving in Thailand at the end of this week — to do secret filming in and around bars, the more salacious the better. Thus gogos and some of the beer bar complexes are obvious targets.
If you’re out for some fun and happen to see them, why not say hello, be a nuisance and make sure they don’t get any useful footage? Otherwise just be on the look-out for one or more guys with New Zealand accents who seem to care a bit too much about a shoulder bag or knapsack of medium to large size.
If you’re a bar owner, make sure you’ve got your “No Video” signs up, and grab their equipment if you can. They apparently do not have work permits or film production licenses to be doing this, so your cop friends can handle them with no problems.
Your security guys and servers should in particular be looking for guys who leave a bag beside them, positioned so it would have a clear line of sight to the main action such as your dance stage.
Punters and publicans, please help give this alert the widest possible distribution. None of us wants to be on camera as we have our fun, or give the sensationalist media any help in attacking our recreational choices or livelihoods, do we?
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In preparing to release this information for general consumption, eight notable local private investigators were contacted and invited to comment. In general, no is talking for the record, not even the bar-girl investigator and commentator with the obvious New Zealand connection.
One who did answer, but asks not to be identified, stated that his organization was profoundly concerned that if any investigator did consent to Hall’s request for an interview, or worse for a “ride-along” on an active investigation, the consequences could be very bad.
One can understand why — once the video is in the can and Hall is in the editing bay, there’s no telling how things might be spun. Nobody wants a repeat of the “Big Trouble in Thailand” fiasco, especially a professional community where a bit of secrecy and anonymity are indispensable.
Another PI was kind enough to give some background on discrete camera work, and feels that having a film crew tag along on a live case would be an unforgivable breach of ethics. He suggests than any local investigator cooperating with an undertaking like that would probably be cutting his own throat in the long haul.
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And for those here for a bit of fun, doing no real harm to anyone, who would simply rather not be in the glare of the international media spotlight, might this not best summarize their thoughts: Sarah, aren’t there more important things for real journalists to be doing with their time?
Sure, your employer wants eye-catching footage so they can grab maximum advertising revenue, but isn’t that what war zones are for? Are there no more orphans at whom you might point your cameras, and towards whom you might direct your urges to help and heal?
During your limo ride to your expense-account hotel suite, perhaps you deigned to notice those people with colorful shirts contesting for their vision of a future for their homeland? Know you anything of rice prices, of landmines, of droughts and drugs, of anything of real concern here in the Kingdom and the region?
Yes, Thai society is rather broken, and yes, that does in a small measure impel girls to the bars. But there’s nothing new in it for you, Sarah, and you’ll be going over some very well-trodden ground far below the norm as per your bio. This is a non-story and you may well end up doing far more harm than good in ways you can’t even anticipate.
Reporter Sarah Hall: