Thailand To Protest Fox News Over Flight MH370 Criticism

A Vietnamese military officer looks at the map of search operation for the missing Malaysian Airlines flight MH370, 12 March 2014 (Reuters)

(22 March) The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has hit back at an American reporter who called the Thai authorities "jerks" for their alleged delay in publishing the flight data of the missing Malaysian jet.

Thai officials have previously indicated that military radars, manned by the Royal Thai Air Force, detected the suspected presence of flight MH370 as it departed Malaysia and headed toward the Gulf of Thailand. Officials said the airplane was later seen veering off its path and flying back to Malaysia. 

However, the Thai authorities did not made public the flight data until over a week has passed after the Malaysian Airlines flight disappeared, causing some criticism that the delay might have worsened the situation for the missing jet.

One of the most scathing comments was made by Ms. Greta Van Susteren, and American news reporter, who wrote on the website of the American news channel Fox News that the Thai authorities' delay in publishing the radar data earned Thailand with the title of "the lamest country of the day".

"Thailand didn't bother to tell anyone [about the flight data]," Ms. Susteren wrote, "Why? Well, because they are jerks"

The American anchorwoman also went on to brand Thailand as "pathetic" and "cruel". "Shame on Thailand. Yes, Thailand, that same country the world rallied to help when they got hit by a tsunami in 2004," she concluded. 

Today Mr. Sek Wannamethee, spokesman of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, said the Ministry will send an official letter to Fox News headquarters detailing Thailand's displeasure at Ms. Susteren's remarks. 

"She should not have hastily drawn conclusion, or criticism, or made comments without studying all the facts," Mr. Sek said, "Such action will also affect the credibility of Fox News, which is a leading news organisation in the US"