TODAY WE RE-LIVE SOME OF ITS UNBELIEVABLE MOMENTS
|A collecter's item. The Pattaya Times news-stand at|
the Immigration Department
The online version finally went up in a little blue flash two years after the printed version which claimed 500,000 readers failed to make the streets.
The newspaper’s sole surviving member – Drew Walter Noyes consoled himself with a copy of the ‘Bangkok Post’ at Tara’s pub on Pratamnak Hill, Pattaya, where once he could proudly look over his domain in the bay below.
Noyes, was the publisher, editor, sub-editor, coffee boy and delivery boy. But he retained semi-qualified staff to sub edit, layout, and correct his excesses if they dared.
The newspaper magnate from the Knoxville Tennessee School of Journalism saw in the Pattaya Times his way to power. It would open doors to the city fathers, police, army and at the same time lure foreigners to his lucrative businesses, handling people’s property, divorces, visa’s etc through a company called PAPPA.
He had raised capital for the project by selling shares in what he said would become Thailand’s alternative English language media empire with branches in Chiang Mai, Bangkok, and Phuket.
For a million baht, investors, such as one Native American, would get ’12 per cent’ plus a free Pattaya Times jacket, a press card and a work permit as a journalist.
If native English speakers became too expensive he would lure Filipinas to take their place, but when he did at least two fled with tales that would blacken a Hallow'een night.
Once Drew had the local officials eating out of his palm – he could control the foreign community through fear of his influential friends.
But his dream was doomed from day one. The 75 employees he boasted on the American Chamber of Commerce website just did not exist. He boasted the newspaper would have ‘the news you can use’ but the problem was that he had none of it - just news about himself, press releases, and vaste swathes of old news copied from the net.
|"You compromised my integrity in a way which is totally unacceptable. If this is your chosen style of journalism it is better that I am not part of it." -|
So the newspaper invented its own. The Pattaya Times had found the cure for AIDS, Thaksin Rumored Dead!, Drew Noyes finds the solution to the Gulf of Mexico oil spill (above) were all tried but to no avail.
The stories not only did not attract readers but annoyed his staff who occasionally met the paper's few readers in the places where it was distributed free much to their embarrassment.
Piles of the papers piled up at City Hall and the Immigration Department in Jomtien Soi 5. It was becoming a disaster.
Getting his wife to write about 'Oral Sex' did not help either. Readers could not help but notice that Wanrapa Boonsu could not take the story much further than an identical one written by AFP.
|Wanrapa writing about oral sex did not bring in the readers|
And then he sat back and waited for the money to come in. But nothing came.
Even vendettas against his enemies which included slagging matches with his rival magnate Niels Colov, of the Pattaya People Media Group, a former pimp from Copenhagen, came to a sticky end with Noyes having to make a public apology.
|The hunt is on British former tabloild writer -writes Wanrapa Boonsu - but three years on the powerful police|
general has still not caught up with the elusive journalist
But the hunt was in Noyes' imagination. Drummond had been, according to the Pattaya Times, attacking Thailand and foreigners who were 'working hard to improve the country.' He meant of course himself.
Noyes became so paranoid that he even started exposing his staff.
One, Ivan Schiffer, a 'reporter' he accused of warning an American arms instructor not to invest in a bar venture with Noyes (He did and lost US$250,000 and only recently has got something back).
He duly fired Schiffer and wrote a half page supposed expose of his activities as an alleged drugs dealer and marketer of unsafe cold pressed oil products.
Schiffer was deported after offering to pay for his overstay at the Cambodian border. He has however now returned to Thailand legally and is running the same successful business.
In a desperate bid to drive money his way Noyes announced in his newspaper that the Thai Government would seize all properties held by foreigners in dormant company names – and only he had the solution.
But although this did bring worried pensioners to his door it could not save his media empire, which was reduced to a lone Kiwi lifting news off the net and a Thai internet nerd.
|Joe McCluskey turned down an offer to buy his house to save him from the Thai Government|
A clean sweep was needed. Directors were changed as were editors (well at least they were at the DBD quite frequently) until finally this month a part time interpreter at Pattaya Court was left in charge, and presumably taking the can as the company's new MD.
But even the Pattaya Times online version, which Noyes claimed was now owned by the non-existent Aladdin Group, could not survive. There was too much there of his past.
The plug had to be pulled.
Only the day before Noyes and Wanrapa Boonsu, the real MD, and one of his 'chief writers', were jailed for two years for extortion.
All they had to show for it was a ‘Gentleman’s Club’ called ‘Athena’ which had yet to open its doors to its first drooling customer in Jomtien Soi 12.
|Drew Noyes - now reading the Bangkok Post - but still refusing to buy his own copy|
THE PATTAYA TIMES-THE GOOD BITS
One of the best characters to come out of the Pattaya Times was 'Mangus Evans'. This was a name Drew Noyes invented as a reader, who would write in an agree with everything Noyes said in his 'Ask Drew Noyes' column to drive business his way. Mangus, allegedly a Scottish hotelier living in Jomtien (with a Welsh surname and an Icelandic first name which should read Magnus) became an anti-Noyes hero on the net, where of course he said the complete opposite.
In fact the Pattaya Times had a following of anti-Noyes expats in the eastern seaboard who would try and find a copy each week to see who Noyes' next target was.
One even rescripted this Gaddafi speech and had the former Libyan leader down as a subscriber.
#DrewNoyes #WanrapaBoonsu #PattayaTimes