Like strongmen everywhere, including the increasingly embattled one in the U.S. White House, Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen distrusts the media. Earlier this year, Hun Sen spoke approvingly of President Donald Trump's hostility toward the "anarchic" press and warned journalists in his own country not to threaten its hard-won "peace and stability" ahead of a general election in 2018.

Just in case the election goes the wrong way, Hun Sen had the opposition leader slung in jail. As The Economist quipped darkly this month, you don't get to be the world's longest-serving prime minister by trusting voters.

After 32 years in power, Hun Sen and his Cambodian People's Party have a choke-hold over television and newspapers that Trump might envy. The prime minister's daughter runs a string of private TV and radio stations. The party's deputy leader owns the country's most popular newspaper. Most other media outlets are run by people with close connections to the CPP. And increasingly, it seems, the establishment media and the state distrust meddling Westerners.