Dantas’ Inferno: Folha “Sneer Quotes” At Challenge To Its Integrity

The Estadão and Folha de S. Paulo on the infamous “mountain of money” photo, leaked by federal police agent Edmilson “Bruno Surfistinha” Bruno on election eve, 2006. Click to zoom. Folha: “Photos show dossier money!” Estado: “PT tries to prevent publication, sues to impugn Alckmin candidacy.” The Estadão headline had the virtue of reporting on the events behind the photo, we note. Which is why we read the Estado everyday, and not the Folha.

The Brazilian journalist does not feel free to write. More than just having to follow the editorial line of the publications they work for, the complaints principally have to do with coercion by political or business groups. –“A Profile of the Brazilian Journalist”

Relatório afirma, sem provas, que grupos “manipulam” mídia: The Folha de S. Paulo follows up on reports from yesterday, that the final report in Operation Satyagraha — in which banker Daniel Dantas was arrested, released on a habeas corpus writ, then re-arrested, then re-released — “states, without proof, that groups ‘manipulated’ media.

The principal source of the story is a press release from the Folha corporate office.

The story is bylined to the reportagem local, which simply rewrites the press release issued by its big boss.

Talk about your postmodern irony and “deskbound” journalism. See also

Relatório afirma, sem provas, que grupos “manipulam” mídia

Report states, without offering proof, that groups “manipulated” news media

O relatório final da Operação Satiagraha, assinado pelo delegado da Polícia Federal Protógenes Pinheiro de Queiroz, diz que os supostos grupos criminosos do banqueiro Daniel Valente Dantas e do investidor Naji Robert Nahas “manipulam” a mídia. As supostas conversas, parte da atividade dos jornalistas, são o único “indício” apontado por Queiroz.

The final report, signed by federal police Protógenes Pinheiro de Queiroz, says that the alleged criminal groups headed by Dantas and Nahas “manipulated” the news media. Supposed conversations, which are part of the normal activity of journalists, are the only “indication” pointed to by Queiroz.

The tone is exceedingly defensive, don’t you think? Liberal use of “sneer quotes.” According to Nassif, however, the text of the report contains references to e-mail and phone intercepts that have not been made public yet.

O relatório diz também que Roberto D’Ávila, da “TVE Brasil”, recebeu R$ 50 mil em 2007 de Nahas. D’Ávila disse ontem à Folha que a remuneração se deve a trabalho feito pela sua empresa, a CDN, uma pesquisa de opinião sobre a imagem de Nahas na mídia.

The report also says that Roberto D’Ávila from TVE Brasil got R$50,000 from Nahas in 2007. D’Ávila told the Folha yesterday that the payment was compensation for work performed by his company, CDN — an opinion poll about the public image of Nahas in the media.

Journalists moonlighting as flacks. This is a common procedure in Brazil, whose labor laws do not differentiate between the professional activities of public relations, advertising and journalism. They are all lumped together under the rubric of “communications.”

In Brazil, the business card of Don Draper of HBO’s Mad Men would read “Don Draper, Journalist.”

Even Luis Nassif allegedly got his tit caught in this wringer, running the Dinheiro Vivo agency while also writing a column for the Folha de S. Paulo.

On the other hand, Brazilian newspapers prefer hiring pessoas jurídicas — freelancers with their own companies — to hiring employees with carteira assinada — a formal employment contract with the individual, which implies paying social security, benefits, severance pay, and things like that.

“Até que gostaria, mas nunca entrevistei Nahas ou Dantas no meu programa”, disse D”Ávila, que não foi ouvido pelo delegado. Ao citar outros jornalistas, Queiroz errou dois nomes. E não ouviu nenhum jornalista, antes ou depois do relatório.

“I would have even like to have, but I never interviewed Nahas on my show,” said D’Ávila, who was not interviewed by the federal investigator in the case. In citing the names of other journalists, Queiroz got two names wrong. And he did not interview any journalist, either before or after the issuance of his report.

The report describes the issue as tangential to the purposes of the investigation, which was to get arrest and search warrants for Dantas, Nahas, Pitta & Co.

O documento se refere à jornalista da Folha Andréa Michael como “integrante da organização criminosa”, “travestida de correspondente da [sic] jornal Folha de São Paulo na cidade de Brasília”. Michael foi autora de reportagem, em abril, que antecipou, com exclusividade, a operação da PF. O delegado ficou contrariado com a revelação e registrou isso no relatório. Pediu também a prisão temporária de Michael e busca e apreensão em sua casa, ambos negados pelo juiz.

The document refers to Folha journalist Andréa Michael as “a member of the criminal organization,” “dressed up as a correspondent of the Folha newspaper in Braśilia.” Michael wrote the exclusive report, published by the Folha in April, that anticipated the action by the Federal Police.

UNTOUCHABLES PLAN SECRET RAID TONIGHT ON CAPONE SPEAKEASY!

The police official was angered by the revelation and registered his frustration in the report. He also requested the temporary arrest of Michael and a search warrant for her home — both of the requests were turned down by the judge.

The “[sic]” is there to point out that Queiroz makes a small grammatical error.

The noun folha is feminine, so he writes a Folha, but it is technically correct to write o Folha, assuming that it refers to o jornal [known as] Folha de S. Paulo (masculine.)

Pedantic of them.

Em nota, o jornal disse que “a Folha de S.Paulo repele insinuações de que o comportamento da repórter Andréa Michael não tenha sido correto. A repórter apurou fatos de notório interesse público relatados em texto publicado pela Folha em abril”. A nota dizia ainda que “tentativas de envolver a profissional da Folha no inquérito só podem ser entendidas como esforço inútil de intimidar a equipe de reportagem do jornal e retaliar quem cumpriu com sua obrigação”. Michael é repórter da Sucursal da Folha em Brasília há oito anos.

In a press release, the Folha said that it “rejects insinuations that Michael’s conduct was not above-board. She reported on facts of self-evident public interest in the April article.” The press release also says that “attempts to involve this Folha employee in the case can only be understood as a futile attempt to intimidate the newspapers reporting team and retaliate against someone who was simply doing her duty.” Michael has worked as a reporter at the Folha‘s bureau in the federal capital for eight years.

O delegado escreve ainda que as revistas “IstoÉ Dinheiro” e “Veja” estão “a serviço do grupo de Dantas.” Cita os colunistas Diogo Mainardi e Lauro Jardim. Este teria feito uma reportagem -”Rumo à Supertele”- considerada “favorável” a investigados. Procurado pela Folha, Mainardi comentou: “É uma citação bisonha, uma patetice que infelizmente pode colaborar para que quadrilheiros escapem”. Jardim afirmou: “A reportagem citada é jornalisticamente impecável”.

Queiroz also mentioned IstoÉ Dinherio and Veja magazines, saying they are “at the service of the Dantas group.” He cites columnists Diogo Mainardi and Lauro Jardim. The latter supposedly wrote an article — “On the Way to a Supertelecom” — in some way “favorable” to the investigation subjects. Sought for comment by the Folha, Mainardi said: “This mention of my name is clumsy and pathetic, and unfortunately may help some members of the criminal gang to get off.” Jardim said: “The article he cites is impeccable from a journalistic point of view.”

I will try to translate that later.

O delegado citou ainda Leonardo Attuch, editor da “IstoÉ Dinheiro” e colunista da “IstoÉ”, que teria feito “artigos jornalísticos “encomendados’”. Attuch disse, por e-mail: “É mais uma tentativa de intimidação. Como jornalista, tenho direito de entrevistar o presidente ou um presidiário, sem preconceito. Sou alvo de leviandades da PF desde 2004″.

He also mentioned IstoÉ Dinheiro editor and IstoÉ columnist Leonardo Attuch as someone who supposedly produced news articles “to order.” Attuch said by e-mail: “This is just one more attempt at intimidation. As a journalist, I have the right to interview anyone, from the president to a prisoner, without prejudice. I have been the target of nonsensical charges by the feds since 2004.”

Queiroz diz que jornalistas falam “quase diariamente” com Nahas com a intenção de “reunir-se com o maior número de formadores de opinião para “dar a sua versão da história’”. O investidor teria “contatado” Vera Brandimarte, do “Valor Econômico”, Paulo Andreoli, Thomas Traumann, da “Época” -chamado pelo delegado equivocadamente de “Talman”-, Elvira Lobato e Guilherme Barros (chamado de “Bastos”), da Folha, e João Saad, da “TV Bandeirantes”.

Queiroz said that journalists speak “almost on a daily basis” with Nahas with the intention of “meeting with the largest group of opinion-makers possible” in order to “give his side of the story.” The investor supposedly “contacted” Vera Brandimarte of Valor, Paulo Andreoli, Thomas Traumann of Época — referred to erroneously by the federal policeman as “Talman” — Elvira Lobato, and Guilherme Barros (referred to as “Bastos”) of the Folha and João Saad of TV Bandeirantes.

Nothing wrong with most of that, on the face of it. João Saad, however, is not a journalist but the owner of TV Band.

I would like to hear what Naji Nahas has to say myself. Provided someone boils it to make sure its true before running it, of course.

Lobato in particular seems like a highly reputable and professional reporter to me. Am I deceived?

Elvira viaja à China e não pôde ser ouvida. Barros disse estar surpreso com a citação, pois só teve um encontro com Nahas em sua carreira, “para tratar de assuntos estritamente jornalísticos e devidamente informados à Folha”.

Elvira was in China and could not be located for comment. Barros said he was surprised to see himself mentioned, having had only one encounter with Nahas in his career, “which dealt with strictly journalistic matters, of which the Folha was duly informed.”

It is not clear, from the description Nassif gives of the report, that Queiroz is even accusing these journalists of any wrongdoing. He is simply documenting Nahas’ media charm offensive.

The Folha could be tilting at a straw man here.

Brandimarte disse que nunca falou ou esteve com Nahas. Disse ser “nada mais do que natural” que seu nome esteja na relação de profissionais de negócios, pois dirige a redação de um dos principais jornais econômicos do país. Traumann disse que “nunca” falou com Nahas e que a menção a seu nome é “estúpida”.

Brandimatre said he has never spoken or met with Nahas. He said it was “only natural” that his name come up in connection with business executives, given that he runs the newsroom for one of Brazil’s main business newspapers. Traumann said he “never” spoke with Dantas and that the citation of his name was “stupid.”

Valor seems like a decent little paper, though not exactly the Wall Street Journal 1.0.

It runs down the principal business stories of the day quickly and crisply — though without much depth of reporting — and has quite a few columnists and op-ed debates worth reading. I read it every day, supplemented by the excellent DCI and the Gazeta Mercantil, as well as looking at primary sources.

About these ads
Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 259 other followers