Happy Sambodian Holidays

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We all live in a yellow submarine (above): Escaping a São Paulo ponto de alagamento. Source: Forgot, sorry, a local paper.

As for us, we are heading to the seashore, where the water, rather than pooling and reeking of human excrement, cascades down the mountainside and is swallowed up by the briny green vastness.

Hopefully, we are heading far enough up the coast to avoid the pollution at most of the North Shore beaches below São Sebastião, as reported recently by SABESP, the state water & sewer authority.

We are actually going to turn off our computers for 10 days. We are taking along oil lamps, cards, board games, and musical instruments. And a nephew. Better than TV, that little Curious George. What WILL he get up to next?

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Dantas’ Inferno: “Minocarthismo”

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Reinaldo Azevedo of Veja (left) and Márcio Chaer of Consultor Jurídico and Original123 Public Relations (right)

Reinaldo Azevedo and Márcio Chaer, in their attempt to misuse the program as a personal platform in the face of such delicate issues and such a controversial interviewee, conspired against the journalistic quality and balance of this edition of Roda Viva. The program’s directors should reflect on their criteria for selecting interviewers in the future.

Consultor Jurídico editor Márcio Chaer was last seen on the interview panel of TV Cultura’s Roda Viva interviewing Brazilian Supreme Court Chief Justice Gilmar Mendes. See

Now, in an article published in ConJur on December 23, Chaer finally produces a riposte to an article critical of his publication that appeared in the pages of Observatório da Imprensa a month or so back, written by an e-commerce entrepreneur and former Daniel Dantas business partner named Luís Roberto Demarco. See

Rather than rebutting the factual allegations Demarco made against him — that his publication provides journalistic coverage of persons that Chaer is paid to represent through his public relations agency, which constitutes a sleazy conflict of interest — he prefers to resort to a tu quoque argument:

a Latin term used to mean a type of logical fallacy. The argument states that a certain position is false or wrong and/or should be disregarded because its proponent fails to act consistently in accordance with that position; it attempts to show that a criticism or objection applies equally to the person making it. It is considered an ad hominem argument, since it focuses on the party itself, rather than its positions.

The headline puns on the term “McCarthyism” and the name of the publisher of CartaCapital magazine, Mino Carta — founder in his day of the newsweeklies Veja and IstoÉ, among others, and a journalist whose magazine has, indeed, closely covered the criminal cases against Daniel Dantas over the years.

The pun suggests a running theme of Dantas’ defense team: That the banker is a victim of political persecution. Chaer is picking up the thread of a campaign begun by Veja according to which Carta and the like are chapa brancas — journalists secretly paid off to ratfink and slander the enemies of their political sponsors.

I personally do not believe this.

It is a public issue at the moment, however, because the federal indictment against Daniel Dantas includes allegations that Dantas paid off journalists to conduct smear campaigns on his his behalf. See, most recently,

The bulk of the article, however, consists of personal attacks against and charges of alleged conflicts of interest on the part of journalist Luis Nassif, who, Chaer claims, is secretly on the payroll of this Demarco, himself portrayed as yet another omnipotent, politically connected member of the conspiracy to persecute Dantas.

Since this journalistic debate interests me, I am going to translate it to my notes, and then present Nassif’s rebuttal.

Most of the misconduct alleged here is recycled from old attacks by Veja magazine on Nassif, which Nassif has already written detailed, factual rebuttals to.

The adjective-laden style and the copious use of insinuation, labeling, guilt by association, and facts not in evidence are remarkably reminiscent of the journalistic style of the old Tribuna de Imprensa, edited by Carlos Lacerda.

I have been reading a book recently about Lacerda’s battles with Samuel Wainer of the pro-Vargas Última Hora over the years leading up to the coup of 1964.

Indeed, this is a historical parallel Chaer would like us to believe applies here: That neither party to the dispute is disinterested or impartial.

That CartaCapital and Nassif, for example, are chapa brancas, as Wainer was for the Vargas government of the 1950s (when the vast majority of the press was rabidly anti-Varguist).

This is a recurring theme in yellow-press smear campaigns against journalists who have crossed Daniel Dantas in the past.

See also

At any rate, draft-quality translated, Chaer writes:

Minocarthismo

Ideology is the wrapping paper in dispute among journalists

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