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More Notes on the Ugly American and the Legend of the Limitless Tropical Fuckfest

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“Pedophilia, Made in Brazil” (
Carta Capital, March 26, 2008)

“I’m going way down South
Where a man can be free”
–“Hey, Joe”

Especialistas defendem políticas públicas mais eficazes para combater turismo sexual: “Experts advocate more effective policies against sexual tourism.”

This would be a typically humdrum “experts say” sort of story from Radiobrás, the state news agency, except for the police-blotter item at the center of the debate, which comes as a congressional panel investigates pedophilia and sex tourism here (Google testified last week about measures to cooperate in efforts to control distribution of child pornography on Orkut).

Na última quarta-feira (9), uma operação da Polícia Civil e do Ministério Público do Rio prendeu dois homens acusados de agenciar um menino de 12 anos para um encontro sexual com o agente de imigração norte-americano Michael Clifford, que estava hospedado em um hotel da orla de Copacabana, em março deste ano. Clifford voltou para os Estados Unidos antes do desfecho da operação policial e não chegou a ser preso.

Last Wednesday, an operation by the state judicial police and the state prosecutor’s office of Rio de Janeiro arrested two men accused of procuring a 12-year-old boy for a sexual encounter with Michael Clifford, an agent of the United States immigration service, while Clifford was staying at a beach-side hotel in Copacabana in March. Clifford returned to the United States before the police operation was carried out and was never arrested.

Holy Christ on a crutch.

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Bolsa Familia: The Raw (Data) and the Cooked (Books)

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“Bolsa Familia in the Headlines: An Analysis of the Treatment of Conditional Cash Transfers by the Brazilian News Media.” Source: World Bank, April 2008.

CartaCapital (Brazil) issues a familiar complaint this week: partisan bias in media coverage, at the expense of objective measures of policy results — in this case with respect to the Bolsa Familia income subsidy program.

I find these sorts of media monitoring projects interesting for their own sake. Many organizations seem to use more routinely, and the methodology seems to have been refined. See also

The World Bank issued a $572 million loan with a term of 18 years for the program in 2004, and has invested $1.2 billion in similar programs in 12 countries.

Não fosse o diário Valor Econômico, uma constatação e uma crítica do Banco Mundial passariam despercebidas de parte da opinião pública. A constatação: o Bolsa Família é um programa social exemplar e deve servir de modelo para futuras experiências internacionais. A crítica: a mídia brasileira faz uma cobertura excessivamente negativa do programa e tem dificuldade em reconhecer seus avanços ou de discutir maneiras de aperfeiçoá-lo.

If it weren’t for the daily Valor Econômico, a finding and a criticism by the World Bank would have passed unnoticed by a portion of public opinion. The finding: the Bolsa Familia program is an exemplary social program and should serve as a model for future experiments around the world. The criticism: The coverage of the program by the Brazilian news media has been excessively negative and has difficulty acknowledging the progress the program has made, or debating ways of improving it.

Valor seems less politicized than other business dailies. Does a recent cross-marketing agreement with CartaCapital — a joint subscription offer (see below) — signal a confluence of the editorial line as well?

Os pesquisadores do Banco Mundial analisaram os resultados do Bolsa Família, compararam com o Bolsa Escola, criado no governo Fernando Henrique Cardoso, e cotejaram a cobertura do tema em seis jornais do País. Como se trata de estrangeiros, ninguém poderá acusá-los de “lulistas” ou de serem “chapas-brancas”.

World Bank researchers analyzed the results of the program, compared it to the Bolsa Escola subsidy for schoolchildren created during the Cardoso government, and audited coverage of the topic in six Brazilian newspapers. Because the evaluation was done by non-Brazilians, no one can accuse them being “Lula-lovers” or partisan “fronts.”

Eis o que concluíram: a imprensa não só dedicou mais espaço ao programa como o fez de maneira mais crítica com a chegada de Lula ao poder. O número de artigos sobre o Bolsa Família foi quase o dobro dos que trataram do Bolsa Escola de FHC.

Here’s what the found: The press not only dedicated more space to the program, but also covered it more critically once the current government came to power. The number of articles dedicated to the Bolsa Familia was more than twice that dedicated to its predecessor.

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