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«Franklin Martins Interviewed by the Falha de S. Paulo»

The blog Desculpe Nossa Falha — «pardon our failure», a satirical pun directed at the alleged systematic bias of the Folha de S. Paulo — interviews Franklin Martins, former Globo news commentator and minster of social communication during the second Lula adminstration.

The office is a somewhat peculiar mixture of press secretary and government advertising contractor.

During the military dictatorship, Martins joined the armed underground as comrade Valdir of the MR-8 guerrilla group. He is still barred from entering the U.S. — the group kidnapped the American embassador in 1969. Uncle Sam does not forgive and forget. Just ask Fidel.

Sam should probably get over it, however, judging from the Cablegate files from the embassy and consulates in Brazil, which tend to converse with a limited spectrum of political opinion.

Check: Is that a fair account? Can you develop a spreadsheet of sources cited in the cables? 

Martins is a savvy inside source on policy proposals include those affecting U.S. interests. These people are running the show now, best find a way to dialogue and close the credibility gap.

You do not want it known far and wide that you are getting your open source intel from Veja magazine, whose relationship with the numbers racketeer Charley Waterfall — Carlinhos Cachoeira — Martins addresses in this segment of the hour-long interview.

Try broadening your search for sources. Dora Kramer, Maria Ines Nassif and Cristiana Lobo are excellent columnists. The Estado de S. Paulo is the superior daily, as the Agência Estado is the best Associated Press equivalent. Cablegate shows only two cables sourced to the Estadão — February 2006, «Brazil Losing Ground in the Pharmaceutical Sector».

Folha is cited 367 times in the Cablegate papers related to Brazil. O Globo, described correctly as oriented to the center right, 91; Veja, 49; Valor Econômico, 84; and Carta Capital, 7 — all referring to dean of the economic columnists Delfim Netto.

Isto É, 15; Época, 9; Veja blogger Reinaldo Azevedo, 0. Veja columnist Diogo Mainardi is listed as a lunch guest of the Rio Principal Officer on one occasion.

Agencia Estado is cited in 5 cables between 2006 and 2010, in one case, at least, cited as having got the story wrong.

You see where this is going: On whom do the diplomats and cultural attachés rely for their open-source inside dope on Planet Brazil? They appear to clip the news conscientiously, producing regular «media reaction» items.. They appear to interview  influential — some not so influential as they think —  members of the press as well.

There are no dispatches on the mini-diplomatic crisis over the near declaration as persona non grata of Larry Rohter of the New York Times.

Agencia Estado erroneously reported that Ambassador Sobel was meeting with Minister of the Environment Carlos Minc to discuss the recent release of the Amazon Fund, when in fact he was asking Minc about a possible meeting between Minc and USAID Fore. Folha-On Line correctly reported that Ambassador Sobel needed more time to review the Amazon Fund proposal before commenting. Electronic journal Tribuna News gave favorable coverage to the Ambassador’s visit to Governor Requiao and emphasized US efforts in support of Parana law enforcement efforts.

Southern Brazil: Ambassador’s Visit Strengthens Ties
Tue, 12 Aug 2008 17:22 UTC


Martins is cited in 33 cables, including a reference to whether or not he could obtain a U.S. visa.

In light of the distance from the crime, the circumstances under which it took place, and our desire for a forward-looking relationship, now might be the time to consider waiving ineligibilities.