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The Clube Militar on The Penitent Globo

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Source: Brasil de Fato.

By: Altamiro Borges

The O Globo article that admitted, finally that its support for the 1964 coup was “an error” continues to awake some curious responses.

For background on this surprising development, see Globo | The Day The Eyeball Blinked.

This Tuesday, the Clube Militar, a gathering of the retired “pyjama generals still dreaming of dictatorship days, published on its Web site a harsh condemnation of “the cowardice of Rio’s last great daily newspaper.”

The editorial, signed by Gen. Clóvis Purper Bandeira, an advisor to the president of the Clube, returns the focus to some historical truths about the participation of the Marinho family in the 1964 coup and the dictatorship that followed, but at the same reveals the characteristic rancor of the coup supporters. It is worth reading, however.

*****

An Error, My Eye

In a drastic editorial about-face, O Globo has just denounced its own historic support for the Revolution of 1964. To justify reneging on an editorial  line decades old, it alleges that it committed an “editorial mistake.”

Of the major newspapers at the time, the only Rio paper to survive down to the present day is O Globo. Dos grandes jornais existentes à época, o único sobrevivente carioca como mídia diária impressa é O Globo. As a repository of articles that relate the history of our city, our country and the world for over 80 years, it has recently launched an Internet portal in which all its editions have been digitalized, which makes researching  its vision of history extraordinarily easy.

In the past, few people had the patience or the time to search through the periodicals collections of the libraries, often incomplete, for past articles.  Now, however, with the power to research from home or work using an electronic portal, many will be able to read what was published in the 1960s by O Globo, and will I am sure be surprised at the unlimited and enthusiastic support that the paper provided during the ouster of Goulart and the military governments that followed. In this, in fact, it was not any different from most of the population and other news organizations.

Now, however, pressured by the political and economic power of the government, and living under the constant threat of “social control of the media” — to cite the politically correct jargon used by the Workers Party to cover up their various attempts to censor the press — O Globo has succumbed and reneges on what it so hotly defended then.

And so it now alleges that the position it took in those difficult days was the result of an editorial error. Perhaps  it was disoriented by the rapid succession of events and by the diversity of rumors that circulated about the siituation in Brazil.

This is a double deception: In the first place, its actions in support of the 1964 Movement took place before, during, and long after the ouster of Jango.

In the second place, this was no “error in editorial policy,” but rather the assumption of a political position firmly defended by the owner, chief executive, editor in chief and publisher, Roberto Marinho, as contemporaneous editions show.

In the [third] place, this was no transient position, reviewed after a short  period and found to have been an “error.”

Ten years after the revolution, on March 31, 1974, O Globo ran a front page editorial showering the Movement and the regime with praise.

On April 7, 1984, twenty years after the coup, Roberto Marinho himself signed a front-page editorial publicou editorial titled  “The Judgement of the Revolution,” the reading of which leaves no room for doubt about the strict adhesion and participation of the newspaper to the events of 1964 and the two decades that followed.

Declaring now that this was an “editorial error” is a shameless lie.

An error, my eye! This is an act of revisionism, of adhesionism and the cowardice of the last great Rio daily.  Our condolences to its readers.

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