By: Mino Carta
I have taken the liberty of translating a recent editorial by Mino Carta of Carta Capital magazine — or at least starting to translate it. Consider this a second draft and read accordingly.
The lack of gratitude on Globo’s part astonishes me. The company is behaving like a dog that returns to its own vomit, if you will pardon my figure of speech, though it describes the situation very aptly.
Literally, “vomited in the bowl it eats from.”
I refer to the editorial with which the most prestigious spokesperson of the Globo group, the daily O Globo, toasted its readers on September 1.
The Rio daily says that supporting the 1964 coup was an error born of a misunderstanding. The dictatorship, as we know, was carried out by gendarmes summoned by the leaders of civil society, among them, Roberto Marinho. And we know that and the “years of lead” — anos de chumbo — were a golden age for the Globo group.
Doctor Roberto’s company grew at an extraordinary rate thanks to favors provided by the military government. It enjoyed countless prerogatives, and flourished until it reached the limits of its monopoly power. Its support for the Movement of 64 was unflinching for 21 years, at a time when the Terrorism of the State was in command.
Torture and censorship propagated throughout Brazil. The Congress was repeatedly purged, and the Congress itself maintained as the death-rattle of a laughable attempt at demoncracy. Only the MDB of Ulysses Guimarães redeemed the original sin by reuniting under a single banner all of the opposition to the regime. A fact that angered Globo.
Yes, O Globo supported the coup, together with other major dailies — as the editorial is quick to point out –and it also supported the disorder and insubordination of the regime, starting with the coup within the coup that resulted in Ato Institucional nº 5.
Arrests and persecutions, and cooperation with the regimes in Argentina, Chile and Uruguay.
On the other hand, Globo opposed Governor Brizola and, generally speaking, all the state governments conquered by the opposition by various means, as well as the trade unionists who emerged under the leadership of a certain Luiz Inácio, president of the Metalworkers Union of São Bernardo and Diadema. It was Lula who led the strikes of 1978, 1979 and 1980 before being arrested and tried under the provisions of the infamous National Security Law.
As a final gambit, the complete condemnation of the the Diretas Já — Direct Elections Now — when Globo became a target of popular wrath, and a vehicle belonging to the company was burned on Paulista Avenue, on January 25, 1984, near the end of a demonstration by 500,000 marchers converging on the Praça da Sé.
In an absurd episode, Globo showed a live view of the protest and misidentified it as a civic celebration — the anniversary of São Paulo, I think it was
Dr. Robert rejoiced, however, with the rejection of the plebiscite for direct elections — a master stroke by the pro-coup Arena of José Sarney — and with the formation of the Aliança Nacional, a pseudonym of the latest in a long series of inexhaustible conciliations between economic and cultural elites.
But let it not be said that Globo has lost its coherence, its ideals. Decisive in the election of Fernando Collor in 89, with the infamous manipulation of the final debate with Lula, produced personally by Dr. Roberto. Our colleague Dr. Roberto, according to his employees, did not hesitate one second in promoting a Carnavalesque movement against the corrupt Collo, unmasked by IstoÉ magazine when it discovered a key, fatal witness, the chauffeur Eriberto.
Before this, the Sarney government counted on the complete support of Globo, which for its part benefited from its friendship with the minister of communications, Antonio Carlos Magalhães and Armando Falcão, justice minister of the dictator Geisel.
ACM handed out broadcast concessions like Halloween candy to political allies, contrary to the newforn Constitution.
The Cardoso government bankrupted the nation on three occasions, but never lacked for applause from Globo, especially during the curious episode known as [the “privateeing of the Toucan”] and the buying of votes to guarantee the Prince of Sociology’s reelection– not to mention the “payola’ scandal, in which the Toucans also played a role.
There was a moment in which an enthusiastic Roberto Marinho, who must have had blind faith in his economic columnist Miriam Leitão, said that during a second term, FHC would guarantee the stability of the real with his last breath.
Twelve days after taking office for a second time, FHC devalued the real and left Globo mired in debt. BNDES, however, was inclined to cover the losses.
FHC was sorely missed, justifying Global support for fellow Toucans in 2002, 2006 and 2010. Globo adhered to the massive media campaign in which major dailies, as in 1964, … unanimously supported the PSDB, as it had the coup, and continued in this vein for the past ten years against a Workers Party government viewed as left-leaning …
It is worth observing, by the way, that even as it expresses its regret, the Globo editorial made use of the same logic as 50 years ago.
It evokes the “ideological division of the world” in the shadow of the Cold War, deepened in Brazil by the “radicalization of Goulart.” In other words, it renews its ominous warning: “The barbarians of subversion were (are) at the gates. …”
Yes, on his deathbed, Roberto believed he acted correctly, and never stopped calling the coup a “revolution.” As he explained in one of his resounding front-page editorials, celebrating the 20th anniversary of the coup, which his heirs now define as an “error,” there is no revolution without the people.” And who were the people represented by that criminal element? The owners of the big house and those who aspired to imitate them, seconded by the subaltern masses of the slave-quarters, momentarily lifted out of their secondary status.
Carta Capital editorials tend to cite Gilberto Freyre, Casa-Grande e Senzala, as an overarching metaphor. I have always thought it would be interesting to read the work in parallel with Roll Jordan, Roll: The World the Slaves Made — Eugene Genovese.
Yes, it is true that many leftist journalists found shelter in the newsroom at O Globo, some of whom were and continue to be my friends, but I do not recall Roberto taking any such “firm stand against the persecution” of journalists from other papers. Native customs. The Estadão hosted Portuguese columnists opponents of the Salazar regime. These had the virtue of writing down the editorials dictated by Julinho in elegant Portuguese. This sort of situation reflects the soft flexibility of Brazilian reality, in which the lord of one big house can do whatever he likes.
In all, it is not from this point of view that Globo damaged the profession. Essays were written overseas to prove the damage done by the influence of Globo, and especially by its vulgar soap operas with their bourgeois values driven by consumerism and the culture of appearances, deeply apolitical, anesthetic and odor free.
As a TV network and as a daily newspaper, Globo has had better days. I can think of shows of excellent quality, hosted by humorists like Chico Anysio and Jô Soares, who were daring enough to subtly challenge the military regime. But their fall was a brutal one, as when Evandro Carlos de Andrade edited the paper. Its opinions were lamentable even as its information was often very good.
The editorial that ran on Sunday lacks the grandeur that the situation deserves. On the contrary, it is mediocre and superficially painful, not only in its struggle with the Portuguese vernacular but also for the demonstration — line by line, word by word, and most of all in the logic of its central argument — of its organic insincerity. It is a cowardly reaction to anti-Globo protest movements and, as is its custom, a demonstration of the hypocrisy of the old men of the big house.
What is incredible, though natural and inescapable, … is the lack of a public debate of this peculiar confession by O Globo, as Claudio Bernabucci writes in his column in this edition. What do journalists accused of complicity with Globo have to say? What do political parties have to say? And the Congress? Not to mention government officials and legislators that over the years have viewed Globo as an indispensable source of political support.
Silence reigns, between astonishment and perplexity.
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