• September 2013
    M T W T F S S
    « Aug   Oct »
  • Pages

  • Marginalia

  • Accumulations

  • Advertisements

Journalistic Fiasco | Folha & The Volunteers


Crude but effective campaign against the media establishment is that much more effective when the media establishment makes an ass of itself.

Source: Blog da Cidadania (Edu Guimarães)

As I mentioned recently, the FSP had one of its occasional bouts of madness Sunday, relegating highly positive poll results for the incumbent to two column inches and reserving an entire football field to a murky tale of 12 political volunteers in the Thick Jungles of Mato Grosso during the 2010 election.

The top headline in the latest Sunday edition of the Folha de São Paulo should convince you that the media establishment is hell bent on preventing the ever more probable reelection of Dilma Rousseff in 2014, as its own polling numbers show.

In a story headlined “Election volunteers for Dilma were paid ‘off the books,'” the FSP reveals that a desperate attempt is underway to find some means to sabotage Dilma’s reelection.

The newspaper reported having located “12 persons in Mato Grosso and Piauí who say they never worked for free, as volunteers, despite being listed as unpaid service providers in the paperwork handed in to the federal elections tribunal” (TSE). Further down, it confesses it found at least 43 campaign volunteers [in this situation], of which 12 were contacted by the reporter. “

In the far-flung dominions of Brazil, Mato Grosso and Piauí are as about as far as you can possibly get flung without running across a Peruvian pack-mule train loaded up with marching power.

By what logic would you pay “volunteers” in an “off the books” scheme and then register them as campaign workers in the accounts delivered to the TSE? Would it not be best if the Dilma campaign simply refrained from registering persons who acted “voluntarily”?

Would a campaign this large and sophisticated really be so ingenuous? Could the expenditure on “motoboys” carrying PT flags through the streets of the cities not have been reimbursement for fuel and declared in some way other than as a payment directly to every volunteer?

Write this down, dear reader: Voluntary work does not mean work you get paid for. You might not get paid for working ona campaign, but still get your expenses covered.

Here, then, is the first bit of important infomation in this exercise in pamphleteering: The Folha is still scrutinizing the last campaign, which elected Dilma president, in search of something to undermine her.

That being said, a more important issue arises: Is such a meticulous exercise in search of a “scoop” in the public records of the 2010 campaign being scrutinized with respect to other campaigns — say, the José Serra campaign — or is the paper interested solely in the Workers Party?

Yes, the latter, because locating a R$ 20,000 discrepancy in a campaign that reported spending R$ 153 million must have involved a Herculean effort. Given that the article does not touch on the subject of other campaigns, it is to be concluded that there was no interest in the campaigns of the opposition.

Why is that?

Does anyone believe that you can raise similar questions about the other candidates and not just those of the president. For that matter, why research the campaign accounts of the president in the first place?

In the days to come, it is quite possible that inconsistencies will be discovered in the accounting records of the opposition candidates in 2010. A little bird tells the Blog that when it stoops so low, a campaign will never survive the comparison [with its own accounts.]

The grand feat accomplished by this article, then, was to demonstrate the despair of an opposition ever more inflexible and ingrained and less convinced of its electoral prospects. And that the media establishment, one again, will be at the beck and call of the opposition to the PT government.

But perhaps it would be best if the Toucan media did not stoop so low in its attempt to undermine Dilma. In the remote hypothesis that the president does not stand for reelection, the authors of this strategy might find themselves facing Lula again next year.