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Media Blitz 2014: Coffee, Cream and Sugar at Presidential Debates

A report on the current incarnation of the hoary old Café com Leite economic and political movements — a phrase used to describe the ideological dichotomies of the Old Republic of the late XIX Century.

(Milk stands for agricultural Minas Gerais while São Paulo still embraces the ways of  the fantastic, legendary coffee bubble.

The old coffee exchange still stands in the vicinity of Wall and Pearl Streets, I think. I just remember being surprised to come across an almost identical building in the port of Santos, with the same title.

Northeastern sugarcane completes the picture and I sigh after taking a cautious slurp.

My translation, with minor corrections to preserve the flow.

During the second round of elections,  (PSDB) will rely on support that far exceeds the numbers of its campaign supporters and militants.

According to the  Manchetômetro [Headline Watch],  which monitors  election media coverage  on a daily site, in a typical week has yielded a wealth of stories and articles contrary to reelection of Dilma. The group recently counted 79 negative headlines about Dilma and only 10 (ten) about the center-right Toucan candidate, Neves.

Meanwhile,A lively debate is underway in Brazilian press circles about the use of off-the-record leaks about pending criminal investigations, without verification of sources. To me, the evidence is clear: It is Orson Welles saying, “They will think what I want them to think.” Or was it Pulitzer? At any rate, the “silver bullet” of the opposition this time around is a nebulous case involving Petrobras and its purchase of a Pasadena, TX refinery.

Our sample consisted of the front pages of the dailies Folha de S. Paulo, O Globo, O Estado de S. Paulo and the prime-time Globo TV newscast, the  Jornal Nacional. The coverage was full  of distortions, and the tendentious bias of the media groups was reflected in the number of positive cover stories about  the Neves x Dilma contest.

membersThe Manchetômetro shows that Aécio Neves enjoyed 19 favorable front page headlines between October 6 and 13, while Dilma Rousseff was referred to sympathetically only on only seven. The Headline Machine selected 65 cover stories on both presidential candidates that were considered neutral for each presidential candidate at that time.

Screenshot from 2014-10-16 16:33:51

Corruption in the PSDB: All of them walking around free. The SIvam case? The trains and subways of São Paulo? Buying of votes for the reelection of Cardoso? The money-laundering and graft case involving the Minas Gerais PSDB?

The survey also dug up data on former Senator, Marina Silva, who competed, without success, in last Sunday’s voting. During the periods allotted for our research, she received  three cover stories  favorable to her candidacy and 45 neutral stories.

Journalist and president of the Barão de Itararé Center  for Alternative Media Research, Altamiro Borges, believes the Brazilian  right wing is the party of the major media groups in Brazil.  “Their support for Aécio is based on  political, ideological and economic reasons”, he says. With that,  Borges says, the Toucan candidate (Neves) received funds for its  government-subsidized election campaigns publicity: It can rely on countless other mass and social media to coordinate a 24-7 votership drive — a violation of the rigorous, dignified, but it seems, unenforceable, electioneering laws.

Screenshot from 2014-10-16 13:13:18

Borges is a prominent spokesman for the PCdoB, the Communist Party of Brazil, which produces reams of pragmatic  media analysis, is highly disciplined, and is the only representative of the old revolution guard to morph into a viable minority party, in congress and in the cabinet.

Alternative media – According to Borges, a counterpoint to the news delivered daily by major media groups is an independent media, community-robjectiveun and established through digital activism. In Globo’s eyes, these communication channels are responsible for unmasking the “good guy” image the PSDB enjoys. “The alt.media reacts to counter-hegemony in order to (unmask) (1) the private airport of Neves (built with state funds), the contracting scandal in the Federal District, (4) the Furnas List …   It provides a critical perspective without manipulation,” Borges explains.

I do not live I do not think I just watch it on TV

I do not live
I do not think
I just watch it on TV

Media regulation – Altamiro Borges argues that Brazil should adopt media regulation in order to combat media monopoly. As an example, he cites success stories of regulation of the sector, including the United Kingdom, Europe and the United States. “Not to regulate this sector is to put Brazilian democracy at risk.

President Dilma Rousseff had proposed establishing a set of economic regulations, during an interview with bloggers on September 26, at the Alvorada Palace. The incumbent candidate confirmed that this will be a priority of her second mandate, assuming she prevails on October 26.

“Any sector with a concentration of wealth should be regulated because there is an immense gulf between the proprietor and other citizens. Any such regulation will have an economic basis. This concentration leads to asymmetrical relationships. This is something that people are demanding.”

Source:  Workers Party | Major media headlines favor Aécio Neves on newspaper front pages.

Screenshot from 2014-10-14 22:44:26

This is true. So is the ownership of TV, radio and print businesses by Neves relatives and the employment of other Neves relatives in the Congress.

Judging from polling results from the 2010 elections, I would short the PSDB.