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Alt.Brazil | The “Dirty Blog” Meme

propdisss

Source: Brasil 24/7

 A spreadsheet from the public works contractor Queiroz Galvão, whose CEO was recently arrested, associates a bribery scheme with donations to the PSDB in São Paulo.

One of the names cited in the document, as the company itself admits, is former governor and presidential candidate José Serra.

In response, the PSDB issued a note stating that there was “no relationship between donations, duly calculated and declared, and public works contracts.”

According to the PSDB, contractors only condition contracts on campaign donations when they are dealing with the PT.

Public records do not immediately bear this out, and similar claims have been made in prior cases without arriving at a legally certain result.

I am unable to locate the statement referred to here on the party’s Web site, by the way. We continue.

“In this case, regular, transparent donations have been depicted as a bribery scheme.”

“The real truth is a gymnasium of ‘dirty blogs’ paid for by the federal government to draw attention away from investigations into the responsibility of the PT for a number of scandals.”

The Toucans, when you hurt them, will even go so far as to call the Folha de S. Paulo a “dirty blog.”

That the mudslingers are subsidized by the federal government is a worn-out cliché at this point.

Journalists who adopt and spread this meme often find that their own publications received substantial sums from official publicity.

The last presidential spokesman — a powerful position — began to work on ways of incubating alternative and community news and entertainment media. The establishment media had a cow.

***

Picture a roomful of interns with scissors and glue, and a Paraguayan edition of Microsoft Excel, sorting advertisers into piles, by publication. I think I have seen a blog post on that.

It might also be interesting to perform search engine research to get a better picture of this exchange of heavy ad hominems: The “dirty blogs” versus “the PIG,” or “party of the coup-plotting press,” a meme spread by  a Rede Record journalist — who himself doubles as a “clean” talking head.

In any case, I would predict that the PIG outblogs the Dirty Dozens by an order of magnitude or more.

After all, the major dailies themselves host a large number of blogs bearing the stamp of what Maurice Mouillaud calls (in translation) «o nome-do-jornal». [O Jornal: Da Forma ao Sentido: Editora UnB, 2002]

Applying this concept, we observe that top bloggers tend to carry the brand of their employers — while using the pretext of “autonomy” to pose as hoi polloi. This institutional dependence is played down as much as possible in obedience to the iron law of circulation: bread and circuses.  As such, it falls under the category of “gray propaganda.”

Reinaldo Azevedo of Veja magazine, for instance, calls himself the most popular blogger in Brazil, which may well be true.  But he has little to say that could not be said between the front page and the back matter, in the form of a good, old-fashioned opinion column — which he now has, having been hired by the Folha de S. Paulo as such.

Reinaldo belongs to a twilight zone between black propaganda, moral panic, and the appeal to reason of the traditional editorial. But look at who cuts the checks.

The term  “dirty blog” itself is a Jabberwocky — a straw man dressed up “with jaws that bite and claws that catch.”

I would bet that if you compared the campaign for media reform behind, say, the Barão de Itataré you would find a relatively tiny but tenacious handful of amateurish bloggers who, nevertheless, have achieved remarkable visibility, due to the mainstream media’s obsession with anything to do with convincing you that you need a smartphone.

Seriously. I might believe you if you told that Globo news programs are under orders to find some angle, any angle, on every breaking story in order to boost the “social network” factor. The entire network is a nonstop Samsung advertisement.

Not the dead baby, but the recording of the dead baby posted to Facebook within seconds. That is now you frame the news.

As to the “dirty blogs,” both the PT government and the PSDB mounted campaign sites of the highest technical quality.

I always laugh when a PSDB friend conjures up vast offshore call center armies in response to its own propaganda — the term being used in a neutral sense in Portuguese.

I remember a campaign during the 2010 elections in which the PSDB made a lot of noise about the fact that its opponent was using the services of … a marketing strategist!

As if no one did. Not cricket and all that.