Date: August 16, 2005
Scene-Setter: Impeachment Rumors Swirl as Presidential Chief of Staff Resigns (El País)
Eight years of Wikileaks and still so much to learn. Chief among them: Brazilian journalists serving two, or sometimes three or more, masters.
In this case, as I browsed the Wikileaks database, I began to wonder what relation the foreign press maintains, or maintained, with the local government and other sources.
At the time of the events recorded here, uncomfortable rumors abounded about the divided loyalties of some of the central figures in the drama.
The cable reproduced in this post conjures up a revolving door of metro dailies and TV — the chattering classes — eager to share their opinions about potential end-games of the «PT payola» scandal.
Sources are not identified, even though the document is unclassified. A concerted effort was made to protect the eight identities. At the time, the press faced an internal scandal of its own in the Daniel Dantas case.
[ … ]
In a final interview with the Estado de S. Paulo, New York Times correspondent Larry Rohter notably insisted and insisted on the “follow the money” meme, also known as “The Brazilian Nixon” ploy. An interesting corollary is “I am a journalist in the tradition of Woodward and Bernstein.”
LH had been obliged in 2004 to offer an obsequious plea for forgiveness from the president, Lula after sourcing a Times story to anonymous local tabloid-style dailies.
Let me read and analyze the material on this subject, and maybe I will translate key passages for Portuguese friends.
A covertly monitored conversation between suspects, later published by Protôgenes Queiroz, Operação Satiagraha
“Talk to Margaret Thatcher! Talk to Margaret Thatcher!”
At the time, the nickname of the presidential Chief of Staff in 2005, Dilma, the current president.
Batman pressured Addams to establish contact with the Chief of Staff … Dantas then sent one of his “journalists” to work on two fronts: first, to publish articles sympathetic to creating a supertelecom in Brazil, in a bid to convince the President to fatten the calf through a 12 billion amendment to the federal budget. The purpose was to establish a Super Tele (the CTC and another two: OTC and STC) and, on the other hand, to spread dirty rumors with respect to the president’s son and the company he worked to set up … capitalized, if I remember correctly, by STC.
In the course of our investigation, we discovered that Batman was forging dossiers to distribute factoids and scandals, using the media, in an attempt to allege undue influence by the government to the company in which the President’s son was a partner.
All of these suspicions were transformed into a convoluted storyline for the Brazilian media thanks to Batman and his “team of journalists.” They planted news stories …
The media establishment sought to open a veritable Pandora’s Box, but found it empty.
Filed under: Brazil