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Brazilian SLAPP Suits | Je Suis Nassif


A strategic lawsuit against public participation (SLAPP) is a lawsuit that is intended to censor, intimidate, and silence critics by burdening them with the cost of a legal defense until they abandon their criticism or opposition. —Wikipedia

The Globo executive‘s latest SLAPP suit, in a series of nine over the past several years, targeted our blogging colleague and mentor, the economic journalist Luis Nassif.

Je suis Nassif.

Source: Folha de S. Paulo

Journalist must pay R$ 50,000 to Globo executive, judge decrees.

DO RIO – A Rio de Janeiro court sentence journalist Luís Nassif to compensate the director of journalism of TV Globo, Ali Kamel, in the sum of R$50,000 for attacks on his reputation. The decision was published in December. The decision can be appealed.

According to the sentence by Judge Larissa Pinheiro Schueler, Nassif called Kamel a “manipulator” who promotes a “journalism of speculation” that crosses the limits of “the right to information.”  Nassif said he will appeal on the merits of the case and the value of the judgement.

“He is a well-known public figure and as such can serve as a target for criticisms, according to the principles of the freedom of the press,” [Nassif said of Kamel]

Once or twice, on my blog, I called Kamel “the most intellectually dishonest man in the Southern Hemisphere,” in reference to one of his books.

  1. From The Globo Dossier: Kucinski Passes Kamel Through Eye of Needle
  2. Ali Kamel: “It Is a Lie To Say That Globo Journalism Central Tried To Centralize Globo Journalism”
  3. SLAPP Unhappy | The «Dirty Bloggers» Regroup
  4. Globo x The Bad-Faith Litigant
  5. “O Globo Without Sleazy Leak Journalism Is Like a Day Without Sunshine”

Read Kamel in light of Chapter 11 of Jonson & Toulmin’s The Abuse of Casuistry (1989), titled “Pride: The Case of the Insulted Gentleman” which deals with violence, even murder, in defense of honor.

Nassif said he had been targeted for attacks by  Kamel, who declined comment.

Some of other posts mentioning Kamel:

  1. Bolsa Família| The Invisible 54 Million
  2. Globo v. Record | The Wars of Religion
  3. O Globo: For Every Affirmative Action There Is An Unequal and Opposite Reactionary
  4. “Dantas Judge Is Alien to Our Tupi Way of Life”: Globo

Consultor Jurídico, a portal for attorneys, adds technical detail to the story.

The judge ruled that evidence shows that Nassif violated the limit on the right to inform when he used terms that unfairly undermine the reputation of Ali Kamel. ” [Nassif], when he said that “everything Kamel touches turns to mud”; that he “enjoys being flattered and exposing subordinates to ridicule”; and that Kamel is a pseudointellectual of the old media,” clearly attacked the honor of the Globo journalist in an effort to undermine his public image.

Larissa Schueler also ruled that the right to freedom of expression cannot be used as a pretext for irresponsible conduct, such as defamation, because this may damage a reputation that will be difficult to restore.

“It is important to stress that public and notorious persons do not surrender their right to reputation for that reason alone”, said a portion of the sentence, which  ordered Nassif to pay R$ 50,000 to Ali Kamel.

Os ataques de Nassif a Ali Kamel se inscrevem num contexto de investidas de jornalistas alinhados ao governo federal e ao PT contra empresas de comunicação que praticam jornalismo crítico em relação ao establishment.

A Dirty Blog

The judge invoked the «dirty blogs meme» when she added,

The context of the attacks by Nassif on Ali Kamel is a series of attacks of journalists aligned with the federal government and the Workers Party against  are part of attacks by journalists aligned with the federal government and the Workers Party against media groups that practice critical journalism in relation to the establishment.

Eu, hein?