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Car Wash Judge: Spy for the FBI?

Together with [Supreme Court Justice] Gilmar Mendes, Judge Moro symbolizes the biased and partisan justice system that plagues Brazil.

Paulo Nogueira of the Diário do Centro do Mundo on recent debate over Brazilian friends of Uncle Sam and his beloved GWOT.

Marilena Chauí was quite right to say some of what she said recently about Judge Moro.

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Restoring the Media Latifundio: The Bitter End of Argentina’s 678


Sources | Carta Maior, Blue Bus (Brazil)

Restoring the media latifundio in Argentina: This is apparently one of the first priorities of the shock politics the new conservative administration intends to establish in Argentina over the next 100 days, along with other repressive measures in the areas of politics, economics and the administration of justice.

One of the first announcements of the government, even before the swearing in of Mauricio Macri … was that the television program 678, broadcast in prime time by state-owned TV Publica and competing with commercial media groups, would be discontinued.

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King Momo and the Car(nival) Wash


Viva o Zé Pereira,
Que a ninguém faz mal,
Viva a pagodeira,
Nos dias de Carnaval

As the annual revels get underway, the mighty Rooster of the Dawn, like most carnival societies, is not shy about lampooning its betters.

Bakhtin, after all, was right about the Carnivalesque and the four modalities of the WUD, or “world upside down.”

But not everyone is convinced. One the key figures in the Car Wash case is attempting — apparently successfully — to quash distribution of a mask depicting his face, exposing him to ridicule on national TV.

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PT | Sue You Too


Source:  PT (Brazilian political party)

The national president of the Workers’ Party,  Rui Falcão, announced today (February 11), that the party will sue former Petrobras manager Pedro Brausco, who accused the finance secretary of our party, João Vaccari Neto, of acting as a go-between in illegal fundraising for the party, without presenting any proof of this accusation.

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Mexico | IBOPE and the Ratings Wars


When global giant WPP acquired control over the Brazilian market research firm IBOPE in December of last year for an estimated R$ 200 million, I made a note to try and follow the move-out and the load-in of the newly hyphenated IBOPE//NetRatings.

First of all, the stake in IBOPE was acquired by Kantar, not directly by the enormous WPP.


WPP’s Kantar unit acquired a controlling stake in IBOPE to expand its presence in the global media and marketing research business. As Mediapost noted, “IBOPE is to Latin America what Nielsen is in the U.S.”

Correction: the new Brazilian entity is known as IBOPE Nielsen and consists of a former partnership dating back to 1998. Shades of Globo and Time-Life?

The final closing of the deal was reported last December 17.

What interests me is the triumvirate of WPP and IBOPE, the latter of which has received its share of criticism from clients in its own market, and, on the other hand, Nielsen. As it turns out, Nielsen has encountered extreme hostility on the part of its Mexican clients and competitors as well.

The W$J did a story on mounting tensions among the parties in March.

Here is a more recent report from W$J in PT-Br), picked up second hand. Continue reading

Taiana Bares All | Brazil’s Operation Car Wash


Photo: Autumn Sonnichsen/ Divulgação Playboy

Wearing high heels and covered in dollar bills, the former lover of the currency trader [Youssef] appears on the cover of the January edition of Playboy posing in hotel rooms and private jets. She told the magazine that she was “the first person he messaged after he was arrested.”

As I have noted before, every knock down drag out political scandal has its muse or poster child — a figure, usually an attractive woman who, to coin a phrase, “lays bare the facts” or some such analogy as that.

As Veja and Playboy are both Abril publications, it is not difficult to imagine how Taiana became the Goddess of Truth. Create a poster child with scandalous overtones  Divert attention from other significant  aspects of the case until you can measure the results and decide how — and against whom — to proceed.

Mountains of Money

This meme is a close cousin to the Mountain of Money concept in South American news media, itself a corollary to  the Perp Walk — a standard procedure for Brazilian police.

In Ecuador several years ago in an election won by the leftist Rafael Correa, the viciousness of the smear campaign by the local media was astonishing. Mobilized against Correa,  Ecuadoran TV and radio in general have to be seen to be believed , as is, or was, the case in Venezuela.

A case I remember well was an anti-Chavist talk show host who displayed a parking lot full of colorful HMMVVVs and identified them as constituting bribes to members of the government. A clever researcher was able to pin down the exact location of the photo — a HMMMVV dealership in Southern California. A sign was crudely Photoshopped in an attempt to identify the parking lot as government property in Venezuela. Grotesque.

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Zé Dirceu | The Weak in Leaks


An inland São Paulo newspaper has its phone tapped to determine whether or not it is leaking information in the furtherance of a criminal enterprise.

The chattering classes weigh right in on the ethical subtleties of the case.

The blog of disgraced former PT Cardinal Zé Dirceu begs to differ, as translated below.

The entire Brazilian media, led, naturally by the Marinho family and Globo and its flagship news program, Jornal Nacional, have focused intensely (over the past three days) on the breach of privacy represented by the bugging of the telephones of an inland newspaper — the Diário da Região, in São José do Rio Preto, and one of its journalists, Allan de Abreu.

The decision was criticized by industry associations, but roundly defended by Carlos Alberto de Mello of Observatório da Imprensa, ed. 821.

“The surveillance warrant was signed by municipal judge Dasser Lettiere Jr., based on the argument that they may have been publishing information protecting by a gag order. In 2011, the paper published two reports based on data obtained from federal police wiretaps of a group of inspectors from the Ministry of Labor who had allegedly demanded bribes of business owners to free them from fines related to working conditions.

“In May of this year, the federal attorney (MPF) had already determined the opening of a probe into journalists of TV Tem, a Globo affiliate in São José do Rio Preto, for leaking the exact same information, but the charges were dropped.

“And now, with Globo in the vanguard, the industry is backing the newspaper’s defense against the judicial ruling.

“They allege that the wiretapping of the Diário and its reporter is unconstitutional, in that it does not protect the anonymity of the source from whom the reporter received the information. They revive the old cliché, that this is, in practice if not in theory, a violation of the freedom of the press.

“What this media doesn’t say is that it and its accomplices also disrespect the Constitution.

“What our news media does not say — starting again with Globo’s mighty Jornal Nacional — is that today it is common for journalists to violate the confidentiality of cases [conducted under a gag order.]

“They violate these rules constantly and without ceremony, demonstrating a contempt for the legal norms and the Constitutional norms for judicial investigations, inquiries or trials making their way through the Justice system.

“They do it openly, shamelessly. Globo in particular, but also the major dailies, the Folha and Estadão, and the newsweeklies Veja e Época. Examples abound. They all have a direct line to senior agents, magistrates and even with certain judges who, selectively and on purpose, violate the law and Constitution and leak secret information.

“In fact, all of them commit a criminal act — the leaker, the reporter, and the publisher– in the interest of political and electoral ambitions, as we saw during the recent campaign and the eve of election day, in the case of Operation Car Wash.

“That case, by the way, is particularly objectionable because what was leaked was information obtained from a plea bargain, which can lead to the nullification of the entire operation or the plea bargain itself.

“This use of this defense in the case of São José do Rio Preto clearly reflects a veiled corporate  agenda in its appeals to freedom, extolling itself with a patriotic rhetoric based on freedom of expression, the freedom of professionals, and in this manner conceals what in practice journalists and authorities engage in every day when they violate the law by exchanging secret information on investigations, enquiries and gag orders.

Leaks ruin investigations because they tip off criminals.

This was the case in this case of the inland newspaper. The leak damaged the investigations by alerting the suspects. And how does the Brazilian press look upon this exercise in pseudojournalism, with the leaking of secrets based on an illegal method? It stands up and applauds

Now, the right of response, itself a constitutional right, in practice does not exist in Brazil today, and our media do all they can to keep things that way. It does not exist because our media simply refuses to apply it.

The reason is a simple one: the media wants to be feared in order to exercise influence over governments using its monopoly over information. As they are doing now in reporting in a skewed and partial manner the facts in the case of the telephone surveillance of the journalist and his paper, in order to pressure a civil servant into committing a crime by violating the gag order.

It also behaves this way because it wants to be feared in order to manipulate and distort as it pleases and thereby — many times in an exchange of favors –obtain contracts to print school books at their publishing plants, take a bite out of ever more plump and juicy advertising budgets, and obtain fiscal exemptions and tax laws that favorite it.