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King Momo and the Car(nival) Wash

galo-madrugada

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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Taiana Bares All | Brazil’s Operation Car Wash

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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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Car Wash Witness | Contrary to Fact Conditional Parole?

"They knew everything"

“They knew everything”

I was leafing idly through the news coverage of Operation Car Wash — a megascandal with dozens of suspects of operating illegally inside Petrobras — thinking of doing a coverage timeline of the scandal,  when I came across a surprising statement.

TV Globo said that its sources did not confirm the version published by Veja, and described the Folha article as “distorted.”

It is very rare to see these particular establishment media outlets criticizing one another in this way.  Normally, stories like this are handled as a three-man tag-team match.

According to Valor, however, the naming of politicians involved in the case will not occur until February — Ash Wednesday, when people finally get back to work.

A tropical W$J or FT in incubation, Valor has published as a joint venture with O Globo and the Folha de S. Paulo — odd bedfellowssince May 2000. With the demise of the Gazeta Mercantil, it represents a relative concentration of the market shared with Brasil Econômico — a cousin to the Rio daily O Dia — and the business pages of the Estado de S. Paulo, along with the weekly Exame (Abril).

Bloomberg, Reuters. AFP, Yahoo News and others add a foreign flavor to the mix. The flow of information from various sources cannot but encourage the market observer.

Rumor and leakage in the Petrobras case do appear to have died down since mid-December as defendants — and officers of the court, including the federal police  — honor the gag order, in the case of defendants on pain of losing their plea deal, and leaky civil servants suffering administrative punishment.

Backgrounders [+]:

  1. Car Wash | Big Brother Is Watching
  2. Nassif on Car Wash | The Tipping Point?
  3. Watergate Braziliense: The Leaky Police on the Leaky Police

Source: CartaCapital (October 30, 2014):

Correction to Youssef deposition is a “lie,” attorney says.

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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.

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Huffington | Since April, Seems to Flower

huffpo

Inside the boundaries of a rural tract of land belonging to a presidential candidate, an airstrip capable of receiving planes with up to 50 passengers.  Some $7 million in public funds went into the construction.

It gives me a mild shock when the first messenger arrives with the tidings: It is the Brazilian franchise of the Huffington Post.

The revelation that a public airport managed by relatives of Aécio Neves poured fuel on the fire in the Neves campaign. The National Civil Aviation Agency (ANAC) released a statement today (July 22) stating that it will notify the state government of Minas about the case and that it will investigate possible irregularities at the airport in Cláudio (Minas Gerais).

In the bunker of Muda Brasil“time for a change” — commanded by Neves, ANAC’s response to negative front-page coverage by the Folha de S. Paulo was interpreted as a political ploy.

Senior Neves advisors believe that the public machine is being used in favor of the incumbent Dilma Rousseff.

“This time around the abuses used to support the Workers Party is ANAC. This type of conduct is banned by election law,” said Carlos Sampaio (PSDB-SP), Muda Brasil general counsel.

The PSDB said it would take ANAC to court at the federal elections tribunal along with Dilma, charging that she “persecutes political opponents of the government.”

The agency said it would take “the proper steps” if the Folha story was true. ANAC added that it will inspect other airports that may be “receiving irregular operations.”

The Neves campaign says the licensing of the Cláudio airport, built by the state government of Minas Gerais, is and has been legal and transparent.

ANAC says it will perform an inspection to verify that the technical requirements were met during construction before it issues an operating license. Once cleared by the Air Force, the premises may be opened to the public. According to the Folha, Dilma’s campaign has stated it will file charges of improprieties with the public prosecutor.

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The Eye in the Sky | “Globo Surveilled Our Practice!”

RoundIIGrpoup X

Source: El País Brazil edition

TV Globo, Brazil’s most powerful TV network, dispatched a helicopter to “spy” on the training regimen of the Chilean national team yesterday morning. The most recent practice sessions, carried on behind closed doors throughout the tournament and directed by gun-shy coach Jorge Sampaoli, had not yet begun when the session was violently interrupted by the simultaneous arrival of a helicopter at the  Toca da Raposa training facility in Pampulha. The coach called a halt to the sessions and lodged a formal complaint against TV Globo for what he called espionage.

How do we know the chopper belonged to the Silver Venus? Any YouTube footage of the incident? (Answer: It acknowledged, and apologized for, the intrusion).

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«Globo Downplays FIFA Association»

Sonega

Source: Brasil 24/7

Globo, the official broadcaster of the World Cup, has already brought in R$ 1.4 billion in advertising revenues for event coverage.

Despite this, last week TV Globo issued a recommendation to its journalists to avoid “positive spin” on the event.

In a memo circulated among staff, Globo calls for balanced coverage of the championship and asks that irregularities also be covered. These guidelines appear to apply mainly to the staff of the Jornal Nacional. It is no accident that the network’s flagship news program affords daily coverage of delayed public works and the rising cost of stadiums. Continue reading

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