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SLAPP-PECADO Suits | Or,The FSP is Chock Full O’ Nuts

Comunique-se (Brazil) reports:

In her Sunday column, Folha de S.Paulo ombudsman Suzana Singer compared the lawsuit against the blog Falha de S.Paulo, which satirized the São Paulo metro daily, to the duel between David and Goliath. In Singer’s view, the Folha was the loser in the case against the satirical blog, from which it emerged with its public image scarred.

Even so, she criticized the bloggers’ legal arguments.

“It is difficult to understand this case as a struggle for freedom of expression, as the authors of the Falha pretend. Every corporation needs to protect its brand, and the courts are the only venue for doing this”, she said.

Falha means “fault, flaw or failure.” The Falha tended to imply that the Folha was faulty and flawed.

Unlike the Public Editor of the New York Times, hired from the ranks of senior media executives — and generally hired, in fact, from outside the Times-Mirror organization –, the ombudsman of the Folha is generally a mid-career journalist who has not yet made middle management.

The difference makes a difference.

Singer said the blog published “crude” parodies that “insulted journalists.” Even so, she said the law suit had damaged the Folha’s reputation. “Nothing good comes of a progressive newspaper, one that callis itself “the newspaper of the future,” attacking a homemade Web site which, though crudely biased, is essentially harmless. In this battle of David and Goliath, the Folha has emerged as the Philistine, doing much more damage to its image than if it had simply ignored the Bocchini brothers,” she concluded.

Echoing humorist Claudio Manoel of the late sketch comedy show Casseta & Planeta, she called the incident a micaço — a case of the Folha’s making a giant fool of itself.

Created by two brothers, Lino e Mário Bocchini, the Falha site was removed from the Web in October after the Folha obtained a court order. The newspaper charged the brothers with trademark infringement. The case is still pending. The brothers launched the site Desculpa Nossa Falha — “Excuse our failure” — to protest the case, posting all the legal pleadings along with news and multimedia on the case.

The case made headlines worldwide. Last month, the Financial Times, Wired, RSF and Julian Assange of WikiLeaks defended the blog.

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Relief for Nassif: Permission to Say That Veja Sucks

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Luis Nassif gave Veja grief.

Brazilian online journalist and multimedia economics pundit Luis Nassif is being sued by the editors of Veja magazine (Editora Abril) for having argued — not to put too fine a point on it — that the magazine’s journalism sucks outrageously.

I believe he may have referred to it as a “journalistic sewer,” in one of the more purple passages from his series on the quality of journalism at the glossy neo-Lacerdist weekly.

A careful argument, based on case studies and generally accepted standards and practices, and a persuasive one. I, for one, from experience, have long been convinced that Veja sucks big-time. Nassif’s series really only reinforced that belief.

Selected chapters from Nassif’s “Veja Dossier” that I have translated:

I should gather those together and produce a unified translation. One of these days. Then again, I am a lazy sod.

Reproduced in the Observatório da Imprensa is the following report by the Agência Carta Maior on Nassif’s recent victory in a SLAPP suit filed by Veja‘s editors. There are many more such SLAPP suits to come, one hears.

I translate, in haste, pra inglês ver.

Algo importante aconteceu na blogosfera brasileira quando o jornalista Luis Nassif começou a publicar reportagens a respeito da revista Veja: o debate mudou de plano. O que Nassif batizou de dossiê analisa, com farto material, o jornalismo praticado pela publicação semanal. Nesta semana, o juiz Carlos Henrique Abrão, da 42ª Vara Cível do Foro Central de São Paulo, julgou improcedente a ação de danos morais movida pelo e diretor de redação Eurípides Alcântara contra Nassif.

Something important happened in the Brazilian blogosphere when journo Luis Nassif began publishing articles about Veja magazine: the debate moved to another level. In what Nassif calls his Veja “dossier,” he analyzes, with plenty of examples, the kind of journalism practiced by the glossy newsweekly. This week, Judge Abrão of the 42nd São Paulo Civil Bar threw out a defamation lawsuit filed against Nassif by Veja editor in chief Eurípides Alcântara.

“O maior fenômeno de anti-jornalismo dos últimos anos foi o que ocorreu com a revista Veja. Gradativamente, o maior semanário brasileiro foi se transformando em um pasquim sem compromisso com o jornalismo, recorrendo a ataques desqualificadores contra quem atravessasse seu caminho, envolvendo-se em guerras comerciais e aceitando que suas páginas e sites abrigassem matérias e colunas do mais puro esgoto jornalístico”, é o que se lê logo no primeiro parágrafo do visualmente simples blog de Luis Nassif.

“The greatest example of antijournalism in recent years has been what has happened with Veja magazine. Brazil’s biggest weekly has gradually devolved into a libelous rag without the slighest commitment to journalism, launching personal attacks against anyone who crosses it, involving itself in commercial disputes and allowing its pages and Web sites to harbor articles and columns containing pure journalistic sewage,” Nassif wrote in the first paragraph of his visually unsophisticated blog.

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Communique-se on Veja v. Nassif

“These are facts”: Mainardi on the fictitious bribe-stuffed bank accounts of government officials, on Globo’s “The Brazilian David Letterman” show. Veja preferred not to conclude that the dossier on the alleged existence of these accounts was a gabbling forgery. It’s all a matter of postmodern biblical hermeneutics and Nietzschean-Sartrean leaps of faith with these gabbling nonsense-peddlers.

Comunique-se‘s Sérgio Matsuura on Mainardi v. Nassif.

On which see also

O colunista Diogo Mainardi, da Veja, sempre afirmou que “questões de imprensa devem ser resolvidas no âmbito da imprensa. É a regra número um do meu código de ética profissional”. Entretanto, ele entrou com um processo por danos morais contra o Ig e o jornalista Luis Nassif.

Columnist Diogo Mainardi of Veja magazine (Editora Abril) has always said that “the controversies of the press should be resolved in the press. This is Rule No. 1 of my professional code of ethics.”

Diogo Mainardi has a professional code of ethics.

In a related story, the emperor is fully dressed.

Nevertheless, he has filed a libel suit against iG and journalist Luis Nassif.

“Eu não estou processando um jornalista. Estou processando um caluniador a serviço do Governo”, disse Mainardi.

“I am not suing a journalist. I am suing a slanderer in the service of the Government,” Mainardi said.

Diogo Mainardi is a martyr to political persecution. That’s his story and he’s sticking to it like rancid bubblegum to an asphalt basketball court in late August.

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