Brazil’s homogenized media imposes a blackout on a huge story about the installed president.
The Intercept Brasil’s Inacio Vieira yesterday reported one of the most significant pieces of evidence yet about the real reason for the impeachment of Brazil’s elected president, Dilma Rousseff. Speaking to a group of U.S. business and foreign policy elites, the country’s installed president, Michel Temer, admitted that what triggered the impeachment process was not any supposed “budgetary crimes,” but rather Dilma’s opposition to the neoliberal platform of social program cuts and privatization demanded by Temer’s party and the big-business interests that fund it.
But what’s as revealing as Temer’s casual acknowledgement of coup-type motives is how Brazil’s large media — which is united in favor of impeachment — has completely ignored his comments. Literally not one of Globo’s countless media properties, nor the nation’s largest newspaper, Folha, nor any of the nation’s large political magazines have even mentioned these stunning and incriminating remarks from the country’s president. They’ve imposed a total blackout. While numerous independent journalists and websites have reported Temer’s admission, none of Brazil’s major media outlets have uttered a word about it.
The only exception to this wall of silence was a columnist from the right-wing newspaper Estadão, Lúcia Guimarães, who spent several hours on Twitter yesterday completely humiliating herself in a spirited attempt to deny that Temer actually said this. She began by insinuating that The Intercept Brasil made a suspicious “cut” in the video that altered reality — basically accusing Vieira of committing fraud without the slightest evidence, all to protect Temer.
Although she was forced into it by virtue of having embarrassed herself, all to defend Temer, at least this Estadão columnist acknowledged the existence of this obviously big story. The rest of the large Brazilian media has completely ignored it. Just contemplate that: The installed president of the country admits to a room full of oligarchs and imperialists in New York that he and his party impeached the elected president for ideological and policy reasons, not because of the stated reasons, and the entire big Brazilian press pretends that it never happened, refuses to inform Brazilians about what the installed president admitted, and ignores the huge implications for what this illuminates about Dilma’s removal.
There’s a reason Reporters Without Borders dropped Brazil to 104th in its world press freedom rankings and denounced the country’s large corporate media as a threat to democracy and a free press. As the Brazilian activist Milly Lacombe put it this morning: “Temer confesses to the coup, there exists a recording of the confession, and our corporate media hides what he said. Is that sufficient, or do you need more?” Through their disgraceful silence, they just provided one of the most vivid examples yet of the truth of RSF’s denunciations.