Mainardi: I Am a Martyr


Massive act of propandistic scumbaggery by the Grupo Abril and their partners: “The Authoritarian Temptation: The PT’s attempts to monitor and control the press, television and culture.” Translation: “Shitfire, Dilma could decide those free spectrum concessions we got were the fruit of crooked dealings! Get rid of her, I don’t care how!”

In his weekly column, VEJA‘s Diogo Mainardi, responding to a recent libel verdict — see Mainardi Martyred by Minister! — likens himself to a notorious torture victim of the military dictatorship.

I believe I told you so. The pattern is utterly predictable. See also ‘Opponents of Media Monopolies Are Stalinists’.

Paulo Maluf — see “The Curriculum Vitae of Paulo Maluf” — when indicted by the Manhattan district attorney, argued that he was “the victim of political persecution.”

“Jeff Gannon,” the partisan operative infiltrated into the White House press corps as a “blogger,” now speaks of himself as a victim of “the politics of personal destruction.”

Examples can readily be multiplied. It is a standard trope of banana-republican rhetoric.

Meanwhile, other Veja “bloggers” are promoting “a conspiracy theory” about the civil libel verdict in the case, in which Mainardi was ordered to pay R$30,000 for printing false statements about then-Globo News commentator Franklin Martins.

According to this “conspiracy theory,” the fix was in.

Mainardi alludes to this noise in his column and an accompanying podcast.

Let me translate for future reference and annotation.

We will try to fact check the “conspiracy theory” as well, translating the response of the Folha columnist ragged on here.

I think I saw some independent analysis of the legal basis for the verdict in one of the Brazilian law-dog trade rags.

Sou o Bacuri do Kennedy

I am the Bacuri of Kennedy

Eduardo “Bacuri” Leite, a former soldier and member of an armed resistance group, was disappeared and tortured to death over 109 days, an operation supervised by Sérgio Fleury of DOI-CODI.

Officially, he was reported by a compliant press (the Folha, I think it was) as having been killed in a gun battle at Fleury’s country estate.

So the implicit analogy here is that Mainardi has allegedly been the victim of a disinformation and cover-up campaign in the yellow press.

A dossier on the “Bacuri” case (PR-Br). Diego is a clever boy indeed.

“O antigo assessor de Lula, Kennedy Alencar, publicou uma nota vaticinando qual seria o resultado do processo do ministro contra mim. Acertou até na quantia que eu teria de pagar. Atropelado pelos eventos, o juiz Sergio Wajzenberg decidiu me condenar às pressas, antes de analisar minhas provas e antes de interrogar minhas testemunhas”

“Former Lula adviser Kennedy Alencar published a news brief prophesying what would be the result of the minister’s lawsuit against me. He was right on the money, even in the amount I would have to pay. Overwhelmed by event, judge Sergio Wajzenberg decided to find me guilty in great haste, before analyzing my evidence or cross-examining my witnesses.”

Mr. Martins was not a government official when he sued Mainardi. He was a Globo TV political pundit.

Eu sou o Bacuri do petismo. Bacuri foi torturado e morto pelo regime militar. Os informantes que a imprensa tinha no Deops e os informantes que o Deops tinha na imprensa souberam que ele seria morto duas semanas antes de o assassinato de fato ocorrer. Ao contrário do que fizeram com Bacuri, ninguém arrancou minhas orelhas, ninguém perfurou meus olhos. O regime militar era brutal. O petismo é só rasteiro. O colunista da Folha Online Kennedy Alencar noticiou que eu seria condenado no processo contra Franklin Martins um dia antes que o juiz efetivamente me condenasse. Se eu sou o Bacuri do petismo, Kennedy Alencar é o informante do Deops.

I am the Bacuri of the PT and its supporters. Bacuri was tortured and killed by the military regime. The informants that the press had in Deops and the information that Deops had in the press knew that he would be killed two weeks before the murder in fact took place. Unlike what they did with Bacuri, no one ripped off my ears or punctured my eyes. The military regime was brutal. The PT regime is just low. The Folha columnist Alencar reported that I would be found guilty in the libel suit with Franklin Martins one day before the judge officially did so. So if I am the Bacuri of the PT, Alencar is the Deops informant.

Mr. Alencar reports that a clerical error caused the ruling to be published with an incorrect number on April 3. he published the verdict, having seen a copy of the judgment, on April 16. It was republished on April 17 with the correct case number and a new signoff from the judge.

A normal procedure, Alencar says.

Na semana passada, aqui na coluna, dei um peteleco em Franklin Martins. Na segunda-feira, o antigo assessor de imprensa de Lula, Kennedy Alencar, publicou uma nota vaticinando qual seria o resultado do processo do ministro contra mim. Ele acertou até a quantia que eu teria de pagar: 30.000 reais. No dia seguinte, atropelado pelos eventos, o juiz Sergio Wajzenberg decidiu me condenar às pressas, antes de analisar minhas provas e antes de interrogar minhas testemunhas. Como sou parte em causa, tenho de tratar do assunto com uma certa cautela. A OAB, a corregedoria e a imprensa podem se ocupar do caso bem melhor do que eu. Mas a sentença do juiz Wajzenberg merece um comentário.

Last week, here in my column, I gave Martins what for. On Monday, the former Lula advisor Kennedy Alencar published an article prophesying the result of the minister’s libel suit against me. He was right even about the amount I would have to pay: 30,000 bucks. The following day, caught up in the speed of events, Judge Wajzenberg decided to summarily condemn me, before looking at my evidence and before interviewing my witnesses.

This is simply not true. The decision was rendered well before Alencar wrote his column, but had to republished, with a new date, due to a clerical error in the original publication. See

Since I am a party to the case, I have to deal with matter with a certain amount of caution. The OAB, the internal affairs department of the judiciary, and the press might be in a better position to illuminate the case than I am. But Judge Wajzenberg’s sentence merits one comment.

O juiz Wajzenberg, como José Dirceu, só me chama de Diego na sentença. É Diego para cá, Diego para lá. Eu, Diego, sou descrito como um camarada da melhor qualidade: inteligente, brilhante, digno, leal, honesto e cumpridor de meu papel social. Mas cometi um erro ao identificar Franklin Martins como simpatizante de Lula, embora ele tenha sido nomeado, um ano depois do meu artigo, ministro de Lula. O juiz Wajzenberg se define como uma “velhinha de Taubaté”. Ele afirma que, como a velhinha de Taubaté, “prefere acreditar” que um jornalista pode desempenhar seu trabalho com autonomia, mesmo que todos os seus parentes sejam beneficiados com cargos no governo.

Wajzenberg, like [former PT minister turned lobbyist] Zé Dirceu, calls me “Diego” in his ruling. Diego this and Diego that. I, Diego, am described as an excellent fellow: Intelligent, bright, worthy, loyal, honest, and living up to my social responsibility. But I committed an error in describing Martins as a Lula sympathizer, even though he had been named, a year after my article, as a minister in the Lula government.

Mainardi claimed Martins was bribed to advocate government policy in his commentary for Globo TV.

Wajzenberg calls himself “a little old lady from Tauabaté.” He says that as such, “he prefers to believe” that a journalist would exercise his profession with independence, even though all of this relatives are benefiting from government jobs.

O juiz Wajzenberg absolve também o “povo brasileiro”. Ele alega que, como um bando de índios, nós toleramos a prática do “escambo”. Por isso, “um ato que pode parecer uma troca de favores na verdade pode significar um reconhecimento do poder político”. O juiz Wajzenberg diz que, diante da falta de trabalho, moradia e saúde, temos dificuldade de “entender o que é bom e o que é ruim”. Mas ele “prefere acreditar” que “a maioria do povo brasileiro é digna, acredita em Deus e age para que nosso futuro seja melhor”. Contaminado pelo espírito benevolente do juiz Wajzenberg, prefiro acreditar que em nenhum momento ele sentiu o peso de julgar um ministro, prefiro acreditar que ele nem considerou a hipótese de favorecer um membro do governo para obter algum tipo de vantagem em sua carreira, prefiro acreditar que ele conduziu meu processo com lisura, prefiro acreditar que ninguém arrancou minhas orelhas e ninguém perfurou meus olhos.

The judge also absolves “the Brazilian people.” He alleges that, like a tribe of Indians, we tolerate the [the institution of “wampum.”] For that reason, “an act that may appear to be an exchange of favor may really signify an acknowledgment of political power.” The judge says that, given the lack of employment, housing and health care, we have difficult “telling the difference between what is good and what is bad.” But he “prefers to believe” that “most Brazilians are worthy, God-fearing and acting to secure a better future for our nation.” Contaminated with the judge’s benevolence, I prefer to believe that at no time has he felt the pressure of having to decide a case involving a federal cabinet officer. I prefer to believe that he has not even considered the possibility that someone might be favor a government official in order to advance his own career. I prefer to believe that he judged my case fairly. I prefer to believe that no one has ripped my ears off or stabbed me in the eyes.

At the time Martins filed the case, he was still employed by Globo, as a TV talking head and political pundit, and says his abrupt firing by the network came as a surprise to him.

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