Paraguayan photoshop job from the Ex-Petista blog, cited by Olavo Carvalho as a reliable source in a Zero Hora column: “Police find fingerprints of PT members on the money!” Source not stated.
If anything characterizes our times, it is a sense of pervading chaos. In every field of human endeavor, the windstorms of change are fast altering the ways we live. Contemporary man is no longer anchored in certainties and thus has lost sight of who he is, where he comes from and where he is going. — The American Society for the Defense of Tradition, Family and Property, quoted in my Spinning the World Backwards.
Who is the true master of the universe in the age of Time magazine’s YOU? A technologist like Larry Page or Sergey Brin perhaps or maybe a marketer like Tim O’Reilly or John Battelle? Or could it be Edelman, Richard Edelman, the ubiquitous CEO of the even more ubiquitous Edelman PR agency, the largest private PR firm in the world. Edelman gets the Web 2.0 revolution better than anyone. He understands that there are no absolutes in this world, that everyone is self-created, that we — individuals and corporations alike — are all responsible for establishing our own version of the truth.
Congresso Em Foco — sort of a Brazilian version of The Hill — features Celso Lungaretti on “Goebbels-inspired noise machines of the left and right.”
Lungaretti seems to be up to two rhetorical tasks here
- An appeal to the “radical middle” in the same vein as Cisneros of Venevision, with an ostentatious rejection of “the radicalism of both extremes”; and
- “Going Nazi” early and often
On “going Nazi” in public debate, see also
In the process, Lungaretti makes an astonishing factual claim, without backing: That JIBRA, or the Independent Journalists of Brazil, headquartered in London, is an expression of Workers’ Party propaganda.
On which see also
It is the only concrete example that Lungaretti cites, in fact, of alleged Goebbels-style PT propaganda.
Which makes that aspect of this “fair and balanced” analysis of the phenomenon something of a “one-sparrow Spring” — a specious generalization from a single case. “Ronald Reagan had thick, oily hair. Therefore, all Republicans have thick, oily hair!”
But I myself once interviewed a very interesting and thoughtful former GOP congressman from the upper Midwest who was as bald as a cueball.
The problem is that I have been wondering about JIBRA myself, and have been unable so far to confirm anything that has been reported about it. I have tried fairly hard, too. I should probably see if there is any new information on the subject.
So far, I have not been able to trace any of the publications attributed to it to anyone identifiable, much less to supporters or members of the Workers Party.
In one case, there exists a blog that cites JIBRA frequently as somebody else’s work, but whose putative author bears the same name as one of the putative “London exiles” — even though the blog itself is datelined Fortaleza, Ceará.
The people who tend to spread the JIBRA memes are those kinds of bloggers who tend respond to the invitation to provide a profile by saying things like “Who am I? I often wonder that myself! Who is anyone, really, in the greater scheme of things?”
The story of the “conspiracy theory” was spread, in fact — as I noted in that prior post — by a blog called Alerta Total.
Which has a long history of spreading the same sort of “tradition, family and property” gibbering that Lungaretti ostentatiously bashes here.
Which seems to imply that the source of Lungaretti’s claim that the left are a bunch of Goebbels-style propagandists may be the same source he spends most of the article assailing the credibility of.
Which makes me tend to suspect that this is the same sort of thing we saw in Colombia recently: Disseminating a message and attributing it to someone else in order to discredit them.
Most recently, for example, “Fidel Castro endorses Hillary Clinton for president!”
It’s a variation on the ancient Pompeiian satirico-political graffito: “The smelly bums who sleep in the park urge you to vote Claudius for mayor!”
An interesting, but fundamentally boneheaded, gambit in “how to win an argument without being right”: reverse plagiarism in the service of a straw man argument, with specious generalization from a single case.