“TV Globo Lynched The Rio DMV!”

The image “https://i0.wp.com/i113.photobucket.com/albums/n216/cbrayton/tota4.png” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.
TV Record’s Rio no Ar morning happy-talk program broadcasts nonsense, in a report from March 7, 2007, on a previous assault on the stronghold of “Tota” in the Complexo do Alemão. The June 28, 2007 operation to serve an arrest warrant also failed to arrest the man. Source: YouTube/NMM(-TV)SNB(B)CNNBS.

Few writers need to be reminded that we seek and publish a response from anyone criticized in our pages. But when the criticism is serious, we have a special obligation to describe the scope of the accusation and let the subject respond in detail. No subject should be taken by surprise when the paper appears, or feel that there was no chance to respond. –New York Times, Guidelines on Integrity.

Consultor Jurídico (Brazil) again — I am catching up on my reading.

A civil court finds a TV Globo newscast guilty of libel for characterizing suspects in a 2000 Rio de Janeiro corruption case as “the rotten element at DETRAN.”

See also

And compare

on the latest exploits of the Grupo Abril’s redundantly recidivist designated libel-monkey.

It is not an entirely uncomplicated case, but the determining factor does seem to have been that Globo lynched the suspects with emotionally potent labels implying moral condemnation.

Globo appears to argued, somewhat incoherently, that calling the suspects “the rotten element” did not constitute a “value judgment” about the suspects.

Globo gabbles, I often find. And in Brazil, it seems, you actually do have to sue some news organizations to get them to observe such standard principles of civilized journalism as equal time. And to reinforce such civic values as respect for due process.

Because these people really do seem to think that exercising journalistic self-control, and modeling judicious conduct rather than lynch-mob behavior for their reading public, is for pussies. It’s astonishing. But that’s how I see it.

Por mostrar no jornal local uma lista de supostos envolvidos na chamada máfia do Detran, a TV Globo terá de pagar R$ 10 mil de indenização por danos morais para cada uma das oito pessoas que entraram com a ação. A decisão unânime é da 2ª Câmara Cível do Tribunal de Justiça do Rio de Janeiro, que reconheceu o dano moral na situação específica. Cabe recurso.

For having published in a local newscast a listed of alleged participants in the so-called “DETRANS Mafia,” TV Globo has to pay $R10,000 in damages to each of eight plaintiffs. The unanimous decision of the [second civil chamber] of the [state supreme court] found that concrete damages occurred as a result of the specific events. The ruling can be appealed.

Not exactly a serious economic disincentive to the conduct in question, that.

Segundo a desembargadora Cristina Teresa Gaulia (relatora), ainda que o lançamento da lista no vídeo tenha sido rápido, era apenas uma fase do processo criminal e, portanto, a emissora não poderia prejulgar e condenar antecipadamente as pessoas.

According to Judge Gaulia, even though the video displayed the list only briefly, the criminal proceedings were [not complete], and therefore the broadcaster should not have prejudged and condemned these persons without due process.

Os autores da ação alegam que, como servidores públicos do Rio de Janeiro, lotados no Departamento de Trânsito, foram colocados em disponibilidade pelo governador com a publicação dos decretos 26.864 e 26.865, de 2 de agosto de 2000. Afirmam que no mesmo dia a TV Globo, no telejornal RJ-TV, noticiou que os funcionários destituídos de seus respectivos cargos, faziam parte de uma quadrilha organizada, denominada “Banda Podre do DETRAN”.

The plaintiffs alleged that, as public employees of the state, assigned to the department of transportation, they were [suspended] by the state government through Decrees 26,864 and 26,865, dated August 2, 2000. They say that on the same day, TV Globo, on its RJ-TV newscast, reported that the [borked] employees were part of an organized gang it called “the rotten element at DETRAN.”

De acordo com os funcionários do Departamento de Trânsito do Estado do Rio de Janeiro, o telejornal RJTV afirmou que os servidores, destituídos de seus cargos, pertenciam a uma quadrilha organizada, chamada de banda podre do Detran. Segundo eles, a notícia foi sensacionalista, visando apenas à audiência, sem apurar se, de fato, tratava-se de criminosos.

According to the employees of the state transportation agency, the RJTV newscast stated that the employees, who were stripped of their posts, belonged to an organized gang it called “the rotten element at Detran.” According to the plaintiffs, the report was sensationalistic, purely designed to gain audience share, without looking into whether they were, in fact, criminals.

A emissora teria divulgado uma relação de funcionários supostamente ligados ao esquema de roubo de carros, falsificação de documentos, emplacamento ilegal, venda de carteiras de habilitação e adulteração de chassis. Já a Globo argumentou que não houve, na reportagem, qualquer juízo de valor em relação aos funcionários do Detran, que haviam sido afastados pelo governo estadual.

The broadcaster aired a story about public servants allegedly tied to a ring engaged in car theft, document forgery, illegal license plates, selling of drivers licenses, and [illegal substandard modifications to] automobile chassis. But Globo argued that the report did not convey any value judgments about the Detrans employees who had been removed from their posts by the state government.

The plural of chassis is chassis, right? Right.

No “value judgment”?

They called them a banda podre.

Much as Veja referred to a mythical banda podre in the federal police in a recent (gabbling) cover story on possible illegal wiretapping (a possibility based on a slender body of evidence that was very likely gabblingly fraudulent, as one of the sources for that story later admitted) of the Supreme Court.

Those are strong words — stronger, possibly, than my draft-quality translation, “rotten element,” might suggest.

For a case in which somebody got thoroughly borked with the help of hysterical scandalmongering that turned out to be factually challenged by three orders of magnitude — a bank account that reportedly held a million bucks actually held a thousand, and Veja knew it, but ran the million-buck figure anyway — see

That there is some of the sleaziest logic-chopping in an apologia pro pseudojornalismo suo I have ever seen.

The Brazilian press does have a documented history of ratfinking people who did not deserve to be ratfinked.

That may even go for the sex Senator, whose case, I find is eerily Clintonesque.

Clinton schtupped an intern and lied about it.

He did not order a mafia hit on Vince Foster.

My idle bar bet is that the Calheiros case — like the Dirceu case — will have a similar outcome, eventually. A credible outcome, sufficient unto the undesirable conduct actually engaged in.

Or not engaged in.

(Not all undesirable conduct is illegal, unfortunately. True for Brazil, true for gringoland, true in a lot of places, one imagines. One solution to which, in theory, is deciding not to vote for people who do things legal but undesirable. But please: law is not morality, and corruption is not an incurable mental disease.)

One hopes.

There was another case I read about recently, in CartaCapital magazine, involving the Osasco mall explosion a decade ago here in São Paulo, that just blew my mind.

It took these poor bastards who owned the mall an entire decade to clear their names.

And none of the news organizations that carried water for the hysterical ratfinking of these poor bastards admitted they had carried water for a gabbling and mendacious ratfinking a decade ago.

Em primeira instância, o juiz considerou que a reportagem se baseou em fatos verdadeiros que foram comunicados pelo presidente e pela corregedoria do Detran. Só depois é que o ato do governador, de colocar em disponibilidade os funcionários através de dois decretos, foi invalidado. A decisão foi reformada pelo TJ fluminense.

A lower court judge found that the report was based on true facts that had been communicated by the president and internal affairs department of Detran. Only afterwards was the governor’s action, suspending them by decree, overturned. The decision was accepted on appeal by the [state supreme court, I think, sort of.]

Did RJTV give equal weight to the apparent vindication of the “rotten element”? Did it retract its characterization, or did it stand by it?

Procurado pela reportagem, o advogado Francisco Quental, que representa a Rede Globo, não foi encontrado para comentar a decisão.

Sought out by CJ reporters, attorney Franscico Quental, who represents the Globo network, could not be located to comment on the decision.

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