Factoids and Fictoids: The Week in Lusophone Infotainment

I post video, experimentally, to various free services, but if you want people to actually watch them — and I am not all that worried about it, really, but still, it is in interesting to make the comparison — then YouTube seems to be the place to do it.

Interesting to note that YouTube has already rolled out its Brazil-specific site. It is not


But rather


Interesting. It is a little annoying to type in “google.com” and be automatically redirected to “google.com.br.” But I guess I can understand it. And one can always use a proxy to pretend one is hooking up from Tora Bora, Bora Bora, Tijuana, or Memphis, Tennessee.

The latest from NMM(-TV)SNB(B)CNN(P)BS, with a tentative attempt at (bad) bilingual subtitling in Portunglês. Or is it Inglunhol? Within two years, I am determined to be able to bilingual subtitle not quite so badly. I think I misheard Mayor Maluf when he talks of “governing on the basis of ideas, for example.” Needed: translation editor. Mut work hard for free. But you get the gist, anyway.

What astonishes me is the comparison of two recent segments from TV Globo’s prime-time infotainment magazine, Fantástico.

In one, the program dubs a deep-voiced narrator over footage taken by the federal police depicting an actual police operation: the massive (ongoing) and thorough borking of the bicheiros of Rio.

It is a fascinating story, but as I pointed out before, Globo has done no actual reporting of its own.

It has merely repackaged someone else’s (very competent, mind you) press release as infotainment.


And compare

In the other, shown here, the program dubs a deep-voiced narrator — it always reminds me of the narrator at Disneyland’s “Pirates of the Carribean” attraction, or an old Orson Welles wine commercial — over footage of people watching the investigation of a fictitious crime committed during Globo’s current prime-time soap opera.

Whose ratings dominance has been challenged for the first time by a competitor, as the Wall Street Journal even noted recently.

The entire segment is a protracted piece of gabbling house advertorial.

With allusions, apparently, to Dali and Buñuel’s Le Chien Andalou. Naked eyeballs, gazing, gazing …

Advertorial: An advertisement that resembles a newspaper editorial or a television program but promotes a single advertiser’s product, service, or point of view.

Technically speaking, then, Fantástico visibly affords the exact same treatment to factoids as it does to fictoids.

The difference between reality and fiction makes no difference to these people.

In this case, Globo even trots out “real-life criminal investigators” to offer their opinions on who might have done the (fictional) deed.

The year in which Globo boasts of pulling an IBOPE (ratings) of 86 points was the same year it shamelessly manipulated the presidential debates with creative editing of a debate that was not broadcast live.

Does it really think people do not tend to associate “1989” and “Globo” with the term maracutaia? Perhaps it has done market research on the question and found that they do not.

Or that they do, and that they desperately need to replace that association with another. Fond memories of soap operas past, RCTV-style.

Back in the United States, you often hear media critics complaining of the “creeping intrusion of entertainment value” into news reporting.

But TV Globo has a long, proud tradition of pissing on such scruples just as cheerfully and shamelessly as that stupid cat of mine let fly on my beloved leather sofa a a couple of years back.

The difference being that my stupid cat has a brain the size of a walnut, and is predominantly governed by dueling hormones and crude appetites.

And God bless the little monster, too. He merely follows his animal nature.

Ecce Globo.


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