Brazil: “Record Debuts Globo-Killer News Channel!”

https://i2.wp.com/upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/b/b3/Rederecord.jpg/285px-Rederecord.jpg
Rede Record’s São Paulo auditorium, last night ringed with Hollywood searchlights and news choppers: Ambitions to become the
other all-seeing eyeball-like gizmo.

UPDATE, OCTOBER 2, 2007:

Ao lado de Lula, Edir Macedo ataca Globo em lançamento de TV: “Standing beside President Squid, Edir Macedo attacks Globo during launch of [dedicated broadcast news channel].” The Estado de S. Paulo reports.

SÃO PAULO – Sem se apresentar como bispo, o fundador e líder da Igreja Universal do Reino de Deus e proprietário da Rede Record, Edir Macedo, inaugurou na noite desta quinta-feira o seu novo canal de TV, o Record News, protestando contra o que chamou de “monopólio da informação” no País. Ao lado do presidente Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva e do governador de São Paulo, José Serra, Macedo iniciou seu discurso com um ataque velado à concorrente TV Globo – dizendo que sua empresa “por anos foi injustiçada por um grupo que tinha e mantém o monopólio da informação no Brasil”. Ressaltando que o canal de notícias será gratuito – os da Rede Globo são exclusivos para assinantes da TV paga – Macedo disse que o novo canal pretende levar informação de qualidade aos brasileiros.

Without referring to himself as a bishop, the founder and leader of the Universal Church of the Kingdom of God and owner of the Record TV network, Edir Macedo, inaugurated last evening his new TV channel, Record News, by protesting what he called the “monopoly of information” in Brazil.

What did you want him to do? Wear a mitre?

Are we really supposed to believe that because Macedo did not mention that he is the bishop of that televangelist church that he is successfully pulling the wool over our eyes? I know full well that Macedo is the bishop, and I am not even from here. It’s a public and notorious fact. How to make the point without visbily editorializing in the news hole:

Founder and leader of the Universal Church of the Kingdom of God and owner of the Record TV network, Edir Macedo inaugurated last evening his new TV channel, Record News, by protesting what he called the “monopoly of information” in Brazil.

Save yourself a few keystrokes in the bargain.

(The president’s nickname, Lula, means ‘squid’ — although it is probably merely a sing-song coinage rather than a reference to something squidlike about the man. One of his brothers is known as Vavá, for example.)

We actually watched this spectacle on our Brazilian-made Gradiente flatscreen (a surprisingly cheap and good gizmo) last evening.

As I read the story, however, this actually represents the repurposing of a channel formerly known as TV Mulher (roughly, “She TV.”)

No new concession was granted, merely permission to pump new content through an established content pipeline.

The new format on the old channel is branded to go head to head with Globo News, which broadcasts on Channel 19 in Sâo Paulo.

And as my wife just mentioned, by the way: Neither of us actually heard him mention Globo by name.

Still, when you talk about “media monopoly” in Brazil, there is one name that does tend to come naturally to mind.

What to make of Edir Macedo, spiritual heir to Aimee Semple MacPherson?

I have no idea, but I certainly am curious. (I remember being kind of stunned by the opulence of the church’s tabernacle up there in Salvador the first time I was there.)

(Before he started parroting the hysterical talking point that “the narco-guerrillas of the FARC want you to vote for Lula” — losing credibility on the topic of responsible social communications to which has paid considerable (Adenauer Foundation-inspired) lip service in the past — Rio mayor Cesar “The Naked Chairman” Maia offered a useful basic practical analysis of religion and elecoral politics in Brazil.

And so, apparently, is the Wall Street Journal, which reported on Rede Record’s challenge to the market dominance of Globo in a recent news feature. See

O presidente Lula discursou logo após Edir Macedo e disse que a imprensa conta hoje com ampla liberdade para exercer suas funções e ressaltou “o firme compromisso de seu governo em não cercear a liberdade de imprensa no País.” Lula disse ainda que “o maior desafio do jornalismo continua sendo a missão de informar com independência, imparcialidade e a livre atuação dos meios de comunicação”. No final do breve pronunciamento, o presidente disse que toda vez que participa da inauguração de uma rádio, TV ou jornal, tem a vontade de dizer: “Liberdade, liberdade, abre as asas sobre nós” , poema de Medeiros e Albuquerque, do Hino da República, de 1899, e que, cem anos depois, se popularizou como enredo da escola de samba Imperatriz Leopoldinense. Junto de Edir Macedo, Lula acionou o botão que colocou oficialmente no ar a nova emissora de TV, às 20h20.

President Squid spoke after Macedo and said the press today enjoys with full freedom to exercise its function, saying, “the firm commitment of his [sic] goverment is not to set limits on freedom of the press in Brazil.”

Actually, to be precise here, unless we were watching a different program than the Estadão, I believe it was José Serra, the São Paulo governor, who spoke immediately after Macedo.

Briefly, diplomatically, with good wishes to the new enterprise and similar sentiments about how expanding the range of choices is a good thing for the market in information services.

Following protocol according to which the Big Kahuna gets the last word. Mayor Kassab, wisely, kept his mouth shut.

My petista friends just hate it when I say this, but I find myself constantly wanting to not think so terribly badly of the other bald Toucan.

When he actually appears in public, saying things, the things he says at least tend not to be gabbling nonsense. (Background gossip: Serra fired his government press officer this week and got a new one, I think I saw.)

I mean, these PT people do field a lot of responsible, results-oriented adults, which you really do have to respect. Many of them enormously admirable and talented public men and women. With, of course, some notable exceptions that have been hammered on frenetically. They are, after all, politicians. Subject to all the ills that political horseflesh is heir to.

But we would not want to turn into political tourists down here, either.

Brazil, I think, really needs a good, tough-minded loyal political opposition that does not travel down the path followed by its Venezuelan counterpart — which opted to boycott congressional elections, move to Miami, and issue hysterical, sinister nonsense that it posts to YouTube, where it gets picked up and amplified by FOX news under the heading of “citizen journalism.”

Which is just jaw-dropping to me. It’s like betting all the money you have in the world on a single roll of a (non-rigged) roulette wheel, praying to God that 00 will come up.

It’s an act of sociopolitical vandalism that only tends to reinforce the knee-jerk repugnance the Bolivarian left feels these days for “neo-liberalism,” the “Washington Consensus,” and so on.

When the most visible spokespersons for Brand Capitalism are shrieking Moonies, this does not bode well for the capitalist brand. But the Brazilian opposition has some responsible adults as well.

They are generally not the grandsons of Magalhães and Bornhausen that you see jumping up and down saying, “Look at me! I am a responsible adult now!”

Which may be why Serra likes to make so much of the fact that he is a self-made scholarship boy, not a legacy admission. (And a survivor of the infamous Santiago soccer stadium, 1973, let us not forget.)

I cannot quite account for it, but I actually find myself rooting for the guy. I could be totally deluded on this point, mind you. But hey, if the guy says he wants to get things done that everyone pretty much wants done, and then does, that can’t be bad for anyone, can it?

Lula also said that “the greatest challenge for journalism continues to be the mission of informing the public in an independent, impartial manner, and the free operation of the media.” At the end of the brief speech, the president said that every time he takes part in the inauguration of a new radio, TV or newspaper, he fells like saying: “Freedom, fredom, open your wings over us” — a poem written by Medeiros de Albuquerque, from the national anthem, in 1899, which, a century later, became popular as the theme of a parade by the carnival society Imperatriz Leopoldinense.

And a noble conglomeration of foliões it is, too. Saravá.

Together with Macedo, he pushed the button that officially put the network on air at 8:20 pm.

Em São Paulo, a emissora transmite pelo canal 42 UHF, 20 na TVA digital e 93 na Net Digital.

In Sâo Paulo, the broadcaster will air on UHF Channel 42, on [Abril’s] TVA, and on (Globo-Carlos Slim’s) Net.

The latter of which being what we have.

But don’t even get me started.

O governador José Serra também destacou a iniciativa da Record em ampliar a diversidade de opiniões e priorizar a regionalização. O novo canal de notícias levou ao ar uma entrevista exclusiva com o presidente Lula. E às 22 horas, uma entrevista com o presidente do Senado, Renan Calheiros (PMDB). Dentre as autoridades que também participaram da cerimônia, estava o presidente da Câmara, Arlindo Chinaglia (PT-SP), o prefeito de São Paulo, Gilberto Kassab, a ministra do Turismo, Marta Suplicy.

Governor Serra also underscored Record’s taking of the iniative to increase the diversity of opinion and prioritize regional coverage. The new channel aired an exclusive interview with President Squid, and, at 10 pm, an interview with Senate president Calheiros.

The sex Senator speaks out!

I missed that.

Among the dignitaries attending [the opening ceremony] were the president of the lower house, Chinaglia, the mayor of São Paulo, Kassab, and the minister of tourism, Marta Suplicy.

That last the queen of the lipstick lefties, as Larry Rohter likes to point out, dwelling on her allegedly lurid private life. (What the hell is wrong with that guy, anyway?)

What, no Minister of Communications?

Who is a former TV Globo talking head?

Após o discurso de Lula, o apresentador e jornalista Celso Freitas convidou a cantora Fafá de Belém ao palco para encerrar a cerimônia cantando o Hino Nacional. Em 1984, Fafá virou símbolo do movimento “Diretas Já”, quando cantava o Hino Nacional e dividia os palanques dos comícios com Lula e outros políticos que lutavam pela redemocratização do País.

After the Lula speech, master of ceremonies Celso Freitas invited singer Fafá de Belêm onstage to close the ceremony with the national anthem.

In 1984, Fafá became a symbol of the “Rights Right Now” movement when she sang the national anthem and shared the stage at rallies with Lula and other politicians fighting for the redemocratization of Brazil.

Quite a moment, that.

Brazil’s national anthem is certainly no more absurd than ours — which is based on a rowdy drinking song, and takes the rhetorical form of an anxious question — I always hasten to add.

All national anthems are subject to a certain amount of parody, of course, by their very fact that they represent our allegiance to the Powers That Be. Who emit gabbling nonsense more or less frequently as a function of their profession.

But still — leaving aside the sentimental association, which my Brazilan wife was fairly stirred by — this rendition sort of reminded me of a mashup of Jimi Hendrix’s and Roseanne Barr’s. You know the ones I mean. In terms of being over-the-top emotional and turned up to eleven, I mean. One the other hand, no irony was apparently intended in this apocalyptic show-biz moment.

But then again, I’m not from here.

The best national anthem in the world, of course, being the one that Australia, for some inexplicable reason, got rid of: “Waltzing Matilda.”

Once a jolly swagman camped by a billabong
Under the shade of a coolibah tree …

GloboNews, when left to its own devices, can actually be a decent news-viewing experience, I find.

But then those moments arrive in which the entire Globo empire is visibly being scripted in lockstep across every channel, and the schizogenic gabbling begins anew.

I wonder what Record News policy on editorial independence is?

And whether the new regional news operations will put people like Wagner Montes out of business?

Because that guy, I submit to you, is very, very bad for the brand.

A sample in the second segment, below:

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