NMM(-TV)SNB(B)CNN(P)BS: TV Party With Mainardi!

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Cassandra complex: Diogo Mainardi is a loving father and a martyr to lost causes.

The delusional is no longer marginal. –Bill Moyers

O Brasil sempre foi a casa da mãe Joana de elites sub-reptícias que fazem o que querem. (Brazil has always been a backwater whose backstabbing elites do whatever they please) — Paulo Francis.

Bebo para tornar as outras pessoas mais interessantes. –frequently attributed to Paulo Francis

I drink to make other people interesting. — George Jean Nathan

I constantly complain about the guy — see Diogo Mainardi: No Offense, for example — but I thought I should give you an actual look at Veja magazine (Brazil) columnist Diogo Mainardi in action.

In this newsreel — uploading — after a cursory look at the Northeastern regional news channel that will challenge TV Bahia (controlled by the Magalhães clan) in that part of the country, we take a look at a fairly random clipping of his distinguished body of work, running the gamut of emotions from A to B: a Veja podcast, a snippet of the Globosat talk show he sits in on regularly, Manhattan Connection, and an interview with Internet journalist Diego Casagrande that was distributed on YouTube.

If the wit and wisdom of Mainardi proves popular among English-speaking audiences, perhaps I will subtitle some more of his YouTubery. I warn you, however: What you see here is pretty much the guy’s whole repetoire. It is about as exciting as watching a roofer hammer nails into roof slates for 8 hours straight.

Watching the roofer, of course, you are at least watching someone doing an honest day’s work.

Mainardi’s two most consistent themes, I find:

There is actually a Veja writer who publishes under the pseudonym (?) of Polycarpus Junior — a reference to an early Christian martyr, I shouldn’t wonder.

On the charges of persecution of the press — I will try to get a copy of Casagrande’s book for fact-checking — Mainardi wrote this, in December 2006:

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Polycarpus I, spiritual father of Brazil’s Veja magazine?

Como se sabe, eu sou o imitador barato de Paulo Francis. O que nele era tragédia, comigo se transformou em farsa. Estou sendo processado por um monte de gente ligada ao petismo. Num desses processos, a Brasil Telecom me apresentou como uma espécie de Marcola do parajornalismo, afirmando à autoridade judiciária que há 425 denúncias contra mim. O número foi ligeiramente inflacionado. Com isso não pretendo sugerir que a Brasil Telecom costuma inflacionar seus números, como aqueles oferecidos ao Citibank por sua cota na empresa. É bom que isso fique claro e que a Brasil Telecom me entenda, porque já tenho processos o bastante. O fato é que não há 425 denúncias contra mim. Atualmente, respondo a seis processos criminais e cerca de uma dúzia de cíveis. Um mais grotesco do que o outro. A Justiça sabe disso. Tanto que meu retrospecto legal é altamente positivo. Só nesta semana meus advogados ganharam duas causas. A grande vantagem de pertencer a um universo farsesco é que, ao contrário de Paulo Francis, não há a menor possibilidade de que eu morra por causa de meus processos. O pior que pode me acontecer é ter de viajar a São Paulo de dois em dois meses.

As you know, I am a cheap imitator of Paulo Francis. What was a tragedy with him is with me repeated as farce. I am being sued by a ton of folks with ties to the Workers’ Party. In one of these lawsuits, Brasil Telecom painted me as a kind of Marcola [commander of the PCC criminal organization] of parajournalism, telling the court that I have 425 charges against me. That number was slightly inflated.

Could you cite the case, please? I would like to read the briefs and other filings.

On the tragic demise of Paulo Francis (accessed just now at Wikipedia):

Em inícios de 1997, num programa de TV a cabo chamado Manhattan Connection, Francis propôs a privatização da Petrobrás e acusou os diretores da estatal de possuírem cinqüenta milhões de dólares em contas na Suíça – acusação pela qual foi processado na justiça americana, a Petrobrás alegando que seu programa era transmitido nos EUA para assinantes de canais brasileiros na TV a cabo.

In early 1997, on a cable TV program called Manhattan Connection, Franciso proposed privatizing Petrobras and accused the directors of the state-owned firm of having $50 million in a Swiss bank account — for which accusation he was sued in an U.S. court after Petrobras alleged that his program was transmitted in the USA to subscribers of Brazilian channels on cable TV.

Atormentado continuamente pelo processo, do qual não conseguia desvencilhar-se, Francis chegou a, segundo o seu amigo e colunista político Élio Gaspari, obter que o então senador José Serra intercedesse junto ao presidente Fernando Henrique Cardoso – o qual, aliás, já havia sido objeto de ataques de Francis- para que este conseguisse o abandono do processo dos diretores da estatal. A intervenção não conseguiu resultados e o processo continuou. Francis acabou por morrer de um ataque cardíaco, que havia sido confundido nos seus sintomas com uma bursite.

Continually hounded by the lawsuit, which he could not manage to rid himself of, Francis, according to his friend, the political columnist Elio Gaspari, got then-Senator José Serra to intercede on his behalf with then-President Cardoso — who had also been an object of attacks by Franciso — in order to get the state-owned firm to drop the suit. To no avail: The suit continued. Francis wound up dying of a heart attack which was confused with symptoms of the bursitis from which he suffered.

Post hoc ergo propter hoc: Paulo Francis dies of a broken heart, aged 67.

Francis actually did produce some very fine, reality-based opinion journalism in his day, by the way. I have a book of his dispatches from New York during the Vietnam War.

Still.

Did the Petrobras directors have $50 million in Swiss bank accounts?

If not, holy cow, what a thing to say. About what is now, by the way, a publicly traded company. See also

If I owned those shares (I do actually own 100 shares of EWZ, by the way) and found out some journalist was pumping-dumping them through the loud screeching of nonexistent facts, I would tend to be somewhat humorless about it myself.

Why should I end up eating cat food in retirement just so this bozo can exercise his sacred right to report back from the “Evil Spock” parallel universe for the Imaginary News & Nonsense Agency?

Veja itself published an article in May 2006 charging that the president, the head of the federal police, and a number of other officials had dollar-denominated offshore bank accounts.

It later identified the source of that claim as Daniel Dantas, distancing itself by offering the Judy Miller excuse: “You are only as good as your sources.”

Pois é.

Is it in that sense that Mainardi carries on the tradition?

Mainardi continues:

With that, however, I do not mean to suggest that Brasil Telecom is accustomed to inflating its numbers, such as those offered to Citibank for its share in the company. It is best that I clarify this, and that BrT understand me, because I already have enough lawsuits as it is. The fact is that there are not 425 charges against me. Currently, I am responding to six criminal cases and about dozen civil cases. Each more grotesque than the last. The courts know it, too. So much so that my legal win-loss record is highly positive, on balance. Just this week my lawyers won two cases. The great advantage of inhabiting the universe of farce is that, unlike Paulo Franciso, there is no chance of my dying on account of my legal troubles. The worst thing that can happen to me is having to travel to São Paulo every couple of months.

In that interview you see above, Mainardi cites some 300 cases.

A tática de intimidar a imprensa por meio de processos judiciais foi testada pelos petistas no Rio Grande do Sul. O tema é tratado no livro de entrevistas Vanguarda do Atraso, de Diego Casagrande. O jornalista José Barrionuevo foi denunciado doze, treze vezes durante o governo Olívio Dutra, até ser condenado por uma estatal de energia. Políbio Braga foi obrigado a prestar depoimento numa delegacia de polícia. Em seguida, foi demitido da Bandeirantes e da Gazeta Mercantil porque o governo simplesmente cortou a publicidade destinada a esses veículos. Érico Valduga foi processado por delito de opinião, assim como Rogério Mendelski. No total, segundo o livro, uns vinte jornalistas foram perseguidos pelo petismo gaúcho, um número surpreendentemente grande, considerando a moralidade fluida da categoria. A gauchada é meio lenta. Levou alguns anos para aprender que os petistas mordem. Depois disso, livrou-se deles para sempre. O resto do Brasil é ainda mais lento do que o Rio Grande do Sul. Mas um dia aprende. Pavlovianamente. Cuidado. Os petistas mordem.

The tactic of intimidating the press through lawsuits was first tried by the PT in Rio Grande do Sul. The topic is dealt with in a book of interviews, Vanguard of Backwardness, by Diego Casagrande. Journalist José Barrionuevo was sued 12, 13 times during the Dutra government there before losing a case to a state-owned energy firm. He was then fired from Bandeirantes and the Gazeta Mercantil because the government simply cut its ad buys from these vehicles.

Best check those statements against the historical record.

Consultor Júridico had this report on the case:

Os conflitos ocorridos em Porto Alegre durante a comemoração dos 500 anos do Brasil, em abril de 2000, voltaram à tona na semana passada. A juíza Isabel de Borba Lucas, da 9ª Vara criminal, condenou os jornalistas Marcelo Rech e José Barrionuevo a cinco meses de detenção por terem afirmado que o governador Olívio Dutra, do PT, foi conivente com a destruição do Relógio 500 anos. Instalado em parceria entre a Rede Globo e o grupo RBS, onde os dois jornalistas trabalham, o relógio foi depredado por militantes de esquerda.

The conflicts in Porto Alegre during the 500 year anniversary celebration in April 2000 resurfaced. Judge Lucas of the 9th Criminal Bar sentenced journalists Marcelo Rech and José Barrionuevo each to five months in prison for having stated that Gov. Olívio Dutra was complicit in the destruction of the 500 Year Clock. Installed in partnership with the Globo network and the RBS group, where the two journalists worked, the clock was destroyed by militants of the Left.

Back to Mainardi’s December 2006 column:

Érico Valduga foi processado por delito de opinião, assim como Rogério Mendelski. No total, segundo o livro, uns vinte jornalistas foram perseguidos pelo petismo gaúcho, um número surpreendentemente grande, considerando a moralidade fluida da categoria. A gauchada é meio lenta. Levou alguns anos para aprender que os petistas mordem. Depois disso, livrou-se deles para sempre. O resto do Brasil é ainda mais lento do que o Rio Grande do Sul. Mas um dia aprende. Pavlovianamente. Cuidado. Os petistas mordem.

Érico Valduga was processed for a crime of opinion [?], as was Rogério Mendelski. In all, according to the book, some 20 journalists were persecuted by the gaúcho PT, a surprisingly large number considering the flexible morality of the journalistic profession in general. The gaucho crowd is a bit slow on the uptake. It took them some years to learn that the PT bites. After that, it got rid them of them for good. The rest of Brazil is even slower on the uptake that Rio Grande do Sol. But it will learn someday. By Pavlovian conditioning. Careful. The PT bites.

Valduga was the editor in chief of the Gazeta Mercantil. Nelson Tanure owned that at some point.

I cannot immediately google up the reasons stated for his borking, but I will keep trying.

Joana dos Santos of the Observatório da Imprensa noted this about Mendelski’s 2002 firing from Rádio Gaúcha:

O Sr. Rogério Mendelski, um dos mais parciais e direitistas âncoras da Rádio Gaúcha, foi demitido hoje à tarde (26/11/2002), segundo fontes do Departamento Jurídico da própria RBS. (…) Este processo, ao que tudo indica, é mais uma tentativa desesperada do Sr. Nélson Pacheco Sirotsky, no sentido de fazer uma pretensa faxina ética nos órgãos de comunicação do seu grupo, que perde credibilidade a cada dia que passa, com o cancelamento de milhares de assinaturas, após a escancarada manipulação de pesquisas eleitorais que a RBS promoveu nas últimas eleições.

Mendelski, one of the most slanted and right-wing hosts on the station, was fired this afternoon according to sources in the legal department of the RBS Group. All signs are that this is a desperate attempt by [RBS owner] Nélson Pacheco Sirotsky to make a show of an ethical clean sweep at media outlets the Group owns, which are are losing credibility fast, losing thousands of subscribers, after the blatant manipulation of opinion polls by RBS in the last elections.

In our opinion, 2+2=5?

Was that it?

On Mainardi’s interviewer in that longer interview segment, DIEGO CASAGRANDE, formally of the RBS Group’s Zero Hora, see below.

On the quality of journalism at Zero Hora, prior to the arrival of the alleged persecution — and for a fellow screamer of Communist persecution — see also

On Carvalho, see also

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A legend in his own mind? Casagrande and a comparable Drudge-like Brazilian “independent journalist,” longtime Collor publicist and blogger Claudio Humberto. Snapshot is from Alexa — whose metrics I have to confess I cannot make head or tail of, by the way. What the hell is “reach,” anyway? Click to zoom.

Diego Casagrande tem 33 anos e é jornalista com experiência em rádio, televisão, jornal e internet. Formado em jornalismo pela PUC-RS em 1993, trabalhou na Zero Hora, RBS TV, TVCOM e Rádio Gaúcha, todas do grupo RBS (afiliada Rede Globo). Também atuou na Rede Pampa de Comunicação.

Casagrande, 33, is a journalist with experience in print, radio, TV and the Internet. Graduating from the journalism program at PUC-Rio Grande do Sul in 1993, he worked at Zero Hora, RBS-TV, TVCOM and Radio Gaúcha, all from the RBS Group (a Globo affiliate). He currently works for the Pampa Communications Network.

Como repórter recebeu diversas premiações e menções honrosas nos prêmios de jornalismo ARI – Associação Rio-Grandense de Imprensa, Direitos Humanos e Brigada Militar. Já foi agraciado três vezes com o Prêmio Press de jornalismo, categoria web, concedido pela editora Press & Advertising no Rio Grande do Sul. Em duas fases, votam os internautas e líderes empresariais e sindicais gaúchos. Foi o reconhecimento de um trabalho jornalístico baseado essencialmente em dois pilares: a independência na abordagem de temas espinhosos e a coragem de opinar.

As a reporter he won various prizes and honorable mentions from the Rio Grande Press Association, Human Rights [sic] and Miltary Brigade. Graced thrice with the Press Prize for journalism, in the Web category, from the [Press & Advertising] publishing house in Rio Grande do Sul. … It was the recogition of journalistic work based essentially on two pillars: Independence in the coverage of thorny issues and the courage to express opinion.

If he does say so himself.

Em 1997, passou um ano em Nova Iorque aprimorando seus estudos em jornalismo. No mesmo período lançou o livro “Porto Alegre: 48 horas sob terror”.

In 1997, spent a year in New York completing his journalism studies. In the same period, published “Porto Alegre: 48 Hours of Terror.”

About a prison break. Actually, co-authored with Jose Coiro.

Where did he study in New York, I wonder? I took a few courses at the NYU Publishing Center myself around that time, I wonder if we bumped into one another?

Em abril de 2000 desligou-se do grupo RBS e criou o site Opiniaolivre.com.br, hoje Blogdodiego.com.br, que já com 50 mil assinantes cadastrados, tem informações, opinião e análise de assuntos regionais e da política do Rio Grande do Sul. Em agosto de 2003, criou o DiegoCasagrande.com.br, com enfoque nacional, mais de 20 articulistas e leitura em todo o país.

In April 2000 was disassociated from the RBS Group …

The use of the passive voice is peculiar. Did he quit? Or was he fired?

… and created the Web site [Free Opinion], now called the Blog do Diego, with 50,000 subscribers, which has news, opinion and analysis of region affairs and Rio Grande politics. In August 2003, created DiegoCasagrande.com.br, with a national focus, more than 20 contriburors and readers everywhere in Brazil.

Atualmente está na Band News 99,3 FM, da Rede Bandeirantes, de segunda a sexta, das 9h às 10h da manhã. Também faz comentários diários para a emissora e participa do telejornal Band Cidade, da Band TV no RS.

Currently heard on Band News 99.3 FM from Monday to Friday, 9am to 10am. Also does daily commentaries for Bandeirantes and contributes to the Band Cidade newscast in Rio Grande do Sul.

 

 


“The Authoritarian Temptation: The PT’s attempts to monitor and control the press, television and culture.” Translation: “Dilma could decide those zero-down spectrum concessions we got were the fruit of a skeevy plundering of the commonwealth! Bork her with all you’ve got!

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