“Who is To Be Master”: Dines Responds to Ali Kemal

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“Master joins Grupo Abril Journalism Course for Editors.” Source: Master [sic] em Jornalismo Web site, consulted today. On a class project from the Abril course that was published and then, notably, unpublished — unless they have stuck it back up on the Web since the last time I looked — see “A Profile of the Brazilian Journalist”

The Brazilian journalist does not feel free to write. More than just having to follow the editorial line of the publications they work for, the complaints principally have to do with coercion by political or business groups. –“A Profile of the Brazilian Journalist”

According to a Globo TV journalist, who preferred not to identify himself, before the first round of the presidential elections [in 2006], Mello commented that he had received instructions to “go easy” on economic indicators that might be interpreted as favorable to the government. —“Rede Globo Ratfinks Dissident Journos

‘When I use a word,’ Humpty Dumpty said, in rather a scornful tone, ‘it means just what I choose it to mean—neither more nor less.’ ‘The question is,’ said Alice, ‘whether you can make words mean so many different things.’ ‘The question is,’ said Humpty Dumpty, ‘which is to be master—that’s all.’Lewis Carroll, Through the Looking-Glass (Chapter 6):

Alberto Dines responds to Ali Kamel’s defense of Opus Dei in the Observatório da Imprensa (Brazil), on Febuary 21, 2006. A follow-up to

The headline, roughly (always) translated: “Globo and Opus Dei: A Whistle Blown, With Many Questions Remaining.”

Na sua apaixonada defesa do Opus Dei (O Globo, 21/22 [sic], pág. 7), o jornalista Ali Kamel esqueceu de explicar por que razão o seu jornal publicava semanalmente, ao longo de alguns meses, os artigos de Carlos Alberto di Franco, o porta-voz do Opus Dei sobre assuntos de mídia e crítico da imprensa do Estado de S.Paulo.

In his passionate defense of Opus Dei (O Globo, [February 21?], p. 7], Ali Kamel forgot to explain why his newspapers published, on a weekly based, for several months, the articles of Carlos Alberto di Franco, Opus Dei spokesman on media matters and a press critic for the Estado de S. Paulo.

Why not? So long as critics of the guy get equal time, right?

Publicava mas deixou de publicar: a reação da redação foi intensa e a direção recuou. E fez bem em recuar. O espírito conciliador e tolerante de Roberto Marinho felizmente prevaleceu. O Globo tem em seus quadros profissionais verdadeiramente credenciados para discutir o desempenho da mídia brasileira. Inclusive o próprio Ali Kamel, que freqüentemente desempenha o papel de media-watcher com a acuidade que lhe é habitual.

They published him, then stopped: The reaction from the newsroom was intense and management backed off. And they did well to back off, too. O Globo has persons on its staff who are genuinely qualified to debate the conduct of the Brazilian news media. Including Kamel himself, who frequently discharges the role of “media watcher” with his usual acuity.

Os artigos midiáticos de Di Franco deixaram de ser semanais e passaram a ser publicados apenas uma vez por mês, sempre sincronizados com o do jornalão paulista que não esconde suas preferências pela teologia midiática do Opus Dei.

Di Franco’s articles on media stopped appearing weekly and began running only once a month, always synchronized with their publication in the Estado, which does not conceal its preference for the media theology of Opus Dei.

I have read that of all the press organizations putting mid-career editorial managers through the Master [sic] program, the Estado leads the list, followed by the likes of RBS.

Mesmo assim ainda não ficou claro por que um jornal do porte do Globo insiste em colocar na sua nobilíssima página de opinião, e pontificando sobre a atividade-fim da empresa que edita o jornal, um – digamos –consultor que jamais pisou numa redação, alheio à práxis e aos desafios que surgem cotidianamente.

Even so, it was not made clear why a major newspaper like O Globo would insist on provide access to that most noble of opinion pages, pontificating about the end-product of the company that puts out the newspaper, to a — let us call him — consultant who never set foot in a newsroom in his life, and knows nothing of the practices and the daily challenges of the profession.

A consultant hired by Globo, that is. Dines is questioning the institutional independence of Mr. Di Franco’s judgment, in other words.

Ali Kamel passou ao largo do episódio que, ao menos para este Observador, evidencia a força do Opus Dei junto ao establishment jornalístico brasileiro.

Ali Kamel omits to mention an episode which, at least to us here at the Observatory, makes plain the influence of Opus Dei with the Brazilian journalistic establishment.

Sincero e cândido como sempre, Ali Kamel não conseguiu disfarçar a reprimenda pública que passava nos colegas do semanário Época, agora sob nova direção. Como se sabe, em ousada reportagem de capa, Época (nº 400, de 16/1/06) revelou em entrevista com o próprio di Franco o relacionamento do Opus Dei com a mídia brasileira. O atrasado pito atende ao chamado “publico interno” que viu na matéria de capa do semanário uma rebeldia ao centralismo que deveria prevalecer no grupo.

As sincere and candid as ever, Ali Kamel could not manage to disguise the public reprimand he handed down to colleagues at the weekly Época, which is now under new management. As is well known, in a daring cover story, Época (No. 400, January 16, 2006) revealed in an interview with Di Franco the relationship of Opus Dei with the the Brazilian media. This act of whistleblowing came at the behest of an “internal audience” that saw the cover story as an act of rebellion against the centralization that shows signs of prevailing at Globo.

See also

É curioso que Kamel animou-se a sair em defesa do Opus Dei no exato momento em que a prelazia começa a organizar uma reação mundial ao filme O Código Da Vinci, que deve estrear em maio nos EUA [ver aqui uma nota sobre o assunto].

It is curious that Kamel should rouse himself to defend Opus Dei just as the organization begins to organization a worldwide respone to the film The Da Vinci Code, which is due to debut in the USA in May. …

Silly, silly movie, didn’t you think? But influential, in terms of box office. It grossed more than $750 million worldwide, one reads.

Enquanto guardião de uma doutrina religiosa, o Opus Dei tem todo o direito de espernear contra o que considera mitos difundidos por Dan Brown em seu best-seller. Mas enquanto zeloso e qualificado defensor do jornalismo responsável, Ali Kamel fica devendo à sua legião de leitores e admiradores algumas palavras esclarecedoras não apenas no tocante às questões “domésticas” relativas ao Opus Dei, como também à estranha e antiga preferência da ANJ (Associação Nacional dos Jornais) pelos diferentes braços midiáticos da Obra.

As the guardian of a religious doctrine, Opus Dei has every right to reject what it considers the myths perpetuated by Dan Brown in his best-seller. But as a zealous and well-qualified defender of responsible journalism, Ali Kamel owes his legion of readers and admirers some words of clarification, not only as to “domestic” issues related to Opus Deit, but also as to the strange and ancient preference of the Brazilian National Association of Newspaper for the different media arms of the Work of God.

You always find yourself wishing Dines would be more dang specific. And what, allegedly, are those “media arms”?

Next up, when I get a chance: A sample of Di Franco’s media criticism, which I have clipped to file here somewhere …

As you will probably have guessed by now, I think Di Franco is a gabbling Humpty Dumptyist, as is Kamel.

This is not just Fox News getting a begrudging sneer in its voice when it technically complies with the principle of hearing the bare minimum from the “other side” of an issue. (As if there were two and only two sides to every issue.)

This is 24-7-365 “Toxic Sludge is Good for You.”

My favorite example from Kamel: Journalistic “independence” described as journalistic “isolation.”

But let it not be said we did not let the man’s words ring out pra inglês ouvir.

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