Brazil: Globo Talking Head Selects Her Fantasia!

It ain’t over until it’s over. –the late baseball great Yogi Berra

“This is a done deal. Why do you ask? Have you heard something?” Vice-President Alencar asked journalists.Folha de S. Paulo on the Mangabeira Unger nomination process, June 15, 2007

egocasting pp. Reading, watching, and listening only to media that reflect one’s own tastes or opinions. —egocast n., v. —egocaster n. The Word Spy

“Fairy tales can come true, it can happen to you
If you’re young at heart
For its hard, you will find, to be narrow of mind
If you’re young at heart
You can go to extremes with impossible schemes
You can laugh when your dreams fall apart at the seams
And life gets more exciting with each passing day
And love is either in your heart or on its way”
–The Chairman of the Board, “Young at Heart”

A gente trabalha o ano inteiro
Por um momento de sonho, pra fazer a fantasia
De rei ou de pirata ou jardineira
Pra tudo se acabar na quarta-feira
Tristeza não tem fim, felicidade sim [bis]
–Vinicius and Baden Powell

Mônica Veloso gera polêmica na Portela (G1/Globo): “Mônica Veloso creates controversy at the Portela carnival society.”

After a promising start, Globo’s Internet news portal has grown noticeably heavier on infotainment gossip stories like this, and notably lighter and squishier on hard news.

Mônica Veloso is a TV Globo journalist and political marketing entrepreneur who (1) had an affair with the president of the Brazilian Senate, (2) wound up bearing him a daughter, and then (3) negotiated a child-support agreement that (4) became the subject of a media-driven political scandal.

In an (anonymously sourced) expośe in Veja magazine (Editora Abril), Monica’s palimony laywer accused the senator of using money provided from a public-works contractor to pay this child-support.

The senator admitted that a lobbyist for Mendes Junior, in his capacity as a personal friend, delivered the payments — ouch! — but denied that the public-works contractor provided the money.

The affair had two main aspects: (1) a gibbering sex scandal and (2) a very interesting beancounting story, in which the Senator provided documentation of transactions involving the vast herds of boi zebu he claims to own to show that he did have the resources on hand to meet those obligations himself.

(Reading about the sex Senator “liquidating his herds” tends to provoke in my wetware home theater a mental image of beefsteak in a blender — or the woodchipper scene in Fargo.)

Federal police beancounters, if I have this straight, found that those documents were all authentic, but insufficient, in the aggregate, as rigorous proof of the transactions claimed — the palimony lawyer negotiated with a sister publication of Veja, Playboy Brasil, over a “tasteful” nude photo spread.

TV Globo journalist and political marketer lays bare the bedrooms of power!

We can now know what Mônica has tattooed on her ass. I am not particularly interested myself. You can spend the weekend at Boissucanga or Ubatuba and learn the same thing about half the women in that sector of São Paulo society that can afford to beach it on the weekends.

Veloso, who owns a video-production facility specializing in political and private-sector marketing, recorded her pillow-talk with the Senator.

Her palimony attorney has been accused of perjuring himself to Congress over that fact, after a report attesting to the authenticity of the recordings, and ordered by the lawyer and his firm, was aired by TV Band news. Along with threatening phone calls to one of the parties to the controversy.

Calmon’s defense is that unauthorized versions of the recordings may be floating around and may have been digitally doctored. It is all, he says — or could well be, who really knows? [cue spooky theremin music] — an elaborate set-up.

He could well be the victim of a fiendishly clever scheme of political persecution. And other such commonplaces often correlated with what we like to call the “banana-republic guilty plea.”

As a field collector of the fleurs du mal that sprout up in the day to day of Brazilian journalism, I find myself harvesting a lot of cases with the same logic as this one:

  1. A unilateral public announcement is made of a done deal.
  2. The alleged counterparty to that deal denies that the deal is done.

See, just this week, for example:

One of my favorite examples:

One theory in progress I have to explain such moments is what I call the nam myoho renge kyo hypothesis.

According to which stating a desired end result as a done deal or fait accompli increases the probability of the deal getting done.

Another hypothesis I am working to explain the frequency of such moments has to do with catastrophic failures of organizational message control. Consuming Brazilian news media on a daily basis is an excellent way to observe some really extravagant and exotic species of that.

At any rate, to the newsflow:

Monica Veloso, a musa da vez e pivô do escândalo que envolveu o presidente licenciado do Senado Renan Calheiros, se envolveu em mais uma polêmica nesta sexta-feira (26). Dessa vez com o carnaval do Rio.

Mônica Veloso, the muse of the current moment and focal point of the Calheiros scandal found herself in the middle of another controversy this Friday. This time involving the carnival celebrations in Rio de Janeiro.

Veja as fotos de Mônica Veloso na Portela e das fantasias da escola para o Carnaval 2008

Skipping ahead a bit:

A assessoria da jornalista informou também que Mônica recebeu um convite do presidente da escola de samba Águia de Ouro, de São Paulo, para desfilar. A assessoria da Águia de Ouro, entretanto, negou o convite.

The journalist’s press office also reported that Mônica received an inivtation from the president of São Paulo carnival society Águia de Ouro to parade with the group. The carnival society’s press office, however, has denied this.

Águia de Ouro is perennially a seriously heavy-duty, awesome presence on the passarela.

Muito de respeito. Muito de tradição. Saravá to the mighty G.R.E.S. Águia de Ouro.

Photo caption: See photos of Mônica at Portela and the costumes selected for Carnaval 2008.

Veloso is shown holding up a Portela t-shirt and flashing her pearly whites as it is announced that she will parade as a destaque (featured nearly naked shaker of the moneymaker) of the school this February.

In recent years, bidding wars have broken out among infotainment industry celebrities over the right to parade as destaques in the internationally televised event. Huge sums are negotiated.

In Rio, the monopoly granted to the Globo network to broadcast these events has been called into question recently, under the allegation that city legislation and contracts with the league of carnival societies prohibit such a monopoly.


No Mínimo (Brazil) Web poll: Do you think Carnaval 2007 was fixed? Top answer: “Of course it was. In Rio, corruption runs hog wild.” No Mínimo, sadly, recently went out of business.

The leading lights of the league have been arrested and charged with bribing very senior judges and cops in a scheme to put “the fix” in for the Rio jogo de bicho and other gambling-related criminal rackets.

A TV Globo reporter, José Xavier Messias, was arrested and charged with getting paid to tip off one of these gambling mafias with inside information he had gathered from confidential law enforcement sources in the course of his journalistic work for Globo.

Whatever became of that case, anyway? Globo fired the man and then — judging from searches on its Web site — expunged every single indication that that man had every worked there from the public record. (Much as it bought the rights to Beyond Citizen Kane in order to prevent it from being exhibited in Brazil.) Ecce Globo. See

Last year’s Carnaval was investigated by the city legislature over an alleged jury-rigging. Including the allegation that the jogo de bicho, which has traditional run LIESA, which has a contract with the city government and the Globo network, sent armed assassins around to gently remonstrate with jurors who balked at participating.

Nothing ever came of it. See

Ela afirma que foi oficialmente convidada pela Portela, uma das escolas de samba mais tradicionais da cidade, para desfilar em 2008. O presidente da agremiação, Nilo Figueiredo, nega e diz que ainda vai analisar o caso.

She states that she was officially invited by the G.R.E.S Portela, one of the city’s most traditional carnival societies, to parade with them in 2008. The president of the society, Mr. Figueiredo, denies this and says he still needs to look into the matter.

Paulinho da Viola is perhaps the best-known exponent of the Portela tradition.

And you do not get much more traditional than Paulinho da Viola. The man is a national treasure.

“Eu não fiz convite algum. Não teve isso. Ela veio trazida pelo Elymar (Santos, o cantor). Eu vou ainda conversar com ela pra ver qual é a situação. Não tem nada definido”, garante Nilo, que negou também a notícia de que ela estaria recebendo cachê para desfilar.

“I issued no such invitation. That did not happen. She was brought in by [singer Elymar Santos]. I still have to talk with him to see what the situation is. Nothing is settled,” Nilo says, and also denied reports that she was getting an honorarium to appear.

Já Veloso, que chegou duas horas atrasada no desfile de apresentação de fantasias da Portela na quadra da escola na noite desta sexta, em Madureira, no subúrbio, disse que Nilo abriu as portas para ela e até deixou que escolhesse a fantasia que irá entrar na Sapucaí.

But Veloso, who arrived two hours late at the debut of Portela costumes for this year on Friday night at Portela HQ in suburban Madureira, said that Nilo opened doors for her and even let her choose the costume she would wear to the Sambadrome.

Peak Carnaval TV moment last year, for us at home watching Globo’s (simply awful) Globeleza coverage: Rio mayor Maia essaying a few steps with a scantily clad, surgically optimized and statuesque dancer, who was wearing nothing much more than a miniature television in her bikini zone.

A miniature television that displayed TV Globo displaying the mayor dancing with a scantily clad, surgically optimized and statuesque black dancing girl, wearing nothing much more than a miniature television in her , ahem, bikini wax zone.

A miniature television that displayed TV Globo displaying the mayor dancing with a scantily clad, surgically optimized and statuesque dancer, who was wearing nothing much more than a miniature television in her bikini zone.

A miniature television that displayed TV Globo displaying the mayor dancing with a scantily clad, surgically optimized and statuesque dancer, who was wearing nothing much more than a miniature television in her bikini zone.

And so on.

(The Brazilian bikini wax is popularly known here as a “hitler job,” by the way.)

Ecce Globeleza. “TV Globo employs sophomoric postmodern irony of the kind frequently heard in conversations around the dorm-room bong, and is better than pussy.” Astonishing.

“Ele primeiro me convidou informalmente. Agora foi formal. Vou em cima de um carro como destaque, mas ainda não sei como irei vestida. Ainda vou ver os croquis. A escola ainda vai me mostrar”, contou ela, vestida com um jeans justo e saltos bem altos.

“At first he invited me informally. Just now it was formal. I am going to ride on a float as a featured performer, but I still do not know what I am going to wear. I still need to see the prototypes. Portela is going to show them to me,” she reported, wearing tight jeans and very high heels.

Vontade de desfilar

She wants to parade

Sem nunca ter desfilado, ela acredita que fará bonito na Avenida. A ex-Calheiros contou ainda que o amigo Elymar soube de sua vontade em representar a Portela na passarela do samba e resolveu ajudá-la.

Though she has never “gone out” with a carnival society before, she thinks she will do well on the avenue. The senator’s ex also says her buddy Elymar knew of her desire to represent Portela in the Sambadrome and resolved to help her.

This woman, apparently, has always relied upon the kindness of strangers.

Segundo o cantor, que tem a Imperatriz Leopoldinense como escola do coração, conseguir uma vaga para a musa na concorrente da Portela teria sido bem mais fácil. Ele afirmou que a Imperatriz ficou chateada por ele não ter levado Veloso para representar a agremiação de Ramos.

According to the singer, whose home school is Imperatriz Leopoldinense, it could have been much easier to reserve a place for her in the competing school than in Portela. He says Imperatriz was bummed that he did not bring in Veloso to represent it.

Apesar da chuva, cerca de mil foliões encheram a quadra da escola que vai entrar no Sambódromo com o enredo “Reconstruindo a Natureza, recriando a vida: o sonho vira realidade”. A águia, símbolo da Portela, vai mostrar a criação do mundo, misturando os conceitos religiosos e científicos.

Despite the rains, nearly a thousand revelers filled the hall at the carnival society, which this year will present a spectacular titled “Rebuilding Nature, rebuilding life: the dream has become a reality.” The eagle, symbol of the school, will show the creation of the world, mixing religious and scientific concepts.

Will the Evil Demiurge make an appearance, I wonder? Do they have a staff metaphysician?

Cantor foi intermediário

Singing acted as go-between

O convite para a jornalista desfilar na escola de Madureira foi feito pelo ex-mestre-sala Jerônimo da Portela, por intermédio do cantor Elymar Santos.

The invitation to the journalist was extended by former mestre-sala Jerônimo da Portela, with Elymar acting as a go between.

Says who?

A assessoria da jornalista informou também que Mônica recebeu um convite do presidente da escola de samba Águia de Ouro, de São Paulo, para desfilar. A assessoria da Águia de Ouro, entretanto, negou o convite.

The journalist’s press office also reported that Mônica received an inivtation from the president of São Paulo carnival society Águia de Ouro to parade with the group. The carnival society’s press office, however, has denied this.

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