From the Search for Intelligent Life On The Infotainment Gas Giant, Planet Brazil: MV Bill


Rapper MV Bill is measurably one of Brazil’s most effective mass communicators. I think that is because, unlike many professional communicators here (both in PR and marketing and journalism), he has actually sat down and talked to the people he is communicating with. Globo’s sponsorship of his documentary in March 2006 principally obeyed commercial interests and was heavily slanted to support the thesis that martial law should be declared in Rio de Janeiro — which the armed forces joined with the government in resisting tooth and nail, and which never happened. This despite Globo’s hysterical campaign, over the gazillion-jigawatt megaphone, to disseminate the fear that “Rio de Janeiro is Baghdad” and “Rio de Janeiro is the Vietnam War.” Literally. Over and over and over again.

Program notes:

First of all, airing someone else’s work while manipulating the context of reception  — with framing voiceovers by its in-studio teleprompter monkeys and the addition of videogame soundtracks to give it that dimension of a total infotainment experience — to support Globo’s own preferred angle of interpretation of the issue at hand: That is the essence of Globo journalistic practice.

They view their fundamental role, not as collecting information, but framing debate and shaping public opinion.

The reason why they are so laughably inept at it being that they have not a single, solitary clue about who their public really is.

Which may explain why Globo journalists who are actually good at collecting information tend not to advance — and there are many, some of whom even occasionally manage to fight their way into the clear for a moment or two — while prime-time is reserved for Globo journalists whose talents lie more in the production of viciously slanted gabbling nonsense.

The most astonishing case of this I have yet seen, I think:

Here, Globo solicits expert testimony on a fundamental question in social pyschology: How are personality disorders related to antisocial behavior.

What the expert tells them is apparently inconsistent with the thesis of their program:

Corrupt people are born that way!

So they simply tell the viewer that what the man just said was exactly the opposite of what he actually did say.

Ecce Globo.

I have been reading a lot of the statements from Globo journalism in a recent book on law enforcement journalism, and they all make this attitude pretty much explicit.

On which, more later. See also

A glimpse of MV Bill at work seemed appropriate given that a follow-up to this Falcão: Children of the Traffic is just coming out.



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