Brazil: More Moral Panic Over Mônicagate!

Jornalistas processam Mônica Veloso: Employees of the production company owned and operated by Mônica Veloso are suing her for back wages.

On the problem of informality and labor rights for Brazilian journalists, see also

On why atavistic Brazilian labor laws themselve are often pointed to as part of the problem, see

Veloso’s palimony lawyer, as you recall, fed the Editora Abril’s Veja magazine the charge that the palimony forked over to Mônica by Sen. Renan Calheiros of Alagoas — child support for the daughter they had together out of wedlock — was paid by a lobbyist for a civil-construction firm and government contractor.

The same lawyer then negotiated Mônica’s “tasteful” baring of it all in the pages of Editora Abril’s Playboy Brasil.

Questioned by the Senate Ethics Committee, the attorney, a Mr. Calmon, denied that he had ordered an expert authentication, and transcripts, of recordings Veloso made of her intimate conversations with the senator.

This (sworn, as I understand it) statement to a congressional committee may not have been at all true, as a report by TV Band suggested, for example.

[A friend notes: it is actually not standard practice for witnesses before legislative fact-finders to testify on pain of perjury. Imagine that: Congressional investigative powers do not necessarily include the power to compel truthful testimony. Quack.]

Veloso is a former TV Globo journalist turned political marketer. See

On why, in Brazil, you can work in political (and commercial) marketing and still call yourself a “journalist” with a straight face, see also

The Estado de S. Paulo daily reports. It is, mind you, something of a “he said, she said” gossip story. The report of a negotiation between Mônica and Abril, for example, does not seek out Abril to confirm the reportedly “friendly” nature of that negotiation.

A jornalista Mônica Veloso, pivô do escândalo que envolveu o presidente licenciado do Senado, Renan Calheiros (PMDB-AL), em uma rede de denúncias que ameaçam o seu mandato, poderá agora ter parte do dinheiro obtido com a nudez, exibida nas páginas da revista Playboy, confiscado pelo Sindicato de Jornalistas do Distrito Federal.

Journalist Monica Veloso, the central figure in the scandal involving the President of the Senate, Calheiros (now on leave) and the web of charges that threaten to remove him from office, may now have to pay part of the money she received for posing nuded in the pages of Playboy to the Journalists Union of the Federal District.

Ela, que estaria cobrando da Editora Abril o pagamento de uma segunda edição supostamente não autorizada, seria obrigada pela Justiça trabalhista a repassar prioritariamente esse dinheiro para dois jornalistas e um radialista que movem ações contra a sua produtora. “Estamos estudando essa alternativa, mas primeiro vamos esperar que a decisão transite em julgado”, confirmou o advogado Claudismar Zupiroli, do sindicato de jornalistas.

Mônica, who is reportedly trying to get the Editora Abril to pay for a second, supposedly unauthorized edition, will be ordered by a labor court to pay this money, on a priority basis, to two journalists and a radio announcer who sued her production company. “We are studying this alternative, but first we are going to wait and see how the decision holds up on appeal,” confirmed union attorney Claudismar Zupiroli.

The image “https://i0.wp.com/i113.photobucket.com/albums/n216/cbrayton/playboy3.png” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.
G1/Globo photo feature, October 10: Lawmaker reads Playboy Brasil (Grupo Abril) with Mônica Veloso at his desk on the House floor. We all now know what Monica has tattooed on her ass.

Who says she is trying to soak Abril for a further payment in exchange for displaying what is tattooed on her ass to the nation? Oh, wait, see below.

De 2003 a 2006, os três profissionais trabalharam para a produtora de Mônica, que mantinha com o governo do Distrito Federal um contrato para fazer a agenda e toda a documentação jornalística do ex-governador Joaquim Roriz. Eles alegam que não tiveram as carteiras assinadas e que alguns de seus direitos trabalhistas também não foram pagos.

From 2003 to 2006, the three professionals worked for Mônica’s production company, which had a contract with the government of the federal district to produce the agenda and all the journalistic content of former Governor Joaquim Roriz. They allege they never had their work-cards signed and that some of the employer contributions to formal employees were not paid.

Na primeira instância, um deles já saiu vitorioso. A produtora de Mônica foi condenada a pagar cerca de R$ 30 mil a um dos jornalistas.

In the first instance, they won their case. Mônica’s production company was ordered to pay one of them R$30,000.

If all of them won their case, how come only one of them gets paid?

Ela ainda tem direito a recurso. Mas se sua empresa perder, a história meio rocambolesca pode custar a Mônica, ao fim e ao cabo, uma quantia superior a R$ 100 mil, segundo estimativa de Claudismar Zupiroli.

Mônica can still appeal. But if her company loses the case, this somewhat baroque tale could end up costing her more than R$100,000, Zupiroli estimates.

Zupiroli seems to be the sole source of this story.

No, wait, the defense attorney and nudie-pic negotiator puts his two cents in later on.

Mônica e Abril não chegaram a se engalfinhar em uma briga judicial pela cobrança da segunda edição da nudez. De acordo com a assessoria da jornalista, os entendimentos estão sendo feitos de forma amigável pelo advogado Pedro Calmon.

Mônica and Abril have not actually gotten into a legal battle over the second edition of “Monica bares all!” According to her press office, a friendly deal is being worked out on that issue by attorney Pedro Calmon.

“O sindicato pode confiscar à vontade. Não existe pagamento da segunda edição. E essa ação trabalhista deve demorar uns dez anos”, afirmou Calmon. “É um processo somente para prejudicar Mônica. Eles entraram com a ação unicamente para se aproveitar da notoriedade dela. As reclamações trabalhistas envolvem, ainda, o governo do Distrito Federal e a produtora CPC, de uma ex-sócia da jornalista”, emendou.

“The union can confiscate all it likes. There is no payment for a second edition. This labor-rights lawsuit is going to drag on for ten years,” said Calmon. “This lawsuit has no other purpose than to harm Mônica. They sued only to take advantage of her public notoriety. Their grievances also involve the government of the federal district and the CPC production company, which belongs to a former business partner of my client,” he corrrecte himself.

Mônica Veloso ganhou notoriedade em maio, quando veio à tona a denúncia de que Renan teria despesas pessoais pagas por um lobista da empreiteira Mendes Júnior. De acordo com a revista Veja, Cláudio Gontijo pagava pensão e aluguel para a jornalista, com quem o senador teve uma filha fora do casamento.

Mônica gained notoriety in May, when the charge surfaced that a lobbyist for Mendes Júnior was paying Calheiros’ [palimony] to [the Senator’s former lover.] According to Veja magazine, Gontijo paid the rent and expenses of the journalist, who had a child out of wedlock with the Senator.

“Men are pigs [bestas],” was the laconic remark heard from Mrs. Calheiros, who then lapsed into dignified silence. Possibly the only sympathetic character in the whole story, my wife opines. Or maybe not.

Top comment on the story:

Como podem perceber, a denúncia somente veio a público e foi publicada na revista da Abril, porque com certeza a Mônica Veloso recebeu para isso (mais algumas promessas inevitáveis). Uma denúncia por simples ação de cidadania brasileira, políticamente correto, é que não houve. Como fica isso? Cadê a ética da imprensa brasileira? Porque a mídia brasileira não condena esse tipo de procedimento? Dá para perceber muito bem que sem “pagamento” o país não ficaria sabendo das falcatruas.

As can be perceived, the charge was only made public and published in the magazine because Veloso got a pay-off (and some inevitable promises).

Not sure what that parenthetical clause means.

Was this the simple, politically correct act of a Brazilian citizen, denouncing wrondoing? Not hardly. So what now? Where are the ethics of the Brazilian press? Why does the Brazilian media not condemn this sort of proceeding? It is pretty obvious that without these “payments,” Brazilians would never have heard of these [shennanigans.]

This is a question that I often ask myself, under the heading of “Brazilian ways of doing things that make me realize that we are very probably not in Kansas anymore, Toto.”

I think it is probably helpful to my Brazilian journalist friends to register this reaction, so I will say it again: This sort of thing, which is as frequent as heavy rains in the summertime, is really and truly a national embarrassment.

Veja magazine and Globo journalism are national embarrassments. Not the only ones, mind you, but certainly the ones with the tightest hold on the gazillion-jigawatt megaphone.

And I would venture to say that most rank and file Brazilian journalists have the integrity to be embarrassed and frustrated by this, too.

It sucks to have to make your living doing things you cannot be proud of.

That much I know from personal experience.

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