What Guido Said He Did Not Say: The Estadão Fails To Report That It Said That He Said It

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Guido goaded in Uruguay! The Italo-Tupi Hank Paulson says his remarks were subjected to exegetical shennanigans.

Qui non intelligit res, non potest ex verbis sensum elicere –Martin Luther

Pacote para repor CPMF sai até final da semana, diz Mantega: The Estadão follows up on “the proposal to recreate the CPMF” financial transactions tax.

The headline:

“Package to replace [reinstate?] the CPMF will come out by the end of the week, says Mantega.”

Subheading:

Ministro da Fazenda não quis falar se o governo vai encaminhar proposta para recriar o tributo

Treasury minister would not comment on whether the government will send a proposal to Congress to recreate the tax.

Just the other day, the Estadão said that the Treasury minister already did comment on that matter, and said that he had said the government would do so.

Or did it say that he said he would propose that the government do so? I am thoroughly “dazed and confused for so long it’s not true” on the subject.

See also

Another reporter — Denise Chrispim Marin — is working the story now, apparently.

The top headline on the front page of the Estadão at the moment headlines the story differently:

“Mantega says the president did not rebuke him over ‘new’ check tax”

The Estadão had run a story stating

Or, “President Lula da Silva [gainsays, undercuts] Mantega and demands to see the books before deciding on a new CPMF.”

MONTEVIDÉU – O ministro da Fazenda, Guido Mantega, afirmou nesta segunda-feira, 17, que o governo deverá anunciar até o final da semana, “se estiverem amadurecidas, as medidas emergenciais, os cortes de gastos e alguma modificação nos impostos”, para compensar as perdas de arrecadação com a extinção da CPMF. Mantega informou que, até o final da semana, deverá tratar das propostas em estudo com o presidente Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva e com seus colegas de ministério.

Treasury minister Mantega said today (Monday, 17) that the government is due to announced by the end of the week, “if they have matured sufficiently, the emergency measures, speding cuts and some modification of taxes” to compensate for the loss of revenue caused by the extinction of the provisional financial transaction tax (CPMF). Mantega said that by the end of the week, he is due to discuss the proposals being studied with [President Squid] and his colleagues in the cabinet.


On the previous story, that he had been [spanked] by his boss:

O ministro rebateu ainda a notícia, publicada em O Estado de S. Paulo, de que ele teria sido repreendido pelo presidente Lula por ter defendido a criação de um novo imposto por meio de medida provisória (MP). Mantega afirmou que “jamais” havia falado nesse tema e que a notícia não passou de um “factóide”. “O presidente não me fez nenhuma reprovação. Isso foi interpretação dos jornais”, disse o ministro.

The minister also rebutted the report, published in the Estadão, that he had been rebuked by the president for having defended the creation of a new tax through a provisional measure. Mantega stated he had “never” spoken on this topic and that the report was nothing but a “factoid.” “The president did not rebuke me at all. This was an interpretation by the newspapers,” he said.

While the Estadão is being honest about the fact that the Tupi Hank Paulson disputes its reporting, it might also mention that when he contests the notion he every actually did “defend the creation of a new tax through a provisional measure,” he is contesting a report published in the Estadão.

If the Estadão were honest, it would note that it was the Estadão itself who reported “exclusively” that he had said this.

That the report he called nothing but a “factoid” was published by the Estadão, that is.

Mantega has called on the Estadão to issue a correction on that point.

Should it?

Interesting question.

If it feels it reported accurately on this point, it should by all means sally forth and stand by its reporting.

But no: The Estadão seems like it is going to try to ignore the fact that it made statements to that effect, in order to duck the debate entirely.

Or have I missed something? Has the Estadão yet reported that Guido says that he did not say what the Estadão said he said?

Standing by your reporting, São Paulo style: If you state a fact whose veracity is challenged, just pretend like you never said it.

“Who, me?”

I wonder if any of the local press-watchers will analyse the case?

I find myself totally baffled by it.

It does seem to be the case that Treasury is the hottest seat around the Brazilian cabinet conference table.

The unseating of the last Tupi Hank Paulson, Palocci, for example — the former mayor of Ribeirão Preto, charged with involvement in a corruption scheme there during his tenure back in the 1990s — is counted as a coup by the media here.

He claims he was subjected to a gabbling ratfink, however.

Ajudication of that claim in the courts is not proceeding with exemplary swiftness.

The ombudsman of the Folha de S. Paulo, who will often take the opportunity to point out the mote in the eye of the competition — see Infotainment Crisis at the Jornal do Brasil! From the Fact v. Fiction File — and is actually pretty good at it, might be expected to weigh in here.

And what, I wonder, does the Estado de S. Paulo editorial manual say about such cases?

About providing a prompt, vigorous, conclusive response when challenged as to the factual accuracy of one’s reporting?

I think I have a copy of the (very fine) document around here somewhere …

Why do I care?

Just idle curiosity, and a desire to believe in as few nonexistent facts as possible.

I have to rely on the local newspapers here, and so I try to gauge how much they have to be boiled before they are fit for human consumption.

They often have to be boiled extensively.

Thought: The P in CPMF stands for “provisional” (provisório).

Mantega fesses up to advocating for the installation of a permanent FTT (financial transactions, or “Tobin”-style tax.)

Permanent also begins with P, so the new tax could potentially have the same acronym.

And there you have your “new CPMF.”

Except that the P would stand for something else.

When I want to play word games, I turn to the crossword puzzle.

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