Veja Magazine Is Like Cancer: Metaphor as an Illness

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The problem with Veja is not that it is partisan. The problem is its journalism of defamation, of speculation about other people’s biographies, its falsification of quotes and documents, its practice of slander and personal offense.

Um dia ouvi o samba
Ouvi tambem baião
E música caipira
Eu tambem acho bão
Casei com uma tonta
E mudei pro Brasil
Terra da piada pronta
E a Editora Abril

[…] A coisa aqui tá preta
A imprensa é marrom
Mais bater nessa viola
Ué, isso sim é bom.

–Zebu Cavaco

Brazilian business journo and blogger Luis Nassif continues his war on Veja magazine (Editora Abril).

As you know, I do not consume Abril products.

Why? Because this toxic sludge they crank out is just plain, well, unbelievable. Literally and metaphorically speaking.

Anyway, I was just looking through his back postings to see if Nassif has anything new to say on a very serious-sounding charge of conflicts of interest at the última flor de fáscio, but have not found it yet. See

I am still trying to get that organized — I do have other things to do, you know — but thought this recent editorial correction was interesting in its own right.

I am not sure what article Nassif decided needed to be pulled and “copydesked,” but it apparently involved the possibility that the “Veja is a cancer on Brazilian journalism” metaphor might be taken too literally.

See also

Writes Nassif:

Alguns leitores me chamaram a atenção para o fato de que esse artigo do Weden poderia dar margem a ilações com doença que acometeu determinado jornalista. Não tinha me dado conta disso e, certamente, nem o Weden – que, ele próprio, mostrou-se preocupado quando um comentário permitia ilações com problemas de outro jornalista.

Some readers called my attention to the fact that Weden’s article might leave room for drawing inferences about a disease suffered by a particular journalist. I had not noticed that and neither, I am sure, had Weden — who was concerned about a comment that made insinuations about the problems of a certain other journalist.

Por isso, tomo a liberdade de suspender temporariamente o texto, solicitando ao Weden que o copidesque para ser republicado.

For that reason I have taken the liberty of temporarily removing the article and asked Weden to give it an edit before it is republished.

Weden writes:

Obrigado, Nassif, por ter retirado o texto.

Thanks, Nassif, for taking down that article.

Realmente, não tenho conhecimento de qualquer pessoa que tenha (tido) esta doença dentro da empresa ou no staff da revista Veja.

Really, I had no idea that anyone working at Abril or Veja had or has had that disease.

Se realmente há, só posso dizer que foi uma má coincidência.

If that is the case, then I can only say it was an unfortunate coincidence.

Agora sem a metáfora, devo esclarecer minha posição: não fiz críticas à Veja, por ser uma revista de evidente posição partidária (em última instância, por praticar um conservadorismo exacerbado).

Weden is insensitive to people with terrible diseases!

It sounds like a classic case of filibustering while changing the subject.

The official policy of this blog is that we hope everyone with terrible diseases gets well. People who have already died from them (such as ACM) are better off staying that way, however. It is a sad thing, but necessary.

Without the metaphor this time, I should explain my position: I was not criticizing Veja for being an openly partisan publication (that is, for practicing extreme conservatism.)

“Party press” existe em todos os países civilizados do mundo.

A partisan press exists in every civilized nation.

O problema é outro: o jornalismo de difamação, de especulação envolvendo biografias alheias, de falseamento de declarações, de documentação, a prática da difamação e da injúria.

The problem with Veja is other: Its journalism of slander, of speculation about other people’s biographies, its falsification of quotes and documents, its practice of slander and personal offense.

Como cidadão e leitor, tenho direito de não gostar de práticas vis no jornalismo (no banco, no mercado, na sala de aula, no templo religiosa, em qualquer lugar).

As a citizen and reader, I have the right not to approve of vile practices in the field of journalism (or banking, or the stock market, or the classroom, or the religious sanctuary, or anywhere.)

E graças aos espaços de interlocução promovidos pelas novas tecnologias, ouso emitir minha opinião.

And thanks to spaces of opinion opened up by new technology, I can dare to express my opinion.

As críticas aos outros órgãos são bem diferentes: não vejo, com exceções (exceções com nome e sobrenome, e cargo de direção), um engajamento sistemático em vilanias jornalísticas, nos nossos chamados jornalões, outras revistas, ou tevês.

My criticisms of other outlets are quite different: I do not see, with some exceptions (exceptions that have a name and a job title), a systematic engagement in journalistic [scumbaggery —creative translation in Brooklynese by Ed.] in the so-called “major dailies,” or other magazines, or on the TV networks.

O que vejo é uma ausência de pluralidade, e excesso de preconceito político.

What I see is a lack of diversity, an overabundance of political partisanship.

São coisas diferentes: a Veja pratica um jornalismo vil. Os outros, um jornalismo pouco plural.

But that is different. What Veja practices is a vile form of journalism. The others practice journalism that lacks a diversity of viewpoints.

Num caso, há falta de ética. No outro, alinhamento hostil.

In one case, a complete lack of ethics. In the other, hostile taking of sides.

O segundo é ruim. O primeiro, inaceitável.

The latter is bad. The former, unacceptable.

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