“Someone Found a Chicken Bone and Sold It to the Press as a Dinosaur Bone”: Further Notes on the Cardoso Room-Service Blackmail Dossier

//i113.photobucket.com/albums/n216/cbrayton/Stuff/08ap.jpg?t=1207065101” contém erros e não pode ser exibida.
Veja magazine, March 2002: “The Dossier Wars: Politicians and spies have set up a slander industry in Brazil.” Right: And Veja is that industry’s Yoyodyne. Ask Veja about the work that Jairo Martins later did for it (and testified to a congressional committee about).

“The impression I have is that someone found a chicken bone and tried to sell it to the press as a dinosaur bone.” –President Squid on the Cardoso Room Service Blackmail Dossier

Para Lula, Dilma foi vítima de ´leviandade clandestina´: Dilma “Comrade Wanda” Rousseff, midwife to the mother of all economic stimulus packages,  is said to be the victim of, what?

“Shadowy disingenousness?” “Sneaky nonsense”? A “dark and unspeakable gabbling ratfink?”

Who leaked the lunch and room service tabs of Fernando Henrique Cardoso to Veja magazine? The name of an opposition senator is floating around now, but who knows? Does it really matter? Probably not.
See also

Leviandade, according to the fine Michaelis PT-EN dictionary:

sf 1 levity, thoughtlessness, imprudence. 2 frivolity, folly, flippancy.

Dilma Rousseff, the successor to Zé Dirceu as the Brazilian minister of the Casa Civil, and midwife to the government’s “economic growth acceleration plan” (PAC), has been the target of recent accusations by Veja magazine and the Folha de S. Paulo that she presided over the ginning up of a “blackmail dossier” against former President Cardoso.

I read Carta Capital, Valor and the Estado de S. Paulo myself (although the reportagem local and some other journalists at the Folha are worth keeping up with.)

Defenders of the government charge that the “scandal of the blackmail dossier” is just a phony tempest in a teapot designed to cut down the number of column inches dedicated to the success of the program presided over by the former Comrade Wanda, around whom swirl rumors of a presidential candidacy in 2010.

They may have a point. I mostly note it as a student of artificial South American media frenzies and the journalism of “moral panic.” This is, I expect, most likely another one of those. Long live the restless ghost of Carlos Lacerda.

BRASÍLIA – A elaboração e divulgação de um dossiê com dados sigilosos sobre gastos feitos pelo presidente Fernando Henrique Cardoso e sua mulher, dona Ruth, foi uma ” leviandade clandestina ” e ” chantagem política ” contra a ministra da Casa Civil, Dilma Rousseff, disse o presidente Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, ao comentar o envolvimento da ministra na polêmica criada com a revelação das informações da Presidência protegidas por sigilo.

The preparation and publication [by Veja magazine] of a dossier containing confidential data on the expense accounts of former president Cardoso and his wife, Ruth, was a [“bunch of cloak-and-dagger nonsense”] and a “political blackmail tactic” used against Rousseff, said President Lula da Silva, commenting on the controversy over the publication of confidential data on presidential expense accounts.

“A pessoa que tem a história da Dilma, que presta o serviço ao país que a Dilma presta, não pode ser vítima de uma chantagem política de uma figura que eu não sei quem é, que roubou peça de um documento de um banco de dados e vendeu a idéia para alguém de que era um dossiê ” , disse o presidente, após almoço no Palácio do Itamaraty com o presidente da Eslovênia, Danilo Türk.

“Someone with Dilma’s history, who serves Brazil the way Dilma does, cannot be the victim of a political blackmail scheme by someone who I don’t even know who it is, who stole part of a document from a database and sold someone on the idea that this was a dossier,” said [President Squid] after lunching at the foreign ministry with the president of Slovenia, Danilo Turk.

Minutos antes, em conversa informal com jornalistas que participaram do almoço, Lula defendeu com veemência a ministra, e falou com naturalidade sobre a existência de um ” dossiê ” . ” A Dilma foi vítima de uma leviandade clandestina, de alguém que toma documentos e transforma em dossiê ” , comentou.

Minutes before, in an informal conversation with journalists covering the lunch, Lula defended Dilma vehemently, and spoke openly about the existence of a “dossier.” “Dilma is the victim of [a sneaky and underhanded bit of disingenuous nonsense,] of someone who took documents and transformed them into a dossier,” he said.

“No governo tem muitas pessoas que trabalham, e têm muitos documentos ” , comentou Lula. Lula mencionou ter lido no jornal O Globo a informação de que o senador Álvaro Dias teria tido acesso aos documentos antes da divulgação à imprensa. Ele afirmou que o governo investigará a origem do vazamento dos dados, coletados na Casa Civil, de arquivos do palácio do Planalto. ” Se tivesse caráter não seria clandestino ” , disse, referindo-se ao responsável pelo vazamento. ” Quem recebeu o tal do dossiê sabe quem foi.”

“There are many people working for the government, and there are many documents,” said Lula, who mentioned having read in the O Globo daily that Senator Álvaro Dias may have had access to the documents before they came out in the press.

PSDB Senator from Paraná, where politics is a nasty, brutal blood sport.

Did O Globo really report that? Let me check.

Lula said the government will investigate the source of the leaked data, which was being organized inside the Casa Civil, from presidential documents. “If the source had any character, they would not have done this on the sly,” he said. “The people who received this so-called dossier know exactly who it was.”

Ao falar, mais tarde, aos jornalistas na saída do Itamaraty, Lula evitou repetir o nome de Dias. ” Tem jornais que já dizem que teve senadores que participaram disso; ainda não li a matéria, mas acho lamentável ” , disse. ” A impressão que eu tenho é que alguém encontrou um osso de galinha e tentou vender para a imprensa que tinha encontrado uma ossada de dinossauro ” , comparou. ” Na hora em que for montado para saber de que tamanho era o dinossauro, vão perceber que era um franguinho “

Speaking to journalists as he left the foreign ministry, Lula avoided repeating the name of Dias. “There are newspapers who say there were senators involved in this; I have not read the article yet, but I find it lamentable,” he said. “The impression I have is that someone found a chicken bone and tried to sell it to the press as a dinosaur bone.”

Lula is a folksy and homespun kind of guy. If it is not soccer-political metaphors, . Think what you like about the man, but as a PR strategy, it really does seem to work. Fewer people disapprove of Squid than approve of Bush these days.

“The minute you look to see if the bone is dinosaur-size, you are going to see it was just a chicken.”

Após negar que Dilma vá atender a uma eventual convocação para explicar o caso do dossiê, na CPI montada para investigar mau uso de cartões corporativos, Lula fez outra enfática defesa da ministra, e lamentou que, em um momento de êxito da política econômica, ” apareça alguém para colocar suspeita na figura que tem compromisso com este País 24 horas por dia ” .

After denying that Dilma will answer a possible summons to explain the “dossier” to the congressional panel investigating the abuse of corporate credit cards by government officials, Lula once again emphatically defended the minister, lamenting that, at a moment of success for his economic policy, “someone comes along to cast suspicion on a person with a 24-7 commitment to Brazil.”

Lula afirmou que continuará, com Dilma, a viajar no país para lançar o Programa de Aceleração do Crescimento (PAC), com previsão de investimentos de R$ 504 bilhões para os próximos anos. Disse que não debaterá com oposicionistas que o acusam de antecipar a campanha eleitoral, nos discursos de inauguração de obras. ” Sou o cidadão mais cansado de eleição ” , ironizou ” Se tem uma coisa que eu não gostaria de fazer era discutir eleição, porque cansei; fiz eleição em 1982, 1986, 1988, 1990, 1992, 1994, 1996, 1998, 2000, 2002, 2004, 2006 ” , argumentou. ” Chega um pouco, agora eu preciso descansar. “

Lula said that he would continue to travel around Brazil with Dilma to launch PAC projects, which provide for R$504 billion in investments in the coming years. He said would not debate opposition politicians who accuse him of using the events for political campaigning outside of the permitted season during his speeches at the inauguration of projects. “I am more sick and tired of election campaigns than anyone else in Brazil,” he quipped. “I stood for election in 1982, 1986, 1988, 1990, 1992, 1996, 2000, 2002, 2004, 2006,” he argued. “Enough already, I need a rest.”

The opposition wants to impeach the guy for trying to take credit for what he argues are successful policies. Brazil has weird election laws, overseen by weird people.

Trying to sell your policies to the public and take credit for the good things that are (you argue) happening, is a criminal act!

Imagine impeaching Bush for going out to the scene of the California wildfires in a bid to show that this was not going to be another Katrina situation. Remember that?

You might well comment on the potential political damage-control and electioneering angle on the visit, but you cannot really criticize the guy for showing up and acting like the president in such a situation, can you?

For my notes, let me see if I can find that O Globo story making that claim about Dias.

But do not get too excited yet: Large swaths of the Brazilian press must, unfortunately, be boiled before they are fit for consumption by minimally rational human beings.

The sleep of reason in stagnant waters tends to breed the dengue mosquito of gabbling nonsense.

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