It would be comical if it were not tragic. The federal government has just launched a platform called “fact-checking” or “fact-checking”. It is the normalization of nonsense for a government to say that its activity can be compared or confused with that of fact-checkers. It cannot. I mean, in democracies you can’t.
I heard people sincerely saying that it would just be another platform like all the others. I was even asked: if UOL has fact-checking, why can’t the government? Because it’s the government, not the press. The role of the press cannot be confused with the role of the government, as is done now.
I mean, in countries like Cuba, Russia and China, these roles are deliberately confused. I hope we still know how to differentiate.
They argue with me that the press is biased, it has a side. It is a common cognitive bias to imagine my friends’ enemy press as if they were all a monolithic block with the same type of ideology. There are vehicles that are more and less ideological and more and less plural. The press, made up of human beings, seems of all human failings. None of this is an excuse for the government to play at being the press and compare itself with journalists.
Even more worrying is that the platform belongs to Paulo Pimenta’s Secom, which has already shown how it intends to treat journalists. We are in front of “Cercadinho 2, the mission”. Confronted by journalist Raquel Landim, the all-powerful of Secom fired: “are you a journalist?”.
Of course. My USP classmate is an astronaut and is on TV doing a side job. Paulo Pimenta then argued that she is a journalist. He actually is, as much as my bank manager. Both graduated from good universities but do not work in the field. The head of Secom got involved in teaching a journalist with more than 20 years of experience her profession. Evaluate how beautiful this fact-checking will be.
I’ve seen some luloaffective paquitas sharing the material. They claim to be for democracy. As I explained in an article last year, Brazilians say they like democracy, but have no idea what it is about. In the survey I commented on last year, 58% do not disagree with the statement that military intervention is possible due to government incompetence in a democracy. The same mind that now thinks that fact-checking the government is something democratic.
It seems absurd that the people now pay the government to do the “check” and determine what is and is not true among what is said about the government itself. It is a dangerous distortion, especially in an era where politics is based on narratives.
The luloaffectives who affectionately call me an old woman, a slut and a fascist on the networks guarantee that the PT has always been very democratic with the press. Perhaps it is again this reframing of the word democracy.
My friend Rodrigo da Silva, founder of Spotniks, made a timeline of real actions by PT politicians. Let’s see if they are democratic:
In 2004, because he disliked a story about him, President Lula threatened to expel New York Times correspondent Larry Rother from Brazil.
In 2008, deputy Fernando Ferro created the term PIG, “Coupist Press Party”, later popularized by one of the journalists friends of the government. Everyone who didn’t praise Lula was from the PIG.
In 2010, Lula made it clear about the election of Dilma Rousseff that “we are not going to defeat only our Toucan opponents, we are going to defeat some newspapers and magazines that behave as if they were a political party and do not have the courage to say that they are a political party. politician, who have a candidate and don’t have the courage to say they have a candidate, who are not democrats and think they are democrats”. She said it at a campaign rally in Campinas, reminding us a lot of a former president of ours that now I don’t remember who he is.
Several times Lula declared that there was a lack of opposition parties in Brazil and that the opposition is the press. Now the same process as before begins.
Journalists who do not flatter Lula will be purposely confused with Bolsonarists by virtual militancy. Afraid of virulence and constant defamation, many will succumb to self-censorship, moderating all criticism.
The secret of political hegemony and democratic erosion is not to tell the press to shut up, it is not even necessary to do so.
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