And you thought Larry Rohter* was bad

As if to confirm Kyle's critique of the mainstream media's incredibly open orientation toward privilege and power, the AP published a report on Lula's revival of class struggle rhetoric in the Brasilian election runoff.
Fiery speeches contrasting the lives of Brazil's poor with the wealthy elite have left many Brazilians wondering whether he would push the country to the left if he wins a second four-year term in Sunday's runoff election. Silva, a former union firebrand and Brazil's first working-class president, faced similar fears four years ago, but calmed them by adhering to market-friendly, pro-business policies that won praise even from conservatives.
!!!! Who writes this stuff? "Brazilians" have "fears" that Lula will move to the left? Lula's right-wing economic policies won praise "even from conservatives"? Maybe it's a typo and is supposed to read "won praise only from conservatives".
While few believe Silva would adopt the radical populism of Venezuela's Hugo Chavez, they worry that he could entrench divisions in Brazil, which has one of the world's widest gaps between rich and poor.
It just gets worse and worse. Apparently "one of the world's widest gaps between rich and poor" doesn't count as an entrenched division. But some opportunistic rhetoric from a faux-populist could very well give rise to such a nightmare.
"It's very easy to mobilize the poor. What's hard is to demobilize them after the election," said Bolivar Lamounier, director of the Augurium political consulting firm. "I'm afraid if he wins a second term, which looks likely, he will be tempted to take an authoritarian turn."
Authoritarian, i.e. any policy that might upset of the highly participatory model of extreme wealth inequality.
"It's not very difficult with the low level of education in Brazil to motivate this prejudice," Lamounier said. "It was very hard to carry out privatization in Brazil, and while it a made good business sense, when poor people got their phone bills or light bills they just saw that things cost a lot."
If only the poor had a better education! Then they'd realize that paying more for utilities in order to enrich wealthy CEOs is solid public policy.
[Lula's] socialist fire has already inflamed prejudices among upper-class Brazilians.
So now criticizing rich people and calling for government programs to help the poor qualifies as "socialist". Does anyone else feel like we're in the 1880s?

I can just imagine the newsgathering work done by the reporter for this article: relaxing at a café in a fancy part of São Paulo, talking with the rich folks who apparently exhaust the category "Brasilians".

* Larry Rohter is The New York Times's Brasil correspondent who serves power in slightly more subtle ways.

1 comment:

kyle said...

Whenever I think I'll stop being surprised at just how bad the coverage is, there seems to be another story that I can hardly believe. I particularly like that they're concerned how hard it will be to "demobilize [the poor] after the election." Clearly we don't want poor people engaged in politics! Well, except MAYBE on election day, if that's what we have to do to look legitimate.

Maybe I should be happier about this though. Maybe articles like this are just what we need. We can use them to critique the mainstream media, capitalism, AND the very foundations of liberalism. Bonus!