24 January 2011

Isso é uma desgraça. IstoÉ vergonhosa.

On my way home the other night I picked up a special edition of IstoÈ, one of Brazil`s major news magazines. A few months ago I was interviewed by the very same magazine for what was a fairly balanced piece about the Maracanã reforms. I suppose I should not have had my hopes up for this “Special Copa 2014” edition whose title read: Golaço – How the biggest football tournament in the world is going to help Brazil grow.

I have long commentated about the ways in which OGlobo has zero critical perspective on the World Cup and the Olympics. But I was not expecting IstoÈ to take up the cause of FIFA and the CBF so fully, without uma pergunta séria nenhuma, publishing an entire magazine that had NO journalistic integrity, no examination of the incredibly complex issues surrounding the production of sportive constellations in 12 Brazilian cities, no economic analysis, nothing, nothing, nothing that shed any light at all on what is happening in preparation for the World Cup. Unfortunately, this represents the current state of public discourse in Brazil regarding the World Cup and Olympics.

The principal sections of the magazine referred to:
1)    1)  The “Legacy benefits”, the historical context of the 2014 World Cup in comparison to the 1950 World Cup. This lead with a picture of the Bird’s Nest in Beijing which has recently been turned into a shopping mall because there were no sporting tenants.
2)     2)  The amount of money that the CBF stands to gain from new sponsorship deals.
3)      3) An interview with Mario Zagallo, former coach and player for the seleção
4)      4) An interview with current seleção coach Mano Menezes
5)     5)  A ridiculously shallow profile of the twelve new stadiums suggesting that the “Maracanã is a model that should be followed”. Those familiar with this blog will understand why that is the stupidest, most ignorant headline imaginable
6)     6)  The problem of airports, the reforms underway and multiple guarantees from federal deputies and INFRAERO higher-ups that there will be no problems (even though last month more than 50% of domestic flights were delayed or cancelled).
7)     7)  Arquibancadas em paz. This was perhaps the most sickening of sections as it explained how fans will be surveiled and controlled via legal, technical, technological, social, and military mechanisms. The big joke here is that Flávio Martins, the vice president of the Federação das Toridas Organizadas do Rio de Janeiro is quoted as saying that he wants to have a place to park, a comfortable place to sit, etc. The sad story is that “the final objective is to valorize the fan, treating him like a client”. There is no need to read between the lines  - this is a radical change in Brazilian stadium culture, and the torcidas organizadas have been co-opted so that the spectacle of the arquibancada will be produced so that it can be consumed by wealthier, more comfortable clients. PQP. Oh, and there are plans underway to identify fans through fingerprinting as they enter the stadium:  “The new model proposes a pre-registration of torcidas organizdas and general fans with a collection of personal data and the emission of intelligent [sic] ID cards. The registration will be connected to INFOSEG [National System of Public Security Information]”.
8)     8) To back up the above controls, there is a section detailing the militarization of public space that we can expect, and come to love, for the World Cup and Olypmics. Once installed, why dismantle? Biometric cards for everyone will help control who can come in and out of the new centers of privatized urban governance like the Zona Portuaria. Your card will indicate place of employment and residence, which in Rio says plenty about who you “are” and where you “belong”.
9)     9)  Did you know that all financial expansion and economic development [sic] in Brasil over the next four years can be directly attributed to the World Cup? If you read this section, you will understand that without a mega-event the state would simply cease to function, having no money for the provision of health and sanitation. But wait, “the consolidation of the country in terms of tourism is causing the big hotel developers to dream big.” Meaning, of course, that there might be a hospital or road built somewhere, but the real money is going to be made by those who already have it.
10  10) A sad little section lamenting a loss against Argentina, com golaço de Messi, but lauding the progress of the Seleção under Menezes.
11  11) A little piece justifying the pontos corridos system instead of a playoff system, which many Brazilians prefer. This re-enforcing the position of the CBF. There is no alternative point of view given, even though the continuing success of the state tournaments owes much to the mata-mata playoff system.
1    12)   This unbelievable section features the best picture ever seen of Ricardo Teixeira, the most corrupt person in Brazil. It also lauds the way that Teixeira has “modernized” [sic] the CBF from the “age of paper to five times champion”. Como se fala PROPAGANDA? This is not journalism, it’s a bloody disgrace.
     13)    An exposé on the way that Ney Franco is training the Brazilian junior teams.
1   14)   Interviews with FIFA higher-ups describing the global media coverage of the World Cup and the need for investments in 3D transmission technology in Brazil. There is also an interview with the director of journalism engineering from, you guessed it, OGlobo! What a refreshing change! And to justify all of this, there is an enumeration of the FIFA exigencies for stadiums covering the media booth, radio and tv cabins, tv studios, media center, interview halls, mixed zone, flash interview positions, and parking. FIFA says, Brazil does.
15 15)   Transportation. R$40 billion in investment. This is arguably the most important, most impactful, and certainly the largest investment, yet IstoÈ dedicates the least amount of space to it. As we are seeing in Rio de Janeiro, the installation of transportation lines does not necessarily benefit the city. These need to be investigated on a case by case basis and not just be given some glib treatment that spews out numbers and interviews the people directing the projects.

In short, there is nothing informative in this magazine. It is false journalism and only thinly disguised propaganda for the government, the CBF, and FIFA. This magazine has done a great disservice to the Brazilian public. There are no authorial credits given in the entirety of the magazine, which gets whoever wrote this tripe off the hook for their false prophesies. The photos have no names assigned to them. The information comes from sources that are positioned to make fortunes from public and private investment. There are no alternative realities possible here; only the inexorable march towards a FIFA future that will be cradled within the warmish bosom of a consumer society (and speaking of bosoms, check out this week's cover). The inevitable corruption will be tolerated as long as Brazil wins the World Cup, manages not to screw up the transportation and has enough four and five star hotels for the FIFA boys to get their groove on (read: sexual tourism). It’s sickening and sad and pathetic, especially for a publication that claims to be "the most combative magazine in the country."  

3 comments:

WCHR said...

Great summing up, many thanks. Looking forward to reading the rest of your blog.

RG Michener said...

Good to see a critical review of the lousy jounalism-- Brazilian news made accessible. Ever thought of writing an editorial with a Brazilian colleague to publish...where?...Yeah, that might be a problem...

snapkakapop said...

Great blog you have too, Christopher! Will be following with interest!

Labels

2014 World Cup Rio de Janeiro Maracanã FIFA 2016 Olympics 2016 Summer Olympics Eduardo Paes CBF Copa do Mundo 2014 Rio de Janeiro Olympics Ricardo Texeira World Cup 2014 Vasco da Gama 2010 World Cup White Elephants mega-events APO UPP BRT Brazil football Flamengo Lula Orlando Silva violence ANT Aldeia Maracana Carlos Nuzman Dilma Eike Batista Rio 2016 Sergio Cabral 2007 Pan American Games Campeonato Carioca Corruption IOC Jerome Valcke Novo Maracanã stadiums BOPE BRASIL 2016 Brasil 2014 Engenhao Joao Havelange Maracana Policia Militar Vila Autódromo Aldo Rebelo Botafogo Henrique Meirelles Medida Provisoria Metro Revolta do Vinagre Sao Paulo Sepp Blatter World Cup 2010 forced removal Carnaval Elefantes Brancos Fechadao Marcia Lins Minerao Morumbi Odebrecht Porto Maravilha Rio+20 Romario Security Walls South Africa South Africa 2010 TCU Transoeste protests public money public transportation slavery transparency x-Maracana Andrew Jennings Argentina Audiencia Publica Barcelona Brazil Carvalho Hosken Comitê Popular Confederatons Cup Copa do Brasil 2010 Cost overruns Crisis of Capital Accumulation EMOP FERJ Favela do Metro Fluminense Fluminese Fonte Novo IMX Jose Marin Leonel Messi London 2012 Marcelo Freixo Maré Museu do Indio Olympic Delivery Authority Perimetral Rocinha Soccerex Transcarioca bicycles consumer society debt idiocy militarization transportation 1995 Rugby World Cup 2004 Olympics 2015 Copa America Banco Imobiliario Barcas SA Belo Horizonte Bom Senso F.C. Brasilerao CDURP CONMEBOL Champions League. Mourinho Complexo do Alemão Copa Libertadores Cupula dos Povos ESPN England FiFA Fan Fest Istanbul 2020 Jogos Militares John Carioca Kaka Manaus McDonald's Obama Olympic Village PPP Paralympics Providencia Recife Russia Salvador Soccer City Taksim Square Tatu-bola Urban Social Forum Vidigal Vila Olimpica War World Cup Xaracana attendance figures cities corrupcao drugs estadios football frangueiro futebol mafia planejamento urbano police repression porn privitization reforms shock doctrine taxes 201 2010 Elections 2010 Vancouver Olypmics 2013 2018 World Cup 2030 Argentina / Uruguay ABRAJI AGENCO ANPUR ANT-SP Amazonia Ancelmo Gois Andrade Gutierrez Anthony Garotinho Arena Amazonia Arena Pernambucana Athens Atlético Paranaense Avenida das Americas BID Barra de Tijuca Blatter Brasil x Cote d'Iviore Brasileirão 2013 Brasilia Brasilierao Bruno Souza Bus fares COB COI COMLURB CPI CPO Cabral Caixa Economica Canal do Anil Cantagalo Celio de Barros Cesar Maia Chapeu Mangueira Chile 2015 Choque do Ordem Cidade da Copa Class One Powerboat Racing Clint Dempsey Comite Companhia das Docas Copa do Brasil Corinthians Cuiabá Curitiba Dave Zrin David Harvey Der Spiegel Eastwood Edge of Sports Escola Friendenrich Expo Estadio Expo Urbano FGV Fonte Nova Gamboa Garotinho Geostadia Ghana Globo Greek Debt Crisis Greek Olympics HBO Hipoptopoma IMG IPHAN ISL Iniesta Internatinal Football Arena Invictus Istanbul Itaquerao Jacque Rogge Jefferson John Coates Jose Beltrame Julio Grondona Julio Lopes Julio de Lamare Knights Templar Korea Lei Geral da Copa MAR MEX Manchester United Mangabeira Unger Maracanã. Soccerex Marina da Gloria Mexico Milton Santos Molotov Cocktail Mr.Balls Neymar Nicholas Leoz Nilton Santos Olympic Flag Olympic Park Project Oscar Niemeyer Pacaembu Pan American Games Parque Olimpico Pernambuco Plano Popular Plano Popular do Maracana Plano Popular do Maracanã Play the Game Pope Porto Alegre Porto Olimpico Porto Seguro Portuguesa Praca Tiradentes Preview Projeto Morrinho Putin Qatar Quatar 2022 RSA Realengo Regis Fichtner Roberto Dinamite Russia 2018 SETRANS SMH Santa Teresa Santos Sao Raimundo Sargento Pepper Security Cameras Smart City Sochi 2014 South Korea Stormtroopers São Januário São Paulo Teargas Templars Tokyo 2020 Tropa do Elite II Turkey UFRJ/IPPUR URU USA USA! Unidos da Tijuca United States government Urban Age Conference VVIP Via Binário Victory Team Vila Autodromo Vila Cruzeiro Vila do Pan Vilvadao Vivaldao Volta Alice Wasteland Workers' Party World Cup 2018 Xavi Zurich apartments atrazos barrier beer bio-fuels bonde capacities civil society comite popular copa sudamericana crack crime dengue dictatorship estádios favelalógica feira livre fiador flooding freedom of information furos geral graffiti guarda municipal host city agreement identity infrastructure ipanema istoe labor rape riots schedule school shooting security segregation social movements stadium state of exception supervia tear gas ticket prices torcidas organizadas tourism traffic tragedy trash trem-bala velodromo wikileaks xingar