Last May Brazil saw a coup d’état, when democratically-elected president Dilma Rousseff was removed from office by the means of an unconstitutional impeachment process. The deeply corrupt, reactionary and illegitimate interim president Michel Temer (pictured above) is now running the country. Since then, Brazilians have been eagerly waiting to boo the non-elected and extremely unpopular head-of-state during the opening of the Olympic Games.
Last night they succeeded, despite every attempt to prevent them from doing so – such as threats from Temer’s Chief of Staff Eliseu Padilha to punish those protesting. For the first time in the history of the Olympics, the name of the head-of-state of the hosting nation was not announced, and Temer opened the games with just a couple of short sentences instead. This was followed by a resounding “boo” that could probably be heard from the other side of the Atlantic. Most media around the world reported the long awaited protest, as well as their drowning out – such as the Guardian.
On the other hand, many Brazilians never heard or read about the Olympic booing. That’s because the almighty TV Globo – the largest and by far most powerful TV network in the country – not just drowned out the booing, but also replaced it with clapping coming from the stall were Temer himself was sitting. To add insult to injury, Globo’s presenter Galvão Bueno reported to the whole country on the “applauding” of Temer. This is a genuine Olympic coup against journalistic ethics and the Brazilian people.
Back in 1993, late British filmmaker Simon Hartog authored a documentary entitled Beyond Citizen Kane denouncing the manipulative tactics of the Brazilian TV giant Rede Globo to the world. The film revealed that Globo had a firm grip – virtually a monopoly – over the Brazilian government, local politicians and, most importantly, the opinion of Brazilians. It supported the military coup of 1964 (when it was still a newspaper) and it grew because of its unequivocal support of the regime.
Globo was furious at the documentary, and it quickly moved its tentacles in order to prevent the film from being screened. The movie was first shown broadcast in the UK in September 1993 by Channel 4. This exhibition was delayed because Globo challenged the director’s right to use extracts from their programmes without permission, for the purpose of critical review. Read our article about the film here.
The film reveals that Globo used highly unethical and deceitful tactics to support the military regime and to silence the voices of the Workers’ Party. These tactics are surprisingly similar to the muting of Temer’s booing. Even their enemies remain the same: they helped to topple the democratically elected government of Dilma (from the Workers’ Party) and are not attempting to legitimise a borderline dictatorial government through lies and manipulation.
Beyond Citizen Kane exposes many examples of such tactics. For example, it reveals that Globo described the large street demonstrations asking for direct elections and the end of the military in the early 1980s as mere “street celebrations” without a purpose. During the large national strikes of the same decade, it removed the voices from the trade unionists, and only their bosses remained audible. The similarity with the Olympic coup last night is striking.
DMovies now wants to place Beyond Citizen Kane in a modern context, showing that the times may have changed, but Globo hasn’t altered its criminal tactics. We will hold a screening of the film on September 23rd at 18:00 at the charming Regent Street Cinema at the heart of London, one of the oldest film venues in the world. The film will be followed by a debate about Globo and media manipulation in Brazil, with the film producer John Ellis and special guests from Brazil (tbc).
Tickets are not available for sale yet, but we will let you know as soon as they are.
Below is DMovies‘ protest video against the illegitimate government of Michel Temer: