Sunday, August 18, 2019

Brazil and the Media

Most of the criticism aimed at the right-wing president of Brasil, Bolsonaro, is aimed at his anti-environmentalism and complicity in the deforestation of the Amazon. However, there are many other policies he has forced upon the Brasilian people and there has been large protests against his government that do not make the world's media headlines.

Hundreds of thousands of Brazilians took to the streets of 211 cities on August 13 to protest austerity cuts and privatization plans for the public university system. It was the third in series of national education strikes, dubbed “the Education Tsunamis,” organized by national students unions together with teachers unions. Thousands of other people came out in solidarity with the teachers and students. The international media either under-reported or entirely ignored these protests by Brazil’s s by the labor unions supported by popular social movements.

Like Trump and Johnson, Bolsonaro represents what George Monbiot refers to as a “killer clown” (Guardian, 7/26/19). According to Monbiot, clowns like Bolsonaro provide distraction and deflection for elites. “While the kleptocrats fleece us,” he says, “we are urged to look elsewhere.” 

As the media distracts us, their corporate advertisers are making billions from the deregulation of pesticides and mining, petroleum and pension fund privatization in Brazil. Downplaying resistance supports Bolsonaro’s project for Brazil, and the corporations that benefit from it.

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