Brazil’s next president declares war on ‘fake news’ media, by Anthony Boadle.
For Brazil’s right-wing President-elect Jair Bolsonaro, attacking critical press outlets almost daily on social media is not enough. Once in office, he vows to hit their bottom line.
With half a billion dollars in public-sector marketing budgets coming under his discretion, the fiery former Army captain is threatening to slash ad buys with adversarial media groups, striking at the financial foundations of Brazil’s free press.
After a campaign in which Bolsonaro dismissed investigative reporting as “fake news” invented by a corrupt establishment and his supporters went after individual journalists, the threats are sending a chill through the country’s newsrooms.
Asked in a TV interview last week if he would respect press freedom even for his favorite foil, newspaper Folha de S.Paulo, Brazil’s largest circulation daily, Bolsonaro’s answer was curt.
“That newspaper is done,” Bolsonaro said in a tense TV Globo interview. “As far as I’m concerned with government advertising — press that acts like that, lying shamelessly, won’t have any support from the federal government.”
So take that, biased media. There really is payback. You really aren’t immune.