Brazilian president Lula da Silva again attached the media on Tuesday claiming that freedom of expression does not imply “inventing stories and news”. He added that the media instead of helping public opinion preach “hatred” and are only interested in “failures of his government”.
Following on the resignations of four members of his government, including the crucial post of cabinet chief Erenice Guerra after the media published alleged influence trafficking and kickbacks to have government contracts, President Lula da Silva launched his second attack in a week against the media and insisted that freedom of expression “does not mean you can fabricate stories every day”, and spread “lies”.
On the campaign trail for next October 3 presidential election with his hand picked candidate Dilma Rousseff poised to become Brazil’s first woman president, Lula da Silva accused the media of wanting to see his “administration’s failure”.
“You follow the media, keep watch of internet, listen to the radio, watch television, and you can easily see it rapidly turns into hatred, because they (the media) are encouraging the failure or the perception of the failure of Lula da Silva’s administration”, complained the president during a political rally for the inauguration of a north-south rail link.
Last Saturday during another rally in Campinas, state of Sao Paulo, Lula da Silva said that the October 3 elections, besides defeating political opponents “we are going to beat some newspapers and magazines which behave as if they were a political party”.
This triggered immediate reactions from the Brazilian Solicitors College whose president Ophir Cavalcanti said Lula da Silva “is showing certain intolerance towards a constitutional principle which is essential for the strengthening of democracy: freedom of expression”.
Brazil’s Newspapers Association stated in an official release published in all members’ editions that it was “regrettable and worrisome” that President Lula da Silva “towards the end of his two mandates should express such disregard towards the role of the press in democratic societies”.
The government of Lula da Silva that has been involved in several claims and exposures by the media of corruption has had an almost sustained conflicting relation mainly with the written press and on several occasions tried to push for more rigid regulations regarding libel responsibility.
He also sponsored several forums to try and ensure “workers” and “journalists” control over property of the media and content of what is published.
In his eight years as president Lula da Silva has virtually lost “several generations” of his closest aides forced to resign or abandon politics for their involvement in proven and organized corruption.
This however has not dented his great communication charisma and popular support.