Bolsonaro's Head of Communications Distorts Facts in Rebuttal against Folha

Secretary Fábio Wajngarten contested Folha editorial that criticized the president

Fabio Wajngarten, the Secretary of Social Communication of the Presidency of the Republic, presented a distorted view of facts and incurred exaggerations and inaccuracies when he contested Folha's criticism of President Jair Bolsonaro in an article published in the newspaper on Monday (2).

Wajngarten published the text in response to the editorial "The Emperor's Costume," published by the newspaper on Friday (29). In it, Folha stated that Bolsonaro is unable to understand the impartiality of the republican administration.

Chief of the Secretariat of Social Communication Fabio Wajngarten, mutes the microphone for Brazil's President Jair Bolsonaro, during a Flag Day ceremony at the Alvorada Palace, in Brasilia, Brazil November 19, 2019. REUTERS/Ueslei Marcelino - REUTERS

The editorial cited as examples the retaliation of Bolsonaro to the critical press through provisional measures and Federal government's cancellation of its Folha subscriptions—an attitude described in the text as discrimination against a media outlet.

The secretary of communications called the editorial infamous, accused Folha of disrespecting "the presidential figure" and said that instead of journalism, the vehicle practices "frivolity and authoritarianism."

Wajngarten, in his statement to Folha, also said that the daily newspaper's headlines about the country's economy are "always negative". In his opinion, it is as the paper can not "speak well of what is working" or recognize "the qualities of the economic policy, in addition to the largest pension reform ever carried out in this country."

Folha has already published several editorials, texts that express the opinion of the newspaper, and that generally make a positive assessment of the government's economic policy so far.

In his text, Wajngarten writes that Folha joins "those defeated at the polls last October, those who tried to kill then-candidate Jair Bolsonaro."

However, the newspaper explicitly condemned the attempted murder, repeatedly calling it an abominable attack. It dedicated an editorial - "General Repudiation" of September 7, 2018 - in which Folha wrote that "the attack on Bolsonaro is not welcome in a country that is committed to democracy."

Likewise, throughout the 2018 campaign, Folha published reports with complaints involving the then-candidate Fernando Haddad (PT). 

Translated by Kiratiana Freelon

Read the article in the original language