Sunday, June 26, 2016

Terrible Washington Post Interview With Michel Temer

A Senior Associate Editor with the Washington Post interviewed Michel Temer. There is interesting stuff in there, but the interview is awful. The reporter wants to make clear to Temer that she is on his side (e.g. "you have a good economic team" and "many believe you are doing the right thing") which skews it badly. Questions are also posed in a way that sound tough but give him wiggle room.

Do you think that Brazil is just addicted to corruption? In your system, the president has to go and get votes from the parties in Congress. To get the votes, they have to give favors to the parties. So isn’t it endemic in the way the system is set up? 
I wouldn’t say that it is an endemic problem. I would say that corruption is individualized. It is Congressman A or B or C. The criticism that might be made of our system and would require a political reform is the large number of political parties that we have. We have 32. We need a rule that says only political parties that receive a certain number of minimum votes would be represented.

This is a terrible question. The reporter should've stopped with the first sentence and made him squirm. Corruption is embedded in Brazilian politics and has been so for many years. Instead of pushing him, the reporter answers it for him, and falsely!

Now, you can make a case that a large number of parties requires so much logrolling that it leads to corrupt practices. But that's hardly the single factor that created and perpetuated Brazil's corruption. If Brazil suddenly had four parties, corruption wouldn't go away. By the way, representative democracy requires the president to go and get votes from the legislature.

She ends by answering another question for him, and saying he has personal conviction when in fact he answered a question about Venezuela without mentioning personal conviction.

In short, it's a fawning interview with a corrupt president who has put in office by questionable means.


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