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Brazzil - Official Word - May 2004
 

Brazil Threatens to Sue NY Times

"The Brazilian government was overcome by a sense of
profound indignation as a result of the calumnious article
on President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva in The New York Times.
The reporter of this prestigious newspaper simply invented
a "national concern" regarding presidential habits ."

André Singer


Brazzil

Picture The Brazilian government was overcome by a sense of profound indignation as a result of the calumnious article on President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva in The New York Times. The reporter of this prestigious newspaper simply invented a "national concern" regarding presidential habits that turned out to be a pile of offensive and prejudiced affirmations against the leader of Brazil. Most of the information is based on obscure sources, which are simply unreliable.

The final result is an example of the worst possible kind of yellow journalism. We were surprised to see this type of thing in The New York Times; it has no factual basis and infringes upon the most elementary norms of journalistic ethics.

The Brazilian ambassador in Washington has received instructions to contact the newspaper and transmit the Brazilian government's indignation and surprise at allowing such gratuitous insults to be directed at the President of Brazil.

President Lula exercises the duties of his office with total responsibility and dedication. His work day is more than 12 hours long, which is easy to prove just by talking to anyone who works with him, including journalists who work at the Palácio do Planalto.

The president personally oversees the government's principal programs and, of course, makes all the most important executive branch decisions. The whole country is a witness to the high level of responsibility and seriousness that the Lula administration has dedicated to dealing with the difficult problems that face the country since taking office a year and four months ago.

The President's social habits are moderate and no different from those of the average Brazilian. The only explanation for the article's attempt to create doubts regarding President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva's profound commitment to the country's institutions and his credibility is prejudice and lack of ethics.

The Brazilian government is studying legal recourse to defend the honor of the president of Brazil and the country's image abroad.

Brasília, May 9, 2004

(This is the complete text of the note from the Brazilian government regarding an article entitled "Brazilian Leader's Tippling Becomes National Concern," by Larry Rohter, which appeared in The New York Times on Sunday.)


André Singer is the spokesman for Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva.
He can be reached at lia@radiobras.gov.br.


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