The day after Brazil's Presidential election I got an email from a fellow NPR critic in Wisconsin who noted:
"My, my! Yesterday, Brazil just elected its first female president with 56% of the votes and nary a word about it on National Public Radio... nor any mention of it on Wisconsin Public Radio.Brazil is not Palau: it is larger than the continental United States and is the 8th largest economy on earth.Nothing on News on the Hour. Nothing on Morning Edition.Well done, Skippy!"
Ok, I thought - surely NPR is just a working on a more in-depth story on the Brazil election. As the AP reportage on the election points out, not only is Brazil the 8th largest economy, it's predicted to be the 5th largest economy by 2016. But here it is Tuesday evening and - guess what? - NPR has done nothing - ZILCH - on air regarding the Brazilian election. Compare this to the coverage the World Series has garnered on NPR. What gives?
I'm not here to trash sports, I watched the World Series and enjoyed the pitching dominance of the Giants. And speaking of pitching, there was definitely news to cover: Game 3 featured a war criminal, admitted felon and torturer throwing out the ceremonial first pitch - oops, never heard that on NPR. Hmmm, maybe NPR's discomfort with naming torture torture, might explain its shutout of Brazil's presidential election. After all, Brazil's president elect Rousseff was a victim of the US-backed torture regime that ruled Brazil in the 1960s and 1970s. One can see that for NPR it might be hard to talk about Rousseff without mentioning the fact that torture ( I mean enhanced interrogation ) and its export from the US to South America has a long tradition.