January 11, 2023
A great mob of many thousands went apeshit in Brazil over the weekend in that country’s weird, geographically isolated capital, Brasilia, a horror of 1960s-style Modernist city planning. They stormed the national congress and trashed the offices within to protest the fishy election of President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva over the former incumbent Jair Bolsonaro. As in our own country, the quarrel was over the mysterious behavior of voting machines and the unwillingness of election officials or courts to verify the results. The New York Times offered a thumbnail of Mr. Bolsonaro, who is sitting out the current action in Florida:
The resulting picture showed an elected leader, first as a congressman and then as president, who has built a narrative of fraudulent elections based on inaccuracies, out-of-context reports, circumstantial evidence, conspiracy theories and downright falsehoods — much like former President Donald J. Trump.”
Get it? There’s no way fraud could have happened, just like in our country. And Bolsonaro is another Trump. It explains everything. All complaints are “baseless,” “false,” and “conspiracy theories.” End-of-story…. Are these shopworn tropes maybe losing their mojo? And is The New York Times embarrassing itself, a little bit, to trot them out as if they are actually arguments against anything?