President of Brazil since 2019
Predator since taking office
Brazil, 111th/180 countries in the 2021 World Press Freedom Index
PREDATORY METHOD: Insults, humiliation and vulgar threats
Self-proclaimed “anti-system candidate,” Bolsonaro has advanced himself using social networks, where his rhetoric and ideas resonate widely, bypassing traditional media. Since he took office, the work of the Brazilian press has become exceedingly difficult. His trademark style is to insult, denigrate, and humiliate journalists seen as too critical. For him, the press is “good for nothing,” and amounts to “permanent rumours and lies.” His combative and foul-mouthed rhetoric is amplified by members of his circle and a well-organised base. Since 2018, the president, his family and his entourage have refined a highly efficient system. On social networks, armies of supports and bots relay and amplify attacks designed to discredit the press, which is depicted as an enemy of the state.
FAVOURITE TARGETS: Women journalists, political experts and Globo
OFFICIAL DISCOURSE: Vulgarities
Some media are “worse than garbage, because garbage is recyclable.” “Brazil is bankrupt, there is nothing I can do about it…I wanted to modify the tax-cut scale, but we have this virus that has been fuelled by the press, this useless press.” (6 January 2021).
“The press is responsible for the panic in the country, and the loss of lives during the pandemic, a national disgrace.”
"Journalists can go “f… off to their w…. mothers” and “stick cans of condensed milk up their a….” (27 January 2021).
“Despicable bastards, you are not patriots…The journalism you do is rotten, corrupt, unscrupulous! You are good for nothing! You only publish lies! (From a 24-minute video by Bolsonaro, broadcast on 29 October 2019, directed at the Globo media group).