Protesters at the opening of the Olympic Games.
Although you wouldn't know it from the coverage being provided by the large New Zealand media contingent in Rio de Janeiro, protests against the interim presidency of Michel Temer are occurring on a daily basis.

DESPITE THE RATHER LARGE New Zealand media contingent in Rio de Janeiro right now, no one seems particularly interested in reporting on the daily protests that continue in the city beyond the various sporting venues. While TVNZ's Peter Williams and TV3's Mike McRoberts stand in front of stadiums and deliver stories about sporting heroics that could of just as easily been delivered from an Auckland studio, the protests continue to go unremarked on.

Brazil might be in the midst of a economic and political crisis but New Zealand's media contingent main concern seems to be why the New Zealand team isn't delivering as many as medals as expected. Any conception of any crisis has not extended any further than the awful realisation that injured All Black Sonny Bill Williams will be out of rugby for nine months.

You might have thought that  the political and economic crisis engulfing the world's fifth most populous country and eighth largest economy was worthy of at least some coverage but apparently that is low priority compared to frolicking on Copacabana beach and checking out the Rio nightspots.

While the New Zealand media contingent might be enjoying the break from the New Zealand winter, it appears to have escaped their notice  that there has been a coup in Brazil.

Elected president Dilma Rousseff was removed from office on trumped up charges of "accounting irregularities" by the corrupt Brazilian oligarchy.

Karl Marx wrote that history often repeats itself, first as tragedy, and the second as farce. He could of been talking about Brazil. The military coup of April 1964 was a tragedy, which condemned the Brazilian people to twenty years of military dictatorship. The parliamentary coup of May 2016 is a farce, played out by a cabal of reactionary and corrupt parliamentarians to overthrow a president democratically elected by 54 million Brazilians, on account of so-called “accounting irregularities”.

Perhaps the New Zealand media contingent might have got a clue that something was seriously wrong when interim president Michel Temer was roundly booed by the crowd when he officially opened the games on August 5. Temer, on behalf of the oligarchy, has pushed through austerity policies desperately aimed at reviving  a failing Brazilian capitalism.

Throughout the games the protests have continued, demanding Terner's removal from office.

During the first few  days of the games spectators were forcibly removed  from venues for wearing tee-shirts criticising and calling for the removal of Temer. Two days ago a Brazilian Federal judge ruled that banning them was "an infringement of freedom of expression".

None of this has been reported by the New Zealand media contingent.

When Britain was in the throes of deciding whether or to remain in the EU, the New Zealand media deemed it important enough to provide regular coverage. But apparently a coup against the democratically elected Brazilian president is not considered important enough to get journalists like Mike McRoberts out of their comfort zones. McRoberts instead has devoted some of his time in Brazil taking cooking lessons so he can get to know 'Brazilian culture'.


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