Trashy journos are ‘my friends’

The Citizen (Gauteng) - - WORLD -

Rio de Janeiro – Shortly af­ter de­scrib­ing the me­dia as “trash”, Brazil­ian far-right pres­i­den­tial front-run­ner Jair Bol­sonaro turned around and called jour­nal­ists “friends” and pledged to de­fend a free press, as he courts cen­trist vot­ers ahead of a run-off elec­tion.

Bol­sonaro rode a wave of anger over years of graft, ris­ing vi­o­lence and a weak econ­omy to take a strong lead in Sun­day’s firstround vote, win­ning 46% of votes. Many ex­pect him to beat left­ist Fer­nando Had­dad, of the Work­ers Party, in the Oc­to­ber 28 run-off.

But de­spite the 63-year-old’s strong show­ing at the bal­lot box, polls show Bol­sonaro is dis­liked by large swathes of the elec­torate.

Dur­ing his nearly three decades as a fed­eral con­gress­man, the for­mer army cap­tain alien­ated many vot­ers with vi­o­lent, misog­y­nis­tic, and ho­mo­pho­bic com­ments.

Those con­cerns have in­creased since last week­end’s elec­tion due to a grow­ing list of at­tacks, al­legedly by his sup­port­ers, against po­lit­i­cal op­po­nents and by his an­tipa­thy to­ward the press, which he la­beled “trash” in a Twit­ter post on Thurs­day. – Reuters

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