Yesterday, former Senator Roberto Cavalcanti told radio station Correio 98 FM — which he owns — that journalists should be stoned for reporting the Covid-19 death numbers. For Mr. Cavalcanti, who owns one of the largest media groups in the northeastern state of Paraíba, some news channels report the Covid-19 numbers as if they were “goals scored by the national team.”
“That’s shameful,” he added. “A journalist, a radio host who does that should be stoned on the streets.”
The former senator’s main product is TV Correio, Record TV’s affiliate in Paraíba — which has been President Jair Bolsonaro’s main media supporter even before he took power. Since the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic, the evangelical pastor-owned news channel has supported the president’s decision to downplay the public health crisis.
Mr. Cavalcanti later apologized for his words but argued that “it is not possible that Brazil does not revolt against” the reporting of bad news. The Professional Journalists Union of Paraíba condemned his statement.