“Trump of the Tropics” is a nickname that has stuck with Jair Bolsonaro, a comparison that Brazil’s president-elect welcomes and fuels himself. The moniker is criticized by many of his opponents, who say Mr. Bolsonaro is far worse than Donald Trump, but the similarities between the two right-wing populists do exist, going beyond their aggressive rhetoric and flagrant bigotry. Brazil’s future president also mimics the U.S. president’s communication strategy.
After his victory on Sunday, defeating Workers’ Party candidate Fernando Haddad by 10 million votes, Jair Bolsonaro gave a series of interviews – mostly to docile outlets that jumped on his campaign bandwagon. The only interview that would usually offer him a bit of a challenge was on TV Globo’s Jornal Nacional, the country’s leading evening news broadcast.
However, journalists didn’t manage to bring him out of his comfort zone. The president-elect didn’t talk about anything of relevance. Worse, he used the stage to attack the press – in particular, the newspaper Folha de S.Paulo, which published an investigation into an illegal fake news spreading scheme which benefitted Mr. Bolsonaro.