Brazil’s Supreme Court has surprisingly knocked down the ban on political humor that had prevented comedians from taking the mickey out of politicians, it announced this morning.
(See my piece here on the Financial Times web site.)
“It is precisely during the electoral period that civil society in general and the electorate in particular most need a free press,” said Ayres Britto, the vice president of the Supreme Court who authored the decision.
Until now, Brazilian TV and radio had been prohibited from “in any way degrading or ridiculing candidates, parties or coalitions” running in the October elections. It had taken the sting out of shows that rely on political satire such as Casseta & Planeta and CQC.
The ban was nothing short of censorship and had been widely criticised. I wrote about it yesterday in Time magazine.
Well done to Britto, who recalled Thomas Jefferson’s quote:
“Were it left to me to decide whether we should have a government without newspapers or newspapers without a government, I should not hesitate a moment to prefer the latter.”
Roll on Monday and the next CQC.