The American news media, from time to time, is accused of trying to create the news rather than simply report it. The American outlets, however, have nothing on Brazilian news personality Wallace Souza.

Souza was the host of the news show Canal Livre, which was popular in the Brazilian state of Amazonas. Souza would often rail against the violence in the area, which has a reputation of being quite lawless. Canal Livre would often focus on killings in the Amazon region, including showing graphic footage of murder victims. Canal Livre was often able to beat its competitors to the location and score an exclusive story – which resulted in a ratings boost.

How was Souza able to consistently beat his opponents to the punch? I know what you’re thinking – that he paid off the cops to notify him when the crime had been uncovered. Of course not – let’s not be ridiculous.

What Souza was actually doing, according to the police, was setting up the killings. His crews would be first on the scene simply because he knew that the killing was about to occur.

What sort of anchor man has the connections to get people whacked, you might ask? The sort of anchor man who also dabbled in a bit of drug trafficking. The guys he had whacked were rivals, so he was killing two birds with one stone. Souza’s son has been jailed on charges related to murder and drug trafficking. Souza himself has not yet been arrested. He also happens to be a legislator in the state government – and thus has immunity (just a thought, but perhaps the immunity protections could be scaled back a bit at some point). In the last elections, Souza garnered more votes than any other member of the Azononas legislature.

Souza is also a former police officer, so he really has all the bases covered. Committing crimes as a criminal, arresting criminals as a cop, reporting the crimes on TV, and making the laws. Souza has responded to the allegations by saying that he is being set up by political rivals.

This story really stunned me a bit. As much as Americans distrust the media at times, I find it hard to believe than any members of the media would have someone whacked just so that they could report on the story. I’ll eat my hat if my favorite news anchor is ever arrested for setting up a hit. (Note to Steven Colbert – try to avoid having people killed, OK? )

Their business is death, and business has been good

On the topic of death, I’d like to point out a favorite web site of mine, Dead or Alive Info. If you ever have a question about whether or not a public figure is dead or alive, pop over to this site to check. You can also take a gander at a list of people who are 85 or older and still alive. You can see which people died young (younger than 30) or old (100 or older) and sort by field (science, entertainment, etc), gender, or cause of death.

In addition to the raw facts, there are also some fun quizzes on the site.

Those among you who participate in celebrity death pools could make good use of this site when you’re setting up your board for the next draft. Take a quick look at the people who are 85+ and put them at the top of your board!

What did you miss over the weekend?

  • On Friday, the fiction story Warm Feet appeared. Gay Marriage was the topic of the story.
  • Saturday featured a “write your own adventure” story. Kosmo wrote the first 200 words ot the story Lindsey and asked readers to continue the story in the comment section.
  • Tyson Turned weighed in with 3 things on Sunday.