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Goldman Case: The CBS interview


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Many of us were surprised last Tuesday when Sean Goldman's Brazilian family appeared on CBS' early Show to tell their side of the story. I myself was not aware of the interview until someone I know wrote a comment about it on Facebbok, but I quickly logged on to the network's website to check it out. Now, I am not going to talk about supporters' reactions on either side of the debate. My own position about this case is pretty well known by now – I believe the boy belongs with his biological father. But I will give my impression of what I saw. The Brazilian family is well aware that the American public opinion is largely against them, and it was clear that they change that by appealing to viewers' emotions. I noticed that when host Harry Smith mentioned the Hague International Treaty, all stepfather Joao Paulo Lins e Silva and grandmother Silvana Bianchi had to say was that Sean wanted to stay in Brazil with his half-sister and that he was well adjusted to life there. Those words were accompanied by current images of the boy participating in a basketball match and playing with his half-sister (the network had conducted an interview with Sean, but it was scrapped for legal reasons). Now, if they flew for nine hours to get our sympathy, I must say that they failed miserably. Lins e Silva's arrogance was palpable when he said that Sean had spent sixty percent of his life in Brazil and that he felt loved there – you could see that this was an exhausted lawyer who was doing nothing but buying time in order to stall an inevitable verdict. Harry Smith cleverly extracted from Bianchi that her late daughter acted surreptitiously by announcing her desire to divorce her first husband from almost ten thousand miles away. He was also smart when he let family lawyer Sergio Tostes blab on about what happened in the Brazilian courts when Bruna Bianchi was alive – but then cutting him off with the letter of the law. CBS was really aiming for ratings when they aired this interview. But contrary to what most have said, I do not think that the interview damaged the the case for David Goldman – in fact, it might have helped him, for this is a rare opportunity for American viewers to see what kind of people Goldman has been forced to battle with: these are individuals who – because of their economic power – truly believe they are above the law.


Ernest Barteldes 8 years, 11 months ago

I just got this email from a friend in Brazil:

A recent and more tragic case similar to Sean's was aired on TV last week. An Austrian father has been fighting the courts to take his son and daughter back to Austria after they were brought to Brazil by their mom (also without his husband's consent). Now the mother, who suffers from mental illness, ran away 6 months ago, abandoning the kids; so her sister asked for the children's custody (which was granted). Now the daughter was killed in classical physical abuse case, for which the aunt and the cousin are being blamed for. Maybe now, after this tragic event, the father may see his son back.

Now, the Brazilian family has plenty of support here in Brazil, obviously. I can't help but imagine the trauma Sean will certainly face either way. In any case he will loose part of his identity (his father's or his mother's) and that is truly sad.

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