Marcelo Longobardi: "In Argentina, elections do not solve a problem, they open it up"
—In your farewell to radio Miter you said: “Since August I have been thinking that something must end well in a country where, if we look at the processes, the things that happen outside of people's private lives, the public things end badly”. In Argentina, in order for something not to end badly, do you have to leave?
—Maybe. I don't know if in the sense of leaving the country.
—There are many companies and people who left.
—I intellectualized much less than others what happened that day on radio Miter. I was as spontaneous and sincere as possible. I said what I wanted to say. He had written it the night before. In Argentina things end badly. I don't know of many public order processes that end well. I managed to finish two long, complex, highly competitive processes well, in a difficult environment, that of the media. People get along very badly and are crossed by personal conflicts, ego problems that complicate these processes. I think I did it right. Both times I did, I returned what was given to me better than what was given to me. Without pretending to teach anything, I thought it could be something inspiring for others.
—The analysis of organizations shows that generally everything has an end. Peter Drucker argued that success dies because the temptation to repeat success inevitably leads to failure. Did you perceive repetition as a problem?
—The success of a great organization can span the decade, as long as there is renewal; but I am a motorcyclist, if the expression fits. I am my own body. It is complex to renew without making a radical change. In PROFILE, in other media, in organizations, in companies, you see the same brand, name, logo for decades, but the change is permanent.
“Argentina became dramatically anachronistic.”
—Here you are changing.
—You mentioned August. Strictly speaking, you knew very well that I was thinking this before. For at least two years I had been thinking about the need to do something more disruptive and not be carried away by events, but rather make a personal determination. I was very lucky in my career. I was led by circumstances. My life is a kind of crazy race, pushed by the context. I thought very seriously about making a personal determination, regardless of the environment.
—And the context helped the determination.
—Economists say, "I can't say when there will be a devaluation, but there will be."
—I knew exactly what was going to happen, I don't know when. Juan Alberto Badía, who knew how to handle times masterfully, especially with Badía and company, retired when he was at the top. I knew that my validity as leader of the Argentine radio would have a limit. Within a day, a month, a year, eight? I haven't the slightest idea. But the question turned around in my head. I saw very decadent processes of very successful colleagues of mine that ended very badly. I always kept in mind that notion of surrendering to the evidence that everything has a limit. That limit must be set by one. In my case, considering the circumstances of my life, 21 consecutive years of success in an industry like radio in Argentina, it turned out that it was enough. Pretending more was obscene. Now I can do other things.
—Adam Smith argued that recession was inherent in society because the successful human being tends to rest. It was necessary to wake him up in order to improve. Did you perceive that progress requires restrictions, that a little dissatisfaction is needed to be able to produce changes?
—This is a long process of at least two years that was accelerated by circumstances.
—Did you feel like “if I keep doing this, I'm going to become stagnant”?
—Anachronistic. An element that you are not considering, but I also took into account, has to do with Argentina. I had this in my head, as some of my friends, including you, have known for quite some time. He had found many difficulties to make the determination for responsibility, commitments, contracts, guilt. For a bunch of reasons. There was a context that accelerated the process. There I was more aware of the notion that we all have to understand that we have a limit. In certain circumstances it should be said: "I had this success, I am happy with myself and I give it to another to continue it." On CNN I had to interview subjects as opposed as Paquito de Rivera or Gustavo Yankelevich. Asking a personal question was unacceptable to me, until Yankelevich showed me, obviously unintentionally, how to conduct a very respectful interview when talking about the death of a daughter. I was embarrassed to ask someone about the death of their daughter. I would have been delirious if someone told me that he was related to his dead daughter.
—You got bored with the schedule.
—You are a newspaper. There are many and they follow a public agenda. I am alone.
—What you were saying: I am a motorcyclist, my body is my bodywork. Is there an existential intuition, like throwing yourself into destiny, that at that moment you have a special certainty? It is often said that the moment of decision is irrational.
—It was very thoughtful. I threw myself into something that I still don't know, but with great security. It's the first time in my career that I felt very confident in a determination. I had discussed it with friends, my family, my children. It was very thought out. I spent more than half the time outside of Argentina the last two years. He was traveling and learning and making notes outside the country. I was able to learn about things I didn't know existed. Working in New York was a privilege. I made the decision knowing that something was going to happen. I still don't know exactly what it will be. But the certainty is total.
—And do you believe in luck?
—A lot. I was very lucky. My career was very much determined by luck. I always bumped into the right people at the right times. There are many stories that prove it.
—Fernando Savater's philosophical dictionary, which is no wonder, does not include the word success and does include the word happiness, and associates it with joy. In José Ferrater Mora's, the word success does not appear either and happiness does appear. In this case, he quotes Aristotle, who has stated that happiness has been identified with many different goods, with virtue, with practical wisdom, with philosophical wisdom or with all of them accompanied or not by pleasure, and with prosperity. And he said that the best activities are comparable to happiness. Does your work make you happy? Was that happiness what you were losing?
—You are confronting me with a complex question. I don't know if I was happy, because I put duty before my happiness. It took me a lot of effort to feel accepted by my colleagues. It all cost me a lot of work, everything. I never put happiness on the table in the discussion with myself. I did what I had to do.
—You were a Kantian, the order of duty, and not an epicurean. Perhaps now you are opening up a bit to the need for pleasure.
—I'm happier than the last time I saw you. And certainly happier than twenty years ago. You speak of a Kantian attitude. I award it to my grandfather, who was a sodero. For my family of Italian immigrants, things had to be done accordingly. I followed that rule. One has to do things and must comply. I did not ask myself these years if I was happy or not. I had moments of great concern, anguish and also great happiness.
—Did you feel like an impostor in that dialectic of effort? Did it make you feel that others actually saw attributes that you had?
—An article once appeared in Clarín in the section called “The Impostor Syndrome.” I read it and I found myself identified with that idea that in summary would be like this: one day people are going to realize that I am very bad. It's something that happens to a lot of people.
—Or that you're not as good as they think.
—And that indeed one day they are going to find out and they are going to throw me out of everywhere. I made a huge effort to fight against that impostor syndrome that I would tell you that I am only now getting over it a little bit.
—Maybe for the first time you say: "I don't have to try so hard, I already proved enough, I'm not an impostor."
—I don't talk about my success, I find it obscene to do so. But this time I felt that there was indeed an acknowledgment. Finally I had ended with a success. My impostor syndrome went down a bit. I told myself that I must have done something right.
—Or that now they won't find out.
—(Laughs) I close the most relevant cycle of my career. It's been 21 years plus two previous years of radio América doing radio in the morning. 23 consecutive years doing the first morning of the radio, I feel a bit successful.
“I'm a motorcyclist; I am my own body.”
—Hence the word exit, success, termination.
—That's pretty cool.
—Let me get into journalism. The Harvard business school points out ten success stories linked to communication: Chiara Ferragni and her blog, Sir Ferguson and his management at Manchester, Taylor Swift and her retirement from Spotify, Cirque du Soleil alliances, the Walt Disney Company with Pixar. And so I could go on. Amazon.com, Star Wars, Gaga's marketing. In journalism, what do you highlight? What success do you see?
—I have idols. It's nice to have idols, because idols inspire you and you try to emulate them.
—They're a beacon.
—Iñaki Gabilondo or Thomas Friedman. I interviewed him for CNN and I find him a literally great character. Indro Montanelli. A colleague of yours, the Italian newspaper editor, a romantic, journalist and writer. Or Ben Bradlee.
—The one with the good life. His book was “Good Life”. If you had to write the book of your life today, would you feel identified with that title?
—In other words, you wouldn't change anything or very little.
—Even considering that I suffered a lot and that at times I had a really bad time, now from this position, if you want a little comfortable, that I have, I can say: “OK. I left. I am a success. Take".
—Comply locked in the etymonology of success.
—Looking back I tell myself that I didn't do it so badly and, taking out some other detail, I wouldn't change anything. I am not a specialist in looking at processes like you, as director of a newspaper. I look at figures. I'm obviously interested in Friedman, a very lucid guy. Jaime Bayly seems very interesting to me, as a television phenomenon he is extraordinary. I share your point of view or not. But as a television phenomenon, it is a character for me.
—Another fact is that he can talk for an hour without stopping.
—He is Peruvian and Peruvians have that gift of speech and language. They speak the best Spanish in the world. This week Gabilondo wrote to me. I almost died, because he was the most important journalist in the world of Spanish-speaking radio. He retired of great and fed up. I felt identified with the second part, with the fed up part. I interviewed him when he retired, we had a complex dialogue because he is not a very friendly person. I quoted him in my final comment on radio Miter. He found out and sent me a very moved message to thank me for the appointment and asked for my email address so he could write to me. That episode, probably minor, filled me with pride.
—Plato argued that there were three basic ideas: beautiful, good and true, and that rationality was trying to match those three things. And one could say that journalism in its moment of glory, which was post-Watergate, could manage to amalgamate these three concepts or be inspired by those three concepts. Has journalism lost strength, quality, ethical levels, and could not reconcile those three Platonic values?
—Among all the things I'm not an expert on, one of them is media. I limited myself to the task of being a journalist or chronicler, or an interviewer, or a columnist, or a commentator. This revolution today confronts us with the classical media to review our own quality. As classic publishers that we are, we question how things are published today. I still have a very classical view. For me, a media outlet is a place where there is an editor, a guy who decides what is relevant and what is not.
—What a cure. The analogy and association with medicine is inevitable. It cures you of errors or fake news...
—In the world of digital journalism, on social networks and even on the internet pages of many classic media, although there are some exceptions, algorithms or people intervene to decide what is relevant and what is not without a professional eye . It confronts us with a crazed journalism, out of format, for which Wanda Nara is the same as the invasion of one country into another.
—Someone has to figure out whether Wanda Nara or China's eventual invasion of Taiwan is more relevant. It forces us classic journalists to be better, to improve our quality. We work with the concept of truth. We are supposed to tell the truth, or our truth, or the guys who investigate things are going to reveal truths.
—Forty years of journalism gave you wisdom and today your assertiveness is in another range?
—The word wisdom is a bit big for me, but I knew how to change. Look at Lula's process, for example, with Cardoso. It is one of the most interesting in the region. Can you imagine a similar scene in Argentina today?
—I hope that in 2023 yes; Today it is absolutely unimaginable.
—I think not. I am more pessimistic than you.
—In the National Academy of Journalism you occupy the chair of Alberto Gainza Paz. He was a liberal, but at the same time he was not a conservative. They closed the newspaper. He was a sophisticated person. Did you think why this chair touched me?
—It was lucky because I don't know how seats are assigned at the Academy. I don't know the procedure.
—These are available. But within those available, a certain affinity is sought.
—When I became aware of the matter, it gave me a kind of electricity: a subject of such magnitude who managed the newspaper La Prensa.
—It became the third most important newspaper in the continent, behind only the “Washington Post” and the “New York Times”, and tenth in the world. Which also speaks of how Argentine journalism lost specific weight, probably "pari passu" with the loss of specific weight in Argentina.
—“La Prensa” was the number one Spanish-language newspaper during the 20th century.
—When I started out in journalism, I used to go to the old La Prensa building a lot, because I was a friend of a man named Manfred Schönfeld, whom you will surely remember. He was twenty-something years old and tried to watch, like Alfredo Serra did, without you knowing it, in Perfil on Sarmiento street. Alfredo did it in the magazine Gente before being with you in that famous magazine so extravagant that you made called Perfil, which was crazy great. Alfredo Serra let me look inside Gente magazine, he let me look inside your editorial without you knowing, and Schönfeld let me look at how La Prensa was made. When I found out that the chair that was my lottery was that of Gainza Paz, I remembered those somewhat romantic scenes at night in the patio of the newspaper La Prensa, with that balcony above the patio, with the journalists' offices that overlooked the balcony and you could hear the typewriters of that time. I didn't work there, but I learned from it. The academy chair connected me to the idea that I walked those halls learning this job.
—Is the current situation of journalism attributable to some other element, beyond social networks and the algorithm?
—I took some ideas that I read to Gabilondo. There is a lot of very cheap salary. Many people want to be famous and not a journalist. Some general degradation that exists in the processes. To be a producer for Bernardo Neustadt I had to spend three years buying croissants, until they let me dial a phone. At some point journalism became fashionable as a career. And for us, those of 60 and above, journalism is not studied in any university. I come from the street; Others will come from studying history, like Carlos Pagni, or from being Harvard professors like Mariano Grondona or quasi-philosophers like you, but where did you get that a journalist is made in a college?
—A technique is taught.
—Did politics, with its polarization, also contribute to infecting the media? “6-7-8” and its style of belligerent journalism was sort of ahead of time.
—That happens all over the world. It happens in Spain and it happens in the United States. Since I do television in the United States and Spanish-speaking people see me, those who work in restaurants know me. We had a great episode at a restaurant called Taboo. We were with Laura, one of my children and the twins, and the waiters come to take pictures at the table. They were Mexican, Colombian and Peruvian. There was no one there anymore, it was around nine at night, everything closes early there. The waiters sat down with us and we chatted for about an hour. At the back of the restaurant there was a couple of elderly gentlemen, typical Republican voters. The man dressed in red pants, a green jacket, white shoes, a hat, and the very elegant lady. Surely there would be a Rolls-Royce and a driver at the door and they would be Trump's neighbors. When they come out, they ask me where I was from because the guys were surprised that the waiters were at the table with us. I replied that I was Argentine. He asked me if I was the president of the country. "No, I'm a journalist." "Where from?". "From CNN." The guy bitched me two blocks arguing that I was an employee of George Soros and an accomplice of the famous pizzeria where Soros and the Clinton family treated minors and tried to impeach Trump at the same time. He also accused us of having assassinated John Kennedy. “Fake news! Fake news!” the guy yelled at me. It never happened to me.
—I was a Fox viewer.
—Yes. The amazing thing is that he didn't know me. He wasn't referring to something I had said or a question from a report. It was only because I introduced myself as a CNN journalist. It is an example that the subject already exceeds what we have been saying. If I told him I worked at Fox, the guy would have sat down at the table. The crack runs through everything and I find it a tragedy. It is also a very Argentine tragedy. I share the vision of PROFILE in general, and Noticias magazine in particular, regarding the tragedy that the crack means. It is a worldwide phenomenon and we Argentines were pioneers. I find it dramatic. Argentina requires urgent consensus to modernize.
—Was that also what bored you? It bored you, it hurt you, it annoyed you to see that mainstream journalism was trapped in that crack.
—We're all trapped in the rift. Pagni is an exception, you who work otherwise. We have all been through the crack. And when I ran from that place, I received criticism from both sides. I interviewed the then-elect president Alberto Fernández on radio Miter. It is normal for a journalist to interview an elected president, whether I like it or not. It was the Argentines who elected this gentleman. I interviewed him twice. The amount of insults we received on the radio for interviewing the President was terrible.
—And vice versa, a few years earlier they would have reacted differently to a report when Alberto Fernández criticized Cristina Kirchner...
—He even said that she was in a psychiatric hospital and that she was a murderer. They applauded me there. For classic journalism that is very complicated. Many people know how to fly over that crack very well: Carlos Pagni is an example, PROFILE is another example. You must pay a cost for your anticyclical position in the face of events in Argentina.
“From a political point of view, 2001 can be repeated.”
—Maybe harvest and sow coincide.
—I don't know how many trolls there are.
—The man in the restaurant was real.
—Except for a deliberately violent episode on your doorstep a few years ago, I didn't have any problems. None. I did not have a single problem in the street in Kirchner Argentina. Neither insult nor offense. I didn't have a single bitch.
—The paradox is that in the United States in a little while you had a guy who bitched you two blocks away.
—I have colleagues who are important friends of mine who go out on the streets with black glasses and a beanie. I don't use tinted windows. I go to the pharmacy, to the supermarket, I lead my normal life, I walk, I go to bars.
—Is there in all of this the transideological character implied in aesthetics?
—They recognize that you respectfully express your opinion.
—Did you see the house where you spent your childhood and adolescence again?
—I was born at Pasteur 76. Until I was 18 years old, my neighborhood was the limit of Once and Congreso. My family was lower middle class. My father stopped having a stable job after the Rodrigazo, when I was 13 or 14 years old. From that moment he had great job instability. In those days, for one's mother to go to work was rare. Even so, my mom became an employee of a company for many, many years.
—Your friends' mothers didn't work.
—No. They were at his house and the one who worked was his father. In my house, many times it was the other way around. My mom worked and not my dad because he didn't have a job. My family comes from Martín García Island. Italian immigrant merchant sailors who were dedicated to operating lighthouses.
—They operated headlights. They were in communication.
—In a way, yes. Headlights have always had an obsession on me.
—Does marking a point of view make you a kind of beacon?
—The point of view can be a lighthouse, yes. But I never saw myself as such a thing.
—You had to work and endure difficulties typical of older people. When you look at the list of the richest people in the United States, they all agree that there is a much higher proportion of people who dropped out, they are called "drop outs." The explanation is that, having abandoned their studies, they began their first ventures before the others and were ahead of their generation.
—Chance, luck and Mr. Taylor played a fundamental role. He sent me to buy him the same sandwich every day at the bar on the corner of Reconquista and Lavalle. Always with a ticket, a kind of large ticket that was punched at the door of the Stock Exchange, to look for the Stock Market newspaper. There was no Financial Scope yet. Then he would send me to look at the blackboard and take notes. From time to time he would send me to the library of the Stock Exchange to look for something. I had very little money and there were books there. At that point in my life I had not read anything. The first thing I bought in my life were the cheap books that were sold on the Stock Exchange 45 years ago. They were basically books from the Austrian School of Economics. Friedrich Hayek, Ludwig von Mises.
—Exactly, and from Espert.
—And today you are a liberal, as they say in the United States, next to that conservative.
—I'm more heterodox about what I educated myself with. If in that library, instead of selling books by Mises, they had offered books by Trotsky, I would have read that. It was what there was. Since I lied to my parents and told them that I was going to school at night, it was a very complicated situation. When they kicked me out of school, my dad wanted to kill me. I went to work, I didn't want to go back to school. I was not interested. I lied to them for two years and told them that I was going to school at night, but one day they discovered me. It was my mom, but she never told my dad, or at least I never knew she told him. For two years, I went down Corrientes Avenue, when La Paz existed, the bars and that emblematic night. I became friends with Federico Peralta Ramos as a boy. I have a napkin on my desk, small like that, written by him in 1985. It says: "You don't have the physique of a winner, but you are a winner, Federico Peralta Ramos 1985, La Paz bar." I pretended that I was at school. I think I lasted only three days in the Sarmiento nocturne. I wanted to read Mises. Chemistry and geometry were intolerable to me. I was stimulated by another world: working with Mr. Taylor and reading Mises. He bought books on Corrientes Avenue. I started reading at a very young age in a completely self-taught way.
—When you said “now I'm doing it”, it's not very difficult to interpret that it has reminiscences with being fired from Radio 10, but rather with the great fire, which I suppose at 15 must have been something tremendous. Could it be said that "now I do it myself" was not a topic neither with radio Miter nor with Argentina, it was with fortune?
—My life was marked by pitches. They kicked me out of school, Eurnekian and López kicked me out. A former schoolmate whose name I don't remember wrote me a very nice email when I was fired from Radio 10. He told me: “You are underestimating how relevant it is to be fired. Every time they fired you, you came out better." If they hadn't kicked me out of school, it would be very likely that I wouldn't be here with you. It would probably be an accountant for a hanger factory or something else.
—Or Taylor's accountant.
—Who hired cadets. I understood and I also reconciled with the pitches of my career.
—The famous oriental phrase: crisis means opportunity.
—This is how this phrase arose as something symbolic: "Now I'm doing it myself." It is an act of authority. Who kicks you out exercises authority over you. This time the authority was me.
—Actually, the authority in this case was not the man from radio Miter, the authority was God or fortune. The authority was not in the boss. He was into something metaphysical. Perhaps you revealed yourself to the Salesians, who kicked you out of school.
—Father Chart, who grabbed me by the ear and deposited me on the corner to kick me out and told me: “I'm going to leave him far from school so he never goes through this block again.” He took me like this to Solís and Alsina. That's how it was: away from school.
—Did you ever go back to school?
—I came back and it reminded me of Alcatraz. I had a terrible feeling. My sons went to a school in the Province, in Tortuguitas. It was a garden filled with balloons, flowers, soccer balls, arches, bouncing games, and sunny windows. I tried to explain to them that this was not normal. That normal schools were dark, with frosted windows and stairs painted gray. I told them: "I'm going to take them to my school, so they can see how horrible a normal school is." And I did it. The same thing happened to me with my grandparents' house. I found it monumental and, at the same time, depressing, dark, sordid.
—The boyish look reappeared.
—The same thing happened to me with you when we had lunch in this office. I couldn't stop looking at that window, because I could see the building on the corner of my grandparents' house in La Boca, Olavarría 351. I spent my childhood in the La Boca neighborhood. I left that lunch with you here and went to see what the tenement was like.
—Your grandfather sodero?
—Exactly. Olavarría and Admiral Brown.
—Five years ago.
—My grandfather passed away. My grandmother left that house and she never came back. He hadn't been there for forty years. I got to the door. There were two ladies. I never cheat, but sometimes I say: “I'm Longobardi, the one on TV, the one on the radio. I spent my childhood in this house. My grandparents lived in the back." "I live in the background," they told me. They were foreigners. There were several shacks. "I would like to go in for a second to see what my grandfather's patio and bathroom were like, and the room." They didn't like the idea, but I convinced them and entered. "One minute". And of course: everything that as a boy is of colossal proportions... this was directly infinitesimal. I don't understand how I played ball in that yard. It was a very beautiful moment, from that extraordinary window in your office.
—Did you listen to the radio in your house?
—Yes. Mainland Radio. Fontana show, in Rivadavia, my first memory of the radio. The second was a time for Continental with Carlos Burone, Osiris Troiani and Hugo Guerrero Marthineitz. I presume that Magdalena Ruiz Guiñazú would be there early. I don't remember it with absolute precision, but it was what was heard in my house. I remember some fabulous discussions that took place between Burone and Troiani. Osiris Troiani was an important journalist. Burone was on the extreme right and Troiani was more progressive, if I remember correctly. I was less than 15 years old. My mom listened to Marthineitz. It was as if the Pope were speaking.
—Marthineitz looks like Jaime Bayly. That speaks Peruvian...
—The good saying, of the use of language. When he was older, the influence he had on me in particular was a great program by “Cholo” Oscar Gómez Castañón on Continental, with Jorge Jacobson. El Cholo made everything around him good. It doesn't matter if it was Jacobson, Luis Majul or Carolina Perin. He did everything right.
—The whole as more than the sum of its parts.
—I told Cholo, although I think he never took me very seriously. He is not aware of the influence of that program, Modern Times, on my later career. I learned from Cholo that on the radio you have to be empathetic, kind. You don't have to be selfish. You have to make others shine. On the other side there are people who listen to you and let you into their house. You wake them up, accompany them to sleep. They take the boys to school with your company. Cholo never gave me a class, but a lot of what I built, especially in Mitre, was very inspired by him. He wrote me a message the other day, celebrating my farewell.
—Farewells are not normally celebrated. You count it as a transition. They are celebrating a birth. What you tell is something that is being born.
—That's true. Many people congratulated me, they were happy. If I think about it, I tell myself that they were glad that I left. But the joy was because of the mode.
“I am concerned that Argentina will once again settle its conflicts through a new collapse.”
—First your grandparents' house, then your parents' house in Once. Beyond reading Von Mises, do you remember any publication at home?
—In my house we didn't read, we listened to opera. I didn't know she was learning a lot from it. I realized many years later. I am a fan of opera and quite a specialist on the subject. When my dad played María Callas or Renata Tebaldi, I found it unbearable yelling. But it looks like it worked. Over the years I became more knowledgeable and fanatical than my parents. They were very humble, but they had some records. In my house there was a combination. The day it was bought it was as if a UFO had arrived at my house. On Sunday mornings, Madame Butterfly was listened to religiously at my house. It covered my ears, it was a tremendous thing for me, but over the years my relationship with music became very strong.
—Was reading Von Mises and going to the Stock Market what made you found the magazine “Apertura” in your early twenties?
—Yes. We founded it in 1983, at the beginning of democracy. He was very influenced by the readings of the 15 years. I was twenty-something and saw the world from that perspective. The world was what von Mises said.
—Founding a magazine at that age is something very precocious.
—It was in a bar, on a corner. It was founded as a magazine for the dissemination of ideas. Soon it was such a failure that we had to turn it into professional journalism.
—Did Héctor Ricardo García give you a loan?
—Héctor Ricardo García, whom I had the honor of meeting, gave us the first edition. It was printed in the Crónica machines on Avenida Garay. I remember standing in front of such a monster that spit out magazines. I could not believe it. We had founded a magazine with a friend on a corner of Córdoba street. The magazine became professionalized to such an extent that today it is probably the main economic magazine in Argentina. But it started as a more political magazine.
—The first cover was: “What censors censorship?”.
—Exactly. It was the end of the military era.
—In this same series of reports we interviewed Fernando Marín, who has a lot to do with your story. He said that "radio is infinite, immortal, it will never die." Do you share that vision?
—She was a little more oblivious to the onslaught of new technologies. In Argentina it is very valid. But I go to the United States and my colleagues and the big producers tell me that the key is in the podcast. When you ask them how it is financed, the answer is: “Spotify”. That's when I started learning something new. I started listening to great producers in the United States, like Emilio Estefan, Walter Kolm; guys who run huge stars watch Spotify and podcasts. I don't know where that process will end.
—The question of the voice. Experts in media semiology say that radio, or any sound version, has a greater attraction and fidelity effect than television. They talk about the “pied piper of Hamelin” effect: a sensory issue analogous to that of music. The image obviously does not produce the digital language of the word either. Someone from the radio can take, as you proved in Argentina, the audience of a complete radio station to another. On television, nobody takes the entire audience from one channel to another, even if they were the biggest star.
—That episode was a unique and unrepeatable phenomenon. If I set out to do the same now, I wouldn't make it. You can't take things out of context. And that happened after a very particular story that had occurred on Radio 10 with a very special mystique. It happened after a persecution that the Kirchner family exerted on me in particular and on the rest of the radio as well. It was a very particular moment in Argentina.
—And at the same time a radio like Miter was available.
—That he had the potential to be a leader. There was a set of unrepeatable elements. There was a story of mine on Radio 10 brutally aborted by the Kirchners.
—On television there are similar cases, but the voice produces a connection with the audience.
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—Nothing is comparable to what happened with the radio. I have suffered program uprisings, I have suffered the famous episode of the Anillaco track, about which you wrote at the time when all the media looked at the episode from the point of view that the media had the right to choose whether or not to publish an investigation about a presidential episode. The only one who wrote something different was you. It was the only medium that supported me on a personal level. For me it was something unforgettable. You were the only one Neither Clarín, nor La Nación, nobody did what Noticias magazine did. But the Radio 10 episode was much more powerful. I attributed it to something else. I don't know about semiology or semiotics. I put it down to the relationship we had with the listener. We are, we were, a very united team: María Isabel Sánchez, Rolo Villar, Alberto Cormillot, Willy Kohan, Leandro Buonsante. We were very honest with each other, with the listeners, we had a lot of fun. We offered a point of view. We convey that we are a team that is having a great time. At Miter we spread that idea. We achieved a kind of general communion. For that, a connection is needed, a good relationship between the teams, the people, and respecting the listeners. Put ourselves in their place and not be unattainable stars. be normal
—You clearly don't expect to repeat it on another radio.
—No. It is impossible.
—Marín recounted in that interview, speaking of you: “I saw your capacity for action and innate talent. One night at home I told myself that I would give him the lead for the morning prime time of radio station El Mundo and at that time I didn't know anyone about Longobardi”. What was Marcelo Longobardi like at that time?
—Marín was a monster. He had invented VideoShow. In keeping with the times, he was a bad boss. He was an authoritarian guy, very tough. He had a driver named José. When it came, it was terrifying. He communicated from a walkie talkie from the car.
—There were no cell phones.
—If the slightest defect occurred on the air, Marín would call you a walkie talkie and leave through the corridors. He was the Big Brother. An intimidating character.
—We are talking about the year 1985.
—Even from looks he was intimidating. He was also a great hit maker. A guy as successful as the hits he created. The Watching Machine, VideoShow, Minguito. You entered his office and you were overwhelmed by the photos of Marín with the figures he had produced: Carlos Monzón, Guillermo Vilas, Minguito, Riverito, Juan Carlos Mesa. I came from a very brief career in radio. He had worked as a producer for Bernardo Neustadt for a few years. He allowed me a column. That column lasted, like everything Neustadt promised, three days. He was a very difficult guy. I managed to produce a program on Saturday mornings on Radio Argentina, when it was owned by Ricardo Gangeme, in the 80s, who was the director of Crónica, who served you with a gun on the desk. another character.
—You were 24 years old.
—I used to do a show on Saturday mornings. One day he said to me: "Are you a producer from Neustadt?" "Yeah". “I am going to promote that Neustadt will participate in his program. You interview him tomorrow and I put out ads in Crónica and we say: 'Longobardi and Neustadt on Radio Argentina'”. Neustadt was worse than Gangeme and Marin. I couldn't ask him. I told him, "I have no way of achieving such a thing." He kicked me out on the spot. I don't know why I came across a man, Loustau Heguy, owner of the El Mundo radio station in the 1980s. El Mundo was a very important radio station, a bit like Mitre. He had an extraordinary schedule. Daniel Mendoza, Juan Carlos Mesa, Minguito, Mariano Grondona, Alejandro Dolina, Carlos Legnani. It was a hellish radio. That's where I spent Sunday mornings. Marín sells me a space on Sunday mornings in exchange for my four advertisers, which I had obtained, which of course lasted three months. I did not get more financing than that. And three months later, Marín fights with Daniel Mendoza, the morning driver, because he went on television. He was the one who inaugurated television in the morning, before Victor Hugo. That's when he told me: "Kid, the bus passes only once."
—He told you verbatim: "Starting tomorrow, if you are encouraged, and you have to be encouraged, you will host the morning of El Mundo." Your face, I don't know if it was surprised, happy or terrified. Surely it must be all three at once.”
—He gave me some advice that I still remember: “Kid, you're always on 9 de Julio. Not for Cerrito, not for Carlos Pellegrini”. Marín was decisive. Why did you trust me? I have no idea. I guess lucky.
—Like Mr. Taylor's accountant.
—He was left without a driver. It was April '85, he had no driver available. I was passing by and they put me. If he saw something else in me, he never told me. It was very hard. At the time I hated him because he was bad as hell. But as the years go by, I have eternal gratitude. The following year, in 1986, Bernardo Neustadt changed radio. He goes from Miter to Del Plata. A very rare change for the time. It occurs to Marín to put Grondona on my schedule to compete against Neustadt. I told him: “You are crazy, because Mariano Grondona is going to put up with this for three weeks. I know Grondona. In the morning sleep. If you get him to come here at six in the morning, he won't have any ideas at that time." He kicked me out immediately, because Marín didn't tolerate someone contradicting him. There I returned with Neustadt. My experience with Marín lasted a year. I confronted him because it occurred to me to contradict him. And to that class of characters, to Alejandro Romay, to Marín, I presume that the same with Goar Mestre, they were not contradicted.
“A good journalist writes a great report even on a broom.”
—Neustadt said he slept four hours. How was your relationship with sleep over the years getting up at four in the morning?
—This is a very complicated subject. I was in contact with people who did this work, Magdalena, Nelson Castro, Neustadt. I saw very different processes. The case most similar to mine is that of Magdalena Ruiz Guiñazú. I talked a lot with her about it. He told me he never got used to it. The day after he went on vacation, that supposed cellular memory is erased. You become normal immediately. That happens to me. I saw Nelson Castro. We shared many years together between Radio del Plata and Radio América. We were in the same building, studio against studio. Nelson would arrive at five in the morning impeccably dressed, in a suit and tie, a little scarf. Impeccable, with his portfolio. You didn't know if it was five in the afternoon or four in the morning for him. It is a kind of machine. Something amazing. Neustadt lied a lot. He was a great marketer. "I'm so old, I sleep four hours." It became a crutch. If it slept four or six, I have no idea. But it's hard to get up at four in the morning and be working four fifteen. Not having that nice part of life to get up, have breakfast, read the newspaper.
—You say four and a quarter. In the car that was taking you, you were reading the newspapers.
—I was getting out of bed and into the car. I was missing a batitubo. That is very hard.
—In the car you ate breakfast and read the newspapers.
—I drank a coffee cracking at home and read in the car until the pandemic, when we all started working from home. That requires a lot of discipline and sacrifice. It is a very big effort, which deprives you of having a coffee after dinner, of eating impromptu with your children, of watching them have breakfast. I saw my daughters, the twins, have breakfast one day when I had a fever and did not go on the radio. I never saw my children go to school.
—How much are you sleeping these days?
—I slept almost ten hours a day. My body asked me to sleep a lot.
—Neustadt founded his own radio station, Milenium. Did you have a similar idea?
—How much of your show was produced the day before and how much depended on the spontaneity of the moment?
—The program had a format that I modified over time. Within that format, it was all improvised. I never knew what anyone was going to say. I never asked a partner what he was going to say. Neither Alberto, nor Leandro Buonsante, nor Rolo Villar, nor María, nor Willy. I prepared my part, until the pandemic, when I got up. What appeared in the program was resolved from four in the morning. With the pandemic, as we changed the format of work, I started producing part of it, for example my famous summary, the night before. It was a change that had to do with the pandemic and the amount of super relevant information.
—During the pandemic, you didn't need to wait to read the newspapers, because your source of information was international.
—The scan object did not need the journals.
—It was a global issue. I read a lot of the foreign press. I took a lot of information from international news to tell in Argentina.
—Did spending more time abroad, in the United States, change your perspective?
—Ordinary journalists work deep in Argentina. We are necessarily domestic. Excluding the owners of the media or people like you, who had media in other countries, the normal types are involved in Argentina. We watch, talk, write and interview things that happen in the country. When you start traveling, you learn and see another agenda.
—Did that make you more progressive too?
—It may be that I have accentuated that trait.
—Seeing the United States of Donald Trump bothered you...
—Trump's America was unacceptable to me.
—The same as Kirchnerism?
—I'd say worse. The degradation of American democracy was a very pitiful process for me. Trump was worse than the Kirchners. The Kirchners are, finally, a domestic phenomenon, a classic in Argentina. American democracy has a radical influence on the rest of the world. That he degraded himself as a result of a psychopath, a liar, an autocrat, was very dangerous for me. Trump could have put the world in danger. Luckily, Cristina Kirchner does not have such weapons or scope.
—You said that you ran further towards the center, becoming interdisciplinary, “I interpret the truth as polysemic, I have a different relationship with objectivity”. How would you define yourself ideologically?
—Argentina is an anachronistic country. I don't care if it's from the left or the right, it doesn't interest me much.
“It was the first time in my career that I felt so sure of a determination.”
—You wouldn't mind if he was left-wing if he were modern.
—I see an anachronistic country that requires urgent consensus regarding modernity. I don't care if that consensus is made up of Cristina Kirchner, Mauricio Macri. I'm not interested. It matters to me that there exists in Argentina a notion of modernity, of diversity, of integration, of multiculturalism. It must be agreed upon by politics. Let the country get behind the idea of modernizing. Argentina needs consensus and agreements; therefore, it requires leaders. There are no consensuses and agreements without leaders who formulate, propose and execute them. The last relevant consensus that existed in Argentina was that of Carlos Menem, Raúl Alfonsín, Eduardo Duhalde and Dante Caputo, when they agreed to reform the Constitution. It doesn't matter if for better or for worse. I don't remember another episode of Argentine politics in which something was agreed upon. We are in the presence of this phenomenon again, the same as in 2001, that Argentina will use the collapse to resolve a political conflict. Starting from our ineptitude to reach an agreement. Finally, politics chooses an uncivilized way to resolve a conflict. I am interested in looking at 2001 from a political point of view, not financial, exchange rate, but political. Politically, that was it. A group of political leaders resolved the conflict that existed, within Peronism and within the Alliance, and settled with a collapse. That was what happened. We are close to the same thing happening. That all these people who have no way of agreeing, neither within the ruling party nor within the opposition, choose to settle the conflict through collapse. In Argentina, elections do not settle a problem, they open it up. An election is supposed to solve problems of power. That does not happen in Argentina. The fight for power is continuous, it looks like a merry-go-round. Not for ever. Observing how Argentine politics acts shows an extraordinary phenomenon. The main conflict is not taking place, as in 2001, between the coalitions. It goes inside them. In the opposition, there are three or four lines in conflict, including Macri. On the side of the ruling party, the same thing happens between Alberto, the governors, the classic Peronists, the Kirchnerists, La Cámpora. An eternal conflict, which is not resolved. Not even an election resolves the conflict, nor who is above, who is below, who is in charge, who is not, who is the opposition and who is the official.
—Do you see a 2001 about to repeat itself?
—About to be repeated from a political point of view. Obviously, there are certain problems that are not there.
—In 2001, the economy, in its own collapse, created retirement conditions for a number of people. What would a political but not an economic collapse look like?
—Cristina Kirchner could abandon Alberto Fernández to his fate on Monday, November 15, or a week later with a letter. What happened to Fernando de la Rúa but that Raúl Alfonsín and Carlos "Chacho" Álvarez abandoned him? The radical internal was settled. There was an understanding in the province of Buenos Aires, between two leaders of opposing parties, but connected by demographics: Alfonsín and Duhalde. We are in the presence of a similar scenario. Let Cristina Kirchner and Peronism abandon Alberto Fernández to his fate and the conflict settles with the collapse. Collapse everything and then we see. 2001. There is a second alternative that is worse, and a third that is very good. The second is that Cristina Kirchner captures the government of Alberto Fernández, but following the extraordinary reasoning of the first Joe Biden a year ago: there are no longer populisms, there are autrocracies. The populist processes have no money and the autocratic risk is worse than the populist one, and Cristina Kirchner has to recover what she is supposed to have lost in this election: the representation of the poor. There was an equation that explained Kirchnerism: there is a combination of dramatic poverty and a demographic problem. In Argentina, demography is an issue that is off the agenda, except in your case, that you were the only one who put demography as an issue that should be discussed in Argentina. If I remember correctly, it was you. I may be very bad at what I do, but I have an elephant's memory. So, I took that idea of yours and I always incorporated the demographic problem into my point of view. That combination has electoral derivations. If poverty were distributed in a more democratic way, to call it somehow, the impact of that vote would be more balanced. The demographic concentration of poverty is called Kirchnerism. This process bypasses the private sector. This system does not live off the private sector, it lives off the subsidy. Argentina pays 20 million salaries to people who are outside the system. What's more, they are already poor people with jobs. We are in an instance with the highest level of social spending in history. We do not stop producing poor people. The primaries punctured this equation. Something broke. The equation poverty, demography, vote is not so mathematical. It enters into discussion who represents the poor in Argentina. If the classic political system, the PRO, Peronism, Kichnerism or the types outside the system, like the Juan Grabois. I have nothing against Grabois, I prefer people to be represented by the classical political system and not by social leaders.
—A hypothesis is a Cristina Kirchner trying to recover the representation of that sector?
—Off-system or off-system. Crazy things happen in the world and nobody gets too hot. It happens in Hungary, Poland, Austria, Brazil.
—You also talked about an option that could be very good.
—We agree that a political crisis is coming. When Raúl Alfonsín introduced the figure of the chief of staff in the reform of the Constitution, what I discussed with him in private and with Dante Caputo himself, with whom I had a very close relationship, was the idea of the prime minister, not of the chief of Cabinet, which later became attenuated with the Chief of Staff, which never meant anything.
—And that, as the only proposal, Congress did not appoint him, but could remove him.
—So, he introduces into a presidential American Constitution a central principle of parliamentary European democracies, a prime minister. From what I heard from Dante and from him, the idea of what we do if we have an institutional problem prevailed. I raised this issue with Carlos Pagni in a private conference that took place at FIEL. I asked him if he shared with me the idea that a way out of this crisis could be for Parliament to determine or appoint by consensus a chief of staff, to appoint Jorge Remes Lenicov or Roberto Lavagna, who will take this dramatic story to some port. in 2023. It reminded me of something I didn't know, which is that this idea was attempted in 2001 with Duhalde. That Alfonsín brought De la Rúa the idea that, since his government was falling inexorably, a prime minister, who was Eduardo Duhalde, could save it. De la Rúa gave up that alternative and ended up falling. We are at the right time to rescue from that frightful reform of the Constitution that Menem and Alfonsín made in the 80s and 90s this brilliant idea of a Chief of Staff who can lead Argentina to a good port without breaking the institutions. A Mario Draghi. I don't know if it's Manzur or another.
“The demographic concentration of poverty is called Kirchnerism.”
—A character compared to Mario Draghi is Roberto Lavagna.
—A Lavagna, a Juan Schiaretti. We could see who it should be. Two or three names come to mind. Lavagna is one of them. Some super-prestigious governor: Schiaretti or Sergio Uñac, who say he is a modern and reasonable guy.
—Are you going to live in the United States?
—No. I told my boss at CNN, Mrs. Cynthia Hudson, that I have two plans among my plans. One, that I want to be more global. And another, that I want to be more free. And being more global is not being global because that's not enough for me, but I do want to be a little more global, like Bayly, or my colleagues at CNN, like Fernando del Rincón or like Carmen Aristegui. Have a broader agenda of themes, characters and settings. I want to go to France to interview Anne Hidalgo. It may happen that France has a Spanish female president. The country of Charles de Gaulle, Georges Pompidou, François Mitterrand can have a woman born in Cádiz. I want to interview her. I want to be freer. Being able to go and come back. Today you carry a television channel or a radio in a carry on, in a small suitcase. I walked with radio Miter for a year and a half around the world in a small suitcase of this size.
—You don't leave Argentina.
—What are you going to do in Argentina?
—CNN. CNN from here and CNN from abroad. I'm going to work for CNN. I have some projects that I don't want to get ahead of myself. I am working on a film that I am forbidden to talk about and I have some projects to do good quality journalism on the networks. I've got offers from super-good producers in the US to take care of it, to help me manage it, and from a very important local producer. I'm seeing who I do it with.
—Are you going to do a show with several CNN stars from all over the world?
—My Sunday show. Which is now part of a project in which Don Francisco is involved. CNN weighed in a certain way on Sunday nights.
—Could it be inferred that your view of a crisis like that of 2001 is a midwife of solutions?
—I think we can become Venezuela. Not exactly, because there are distances, obviously.
—In a metaphorical sense.
—Argentina is a more sophisticated country than Venezuela in economic terms to convert quickly.
—Would you stay to live in a country where that could happen?
—No. If I had to live with a dictatorship, I would leave. I don't think we'll get that far. What I want is to go and come back. When I say that I want to be more free, I don't mean to substitute one problem for another. I could do it, because in fact I have a work visa in the United States and I have offers to do it, but I want to go around. I don't want to go down a hole again. I want to go around the world. Such is the change that the pandemic produced in all of us, which is what is coming. You have to take advantage of that. It is wonderful.
—You're never going to get up at four in the morning again.
—I don't know. At the moment, no.
—Let me get to the final stretch and go back to the beginning. You dropped out of high school in the third year, you didn't go to university, and yet your language denotes reading. How is your relationship with reading?
—Because I was kind of a blank slate, I think I learned to be influenced.
—Like a sponge.
—I read a lot.
—You spoke about Jorge Luis Borges. Is your language constructed by fiction?
—Yes. Edgar Allan Poe. I reread it four hundred times. While I saw my friends reading Latin American literature, which I accessed much later, I was reading Victorian classics. Thomas de Quincey, or Poe. Poe was the best journalist in history. What's more, I recently got a book that compiles Poe's articles: obituaries, articles about weather, or a crime in American newspapers from the 1800s and something, when he was just any chronicler. He was a wonderful journalist. Later I found that same figure in Gabriel García Márquez, or Mario Vargas Llosa, extraordinary chroniclers. De Quincey, Edgar Allan Poe, Fiódor Dostoyevski, Borges, were readings that greatly influenced me.
—And now are you going to be able to have time to not have to read the newspapers so much and to be able to read more books?
—I'm picking up books, which I haven't done in a long time.
—Did the choice of music, in the case of the classical genre, sports, golf, have to do with the decision to build this Longobardi that you are? Was it an aesthetic formation, in addition to the epistemic one?
—I never thought of that. I really like beauty, which I lack, it is visible. I like beauty like the correct sense of proportions.
“The Kirchner family persecuted me.”
—Did you study Luca Pacioli, “The Divine Proportion”?
—A little bit, yes.
—In the academy, Plato first ordered to study geometry. After learning it, philosophy appeared.
—Everything has to do with everything. If you ask me what painting I like, although I don't have much painting, nor do I understand anything, I would answer Uruguayan constructivism: geometry, the beauty of proportions.
—The god who is in mathematics. There is a divine order there.
—Exactly. The golden proportions used by Uruguayan painters, such as José Gurvich or Joaquín Torres García, are hypnotic to me. A ladder, a sun and a little man drawn with the proportions of a Torres García or a Gurvich, or any of their successors, even Argentines, Adolfo Nigro, are magnetic to me. I find beauty in things in proportion. This notion regulated my professional life. Try to be proportionate. It also happens to me with music.
—And now with politics.
—Could it be said that, as a student of Marcelo, you were your own teacher?
—What grade would you give that student?
—As a strict teacher that I am, I'd give it a 6.
—Our two hours are up. What would you ask Longobardi if you were in the situation I am in now?
—I'd ask if he's happy.
—Are you happy?
—I'll think about it.
“I got tired of discussing Cristina, Macri, Macri, Cristina and Alberto every day”
—The etymology of “success” comes from the limit. For this reason, the English language takes success from "exit".
—Wow! I didn't know.
—Success would be fulfilling a purpose.
—If success is delivery, I was successful. An element also played a role. On an individual level, I was very involved in the Argentine debate for many years. I contributed to that debate with a personal point of view, spreading the point of view of people with whom I feel very comfortable: analysts, commentators, journalists, correspondents. This is a moment when Argentina became dramatically anachronistic. You need a discussion about how you are going to modernize. I felt too involved in a completely anachronistic discussion, which was unbearable at one point. I got tired of discussing Cristina, Macri, Macri, Cristina, Cristina, Macri, Cristina, Alberto and every day discussing stupid things.
—Repetition was also an endemic evil in Argentina.
—My friends in the radio and my colleagues at Radio 10 told me that I took things too personally. I never felt Argentina as something disconnected from me. I did not treat her like a doctor to a patient or an anthropologist or a historian to history.
—Going to do journalism in the United States would give you such ease. It is the reality of another.
—Exactly. I felt very free interviewing global leaders, commenting on international situations. It is possible to talk about Donald Trump, Iván Duque, Sebastián Piñera or Uruguay, with an even more objective perspective. You are out of the debate.
—It happens to me in Brazil. Their politicians do not cause me the same damage, the same sadness. It is an anthropological distance.
—Challenges below our capabilities bore, challenges far beyond our capabilities overwhelm, but a number of challenges a little beyond our capabilities aggravate them. Are you in that process?
—I have interesting challenges outside. It was quite a challenge for me to become what I am today at CNN, an interviewer for figures that I even underestimated at some point. If you had told me ten years ago “interview Thalia”, my answer would have been that she did not do reports on soap opera actresses. I learned that a good journalist makes a great report even on a broom. For example, no one ever asked Thalía about violence against women in Mexico. Or ask Maluma what his industry is like. Or interviewing boys who are 18 years old and have much more followers than you, than Clarín, than La Nación and me and all of us together because they sing and are inspiring figures for many people. I learned not to underestimate those processes.
“Disorder is a bit disturbing to me”
—There is a phrase attributed to Roberto De Vicenzo: “I get luckier the more I practice”. You are a golfer and you know what he is talking about.
—The phrase belongs to Gary Player, a great sportsman from South Africa. De Vicenzo used to repeat it. I was lucky when I ran into Fernando Marín. When I ran into Horacio Larrosa. In meeting Alejandro Romay when he was very young. Also when CNN searched for me. The same with the radio rating. I have or have had 262 months of total leadership without losing a single month by a long distance with the second. It is true that there was work and a lot of effort, sacrifice and discipline.
—And how do you get along with the order?
—Does clutter bother you?
—A lot. I am neat and symmetrical. Someone who knows psychology like you will know how to interpret it. The mess is a bit disturbing to me. Since what I do is hard for me, I made a great effort. I understand that I lack natural conditions to do so. I see Carlos Pagni and I wonder how this guy talks without looking at a piece of paper for sixty minutes. I don't have that gift or that talent. I made a great personal sacrifice of discipline and effort. For that I needed order. Order in the schedules, in the ways of working, in the physical.
—See what a paradox. You are bored by repetition, which would be order taken to the extreme, almost lethal, but you also have a particular relationship with the unexpected.
—It's new. My relationship with the unpredictable is new. It is the first time in my life that I decide to face the unpredictable. At the time, it was decided by others. Like when they kicked me out of school or when they kicked me out of Radio 10.
“I am much more progressive than 15 years ago”
—When I interviewed you for the book “Periodismo y verdad”, four or five years ago, when asked about the truth, your answer was that you put more emphasis on the point of view. I remembered it when I heard your farewell, in which you marked the same thing. This hooks up with good, true, and beautiful. Perhaps there is no truth, but among the possible ones, you choose from a point of view something that is what seems beautiful and good to you. That what seems good and beautiful to you is true, regardless of the evidence.
—Journalism related to the search for truth is what Hugo Alconada Mon does, for example, or what Jorge Lanata did at the time, or the magazine Noticias with investigations. Or what Nico Wiñazki does. Guys who are looking for the truth, who are looking for a piece of paper, a number, a piece of information. Diego Cabot is another. Not all of us do that job. I'm not good at it. I was always more interested in the discussion, the point of view. Our program, on the two radio stations I was on, offered a fairly coherent point of view. I was also changing my point of view and I am proud of that. You have to be an idiot not to change. Today I am much more flexible, plastic, heterogeneous, diverse, than I was three years ago and I won't even tell you about 15 years ago.
—Robert Nozik argued that wealth is diversity in harmony. The monocolor consistency is very easy.
—I do not defend a religious doctrine. I handle the world of points of view and I changed a lot. I am much more progressive than 15 years ago. I listen to Javier Milei, with whose ideas I became very involved forty years ago, and today he seems to me literally a lunatic. I dramatically believe in consensus.
—You did the reverse of that classic figure that if you're not a socialist when you're young, you don't have a heart, and if you're not a conservative when you grow up, you don't have a brain.
—Clearly I'm not a socialist, but if I had to choose what kind of political processes appeal to me the most, I'd say it's smart center-left.
—Would you see Raúl Alfonsín better than you did at the time?
—Definitely yes. And to Felipe González. and Tony Blair.
“I was bullied in high school and became a demon”
—How was your adolescence?
—Hard. My father had no job for years and he began to do very badly for me at school.
—You went to a Salesian school.
—I went to the Don Bosco College, where there was a lot of discrimination. I rationalized it later, but I suffered bullying. Terrible things happened to me.
—Are you still an agnostic?
—Total agnostic, yes. The first example of bullying is if you played football well or badly. The Salesian priests divided the school into two: those who played football well and those who didn't. I shared a table at lunch, where they took you seriously for your physique. My ears, for example. I felt mistreated, but I never said it. Many years later, I discover on Radio 10 the guy who treated me the worst at school. He was an employee, I was a known person. He tells me: “Do you remember me, Marcelo? You are the best. I love you very much". And I say: this son of a thousand whores was the one who bullied me. bad bullying I was crying from school.
—Was he older?
—He was three or four years older than me. I told Daniel Hadad about it and he asked me if he wanted me to kick him out. I told him no. But I will never forget the reunion with that guy. I had such a bad time that I became a demon.
—What year did you get kicked out of school?
—For playing the rat, forging my dad's signature, not studying.
—Did that determine your link to responsibility?
—Two days later I had gotten a job and was a cadet for a small company, Taylor and Company. They were engaged in the importation of chemical products. They were very strict. I still remember Mrs. Bosch's desk, with the symmetrical papers, and I remember Mr. Taylor's habits. A very elegant English gentleman who lived in Belgrano. The guy was impeccable, highly educated, very distant, but I learned a lot from watching them. They were tough and authoritarian people. Mrs. Bosch for me was like the personification of the Gestapo. So, I worked there for a couple of years and learned a lot. He was a cadet, he was 15 years old. A few years ago I had to go to a notary's office to sign some papers, on Tucumán and Reconquista streets. In Reconquista 533 it was my first job. I go to the notary. Since I had arrived before, I said to myself: “I'm going to see”, as I did once from here because looking from your window I saw my grandparents' house in La Boca. I walked in and there was a receptionist in the building. I asked if the company was still alive and they said yes, Taylor was dead, but Mrs. Bosch and other members of the company were still alive. "They come less, he saw, because they are big, but they still come." The doorman asked me: “Are you Longobardi? Because they say that you worked in this building”. I go to the notary. When I leave the notary's office, at the moment I leave, I step on the sidewalk and boom, I bump into a guy, a big dark-haired man. He tells me: "Marcelo!". "Yes, it's me. Who are you?". “I am the accountant Capurro. It does not remember me?". “No”, I tell him… “I am the accountant for Mrs. Bosch and Mr. Taylor. I am the person who hired you when you applied for a job at the age of 15.” "Whoa! Mr. Capurro, what a pleasure...". So, he takes the wallet out of his pocket and he had my employment record from 45 years ago.
—I felt that I had discovered Messi.
—I asked him what he was doing with that in his wallet. "I show it to my grandchildren," was her response. It was the most amazing thing that happened to me in my life. Then I couldn't see them again and I regretted it. One of these days I'm going to look for the accountant Caputo.
—While you had Mr. Taylor, Mrs. Bosch, your classmates were still in school and playing soccer.
—I disconnected from them.
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