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Italy’s “Pimped” Premier

Jul
1
2008

Italy’s Premier Silvio Berlusconi has wasted no time during his second tenure getting the press to notice him. It does seem unfortunate that he mostly seems to do this by buffoonery, rather than policy.
Among the more serious charges: running what must be an awfully threadbare casting couch.
Phone taps
have him intervening on behalf of talent-free starlets, trying to finagle them into acting parts in state broadcaster RAI’s already overburdened melodramas. (Full disclosure: I worked for a couple of years as a journalist at Canale 5, the flagship station of Mediaset, founded by Berlusconi but at the time already run by his children. There were a few instances where, thanks to family connections or nudges, someone got a job, but probably not more than in big media anywhere.)
Following his outrage at having to be questioned by magistrates on weekends instead of “enjoying his houses, children and wife” he quickly moved to limit the powers of courts to touch his double-breasted tranquility.
Outraged opposition member Antonio Di Pietro, ex-”Clean Hands” prosecutor, with his usual bulldog delicacy called Berlusconi a “pimp,” and when prompted to apologize to the premier, he refused on grounds that both he and the Italian people were owed an apology for this unstatesman-like behavior.
An accusation not helped by the fact that Berlusconi, always trying to be noticed, launched another fashion faux paus by covering his spray-hair with a jaunty white Panama hat. It’s a look that, paired with a black shirt, says go-and-brush-your-shoulders-off as eloquently as anything could.
Recently, I had the chance to chat with a People of Liberty party flack. When I tried to sympathize with her over it must be like to deal with his big tent behavior, she replied, snidely, that he does it on purpose. It’s all an act, to provoke the press (foreign press especially) and laugh along as they laugh at him. Whatever. I’m not getting the joke.

Share  Posted by Nicole Martinelli at 12:33 PM | Permalink

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