At Least He Makes the Sun Shine on Time
That rocket scientist and aficionado of the “Roman salute,” Italy’s Minister of Tourism, Michela Vittoria Brambilla, has a brand new idea. Form a Task Force of young Italian patriots (rigorously under 30) to counter all the bad foreign press Italy’s been getting lately. These job of these young
teppisti journalists is to seek out “negative” foreign press and counter it with “positive” articles about all that’s right with Italy.
The job, that is, is to do like Silvio at the European Parliament in 2003. After German European MP, Martin Schulz, launched a blistering analysis of Italy’s role in the European Union, including its retrograde laws and dismal human rights record, Berlusca responded by inviting Schulz to come to Italy and see all the things the Berlusconi government could take credit for. To wit:
the sun, the beauty, the one hundred thousand monuments and churches in Italy, our 3,500 museums, our 2,500 archaeological sites, the 40,000 historical houses in Italy that [the Berlusconi government] hasn’t managed to destroy.
In other words: You say we’re backwards on immigration; I say we get a lot of sun. You argue we’re soft on crime; I say look at all those museums.
This, one imagines, is exactly the kind of thing Brambilla’s squad is going to get up to, because the “international denigration of Italy” (her words) has to stop.
If so, she and her group of “It’s Defamation Even If It’s True” Irregulars have their work cut out for them. In the space of less than 48 hours this week, both Newsweek and the Washington Post published long articles critical of Berlusconi: “La Dolce Berlusconi“ in the Post and “Silvio, It’s Time To Go” in Newsweek.
Their coverage came only a few days after The Economist‘s “Out of Court,” which commented,
In several cases, the only reason [Berlusconi] has escaped [legal] conviction has been either an amnesty or a modification of the statute of limitations sponsored by his own government…. To the prime minister’s supporters, though, the ruling is yet more evidence that he is the victim of a plot by his enemies and left-wing members of the judiciary…. The weakness (but also the strength) of the right-wing conspiracy theory is that it is self-confirming: the more the prime minister is prosecuted, the more he seems persecuted…. Many, perhaps even most, Italians now doubt the good faith of an institution, the judiciary, whose impartiality is essential to any functioning democracy….
If you don’t read Italian, now’s a good time to catch up on the serious political and social malaise that has Italy in its grip.
Quick, before Brambilla and her “truth squads” start telling you about the archaeological sites.