The Italian press and the Berlusconi umbrella
Not only the papers owned directly by B are cowed and scared of reporting what is happening in Italy. Imagine this summers coverage – you have to grab the bigger picture…1 – Fini – the Speaker, the 3rd post of State, and erstwhile founder of the PDL and ally of Mr B decides enough is enough, and argues with Silvio. Silvio boots hims out of the party, but Fini refuses to resign, founds a new splinter group but says he will continue to vote with Silvio on what the mandate said – ie no personal laws to save the skin of Silvio.2. Scajola resigns over housing scandal and contracts and jobs and bribes… He was Minister of Economic Development…. Berlusconi takes his job.3. Dell’Utri – senator for life and immune from prosceution is labouring under a court of appeal sentence of mafia association.4. Schifani – head of Silvios PDL is behind (along wiht Silvio) the latest wheeze – clean lists – only nice clean people without criminal records can stand for the PDL. (This ignores the 100+ already in parliament who are condemned, awaiting trial etc from everything from mafia association to homicide.These are the main player, here is what the summer held for the Italians.Two days after Silvio boots out Fini the newspaper Il Giornale breaks an important story about the ownership of a flat in monte carlo. All summer they have tried to implicate Fini in wrongdoing over this flat, even down to the purchase of a Scavolini kitchen in Rome which may or may not have been installed in the flat. They omit the most important detail: the flat was private property, left to Fini’s political party, sold to a private company, and let to a private person who is the brother of the companion of Fini. Mediaset news, Rai news et al have talked of little else, in an attempt to discredit Fini and his breakaway politicians.Dell’Utri – the right hand man of Berlusconi – does an interview on a foreign Tv channel where he admits that if he didnt have parliamentary immunity he’d be in jail…. nothing is said anywhere.Schifani – ignored by all the media, works on the image of the PDL. INteresting facts emerge this summer. He has been investigated 3 times for mafia association and the cases have been archived (not closed), he was the consultant for the mafia boss in Palermo, and for Palermo council. He has been connected to bribes for contracts which took place on behalf of Palermo council in Parma – NOTHING in any paper or on any news. The protection for those who remain at the side of Silvio is absolute.This is Italian democracy at work – a country in ignorance and a press cowed by the power of a man who almost certainly has had Mafia connections at various points in his career, works tirelessly to protect himself from prosecution and villifies anyone who doesnt toe his line.And the greatest shame of all – the opposition does nothing.