Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.
La Repubblica unloaded a major scandal this morning. Everyone's outraged and journalists are menacing a strike. But wait a minute, get real. Journalists on strike? After years of petty groveling, they've discovered that they've got a profession?

Well, here's the scandal: During an investigation into Luigi Crispi's ("I couldn't have committed the crime: I'm a Buddhist!") poll and Marketing company investigators uncovered extensive and routine news-fixing between the State TV and the Berlusconi Mediaset. For years the two giants colluded to glorify Berlusconi, hide his numerous false steps and create ad hoc media events to keep his adversaries out of the limelight. As if any acute observer of Italian affairs wasn't perfectly aware of it.

So, now we got the proof. Hundred of calls between the major (rival!) news brokers with the sole intent to glorify Silvio during prime time. The pope's dead? Stall the breaking news until Silvio finishes his monologue! The President of the Republic is going to deliver an important speech? Get Silvio to do something splashy to distract attention! Tell that anchorman to say "Berlusconi" more often when on the air! Berlusconi lost the elections? Downplay it, use bad lighting for the winners!

Reminds me of that passage in Estienne de La Boetie's Discourse on Voluntary Servitude.

[...]but the dictator sees men about him wooing and begging his favor, and doing much more than he tells them to do. Such men must not only obey orders; they must anticipate his wishes; to satisfy him they must foresee his desires; they must wear themselves out, torment themselves, kill themselves with work in his interest, and accept his pleasure as their own, neglecting their preferences for his, distorting their character and corrupting their nature; they must pay heed to his words, to his intonation, to his gestures, and to his glance. Let them have no eye, nor foot, nor hand that is not alert to respond to his wishes or to seek out his thoughts.
by de Gondi (publiobestia aaaatttthotmaildaughtusual) on Wed Nov 21st, 2007 at 05:44:27 PM EST

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