June 5, 2009

Sharks (and other underwater creatures)

I must admit that I was not pleasantly surprised, but rather quite disappointed, when I heard that Italian foreign minister Franco Frattini, with reference to the muckraking campaign orchestrated by some British newspapers (the Guardian, Times and Independent) against Silvio Berlusconi, had said the country could not ”leave the last word to the network of those who hate Italy.” It was, in my opinion, what is called in Italian una caduta di stile, a lapse of style. I don’t really believe there is an actual “conspiracy,” nor do I think we are surrounded by people who “hate” Italy. I would rather think that some of our fellow-countrymen—some of them actually very influential—hate Berlusconi to the point that they usually make their best to persuade the rest of the world to do the same. In some cases they succeed. Particularly when the haters are acting out of political motivations, or of personal interests. In both cases, however, it’s Berlusconi himself who gives them some good opportunities.

In the case of the Times, as I sketched in a previous post, it’s almost sure that the personal interests of Mr Murdoch have been crucial (here is an interesting update). As for the Guardian and Independent the political motivations must have been a decisive factor. In all cases “the network of those who hate Italy” has nothing to do with both the reality and the common sense.