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Silvio Berlusconi, Italian Television, & Politics

Silvio Berlusconi addressing a People of Freedom rally in 2008 [1]

Silvio Berlusconi addressing a People of Freedom rally in 2008

2,764 words

Silvio Berlusconi, 76, the billionaire three-time Prime Minister of Italy (1994–’95, 2001–2006, 2008–2011), has a reputation as a “right-wing” television tycoon who utilized his broadcasting power to achieve and maintain political power.

The use of television as a political tool by the Left is ubiquitous and well-known, but cases like Berlusconi’s that depart marginally from the norm should be suggestive of alternative possibilities.

Given the immense power of the mass media over the past 100 years—a new phenomenon in human history [2]—it is worth considering the likely effects of a meaningful white presence in television, movies, and other forms of mass communications—that is, a presence as rabidly, militantly, and truculently ethnocentric for our side as current Jewish and other “minority” controllers are for theirs.

It is true that Berlusconi has never employed his media or political clout to achieve positive social change in Italy. In fact, a cursory review of Berlusconi’s policies and legislation does not reveal a single truly laudable policy goal or achievement.

He is a leading spokesman for admitting Turkey to the European Union, and a strong supporter of Jewish-US revolutions, conquests, and crimes against humanity in the Middle East. Racially and culturally, Silvio Berlusconi is a net negative, like everybody else. But that doesn’t mean we can’t learn from him.

The first step in such a process is just to inform ourselves about white involvement in the mass media [3], which, as in the case of movie and TV producers Hal Roach [4] and Walt Disney, will usually provide examples of unconscious, or implicit, whiteness, or, in Berlusconi’s case, even minor ideological deviations from the party line. It will also bring to light important day-to-day racial, business, economic, and ideological realities pertaining to the ownership, operation, and control of media entities.

Il Cavaliere

Like most people, you are probably familiar with Berlusconi’s name without knowing much about him other than that he is a scandal-plagued, “right-wing,” pro-Israeli politician.

Berlusconi is a native of Milan, located in the Lombardy region of northern Italy, where he has lived and maintained his businesses all his life. Born under Benito Mussolini’s regime in 1936, he was one of three children of a middle-class bank employee and a housewife.

Berlusconi, for his part, has five children by two wives.

Starting as a singer on cruise ships, he built a fortune through his holding company Fininvest [5] (now chaired by his eldest daughter Marina) that includes stakes in Mediaset [6], Italy’s second-largest TV broadcaster (son Pier Silvio Berlusconi is Deputy Chairman, and daughter Marina serves on the board), which owns or has interests in Italian and Spanish broadcast and digital terrestrial TV channels, a satellite channel, and Dutch-based international television production company Endemol [7]; movie maker Medusa [8] (URL to cached version of a 2008 Variety article); Mondadori, one of Italy’s largest publishers (books, magazines, book stores, book clubs, radio, and gambling); A.C. Milan, the most successful soccer club in the world in terms of international trophies; and a large minority stake in bank Mediolanum Group [9].

According to Forbes magazine’s ranking of the world’s billionaires [10], in March 2013 Silvio Berlusconi had a net worth of $6.2 billion, making him the 194th richest man in the world, and the 7th richest in Italy.

Allegations of Mafia connections and political corruption have dogged Berlusconi since his early days in the construction industry. Whatever can be learned about such matters is presumably on record in the Left-wing publications cited here, or even in Internet articles. Certainly it is not unreasonable to believe that someone willing to align themselves with Abraham Foxman, the ADL, and Israel, as Berlusconi does, would have moral scruples about cooperating with the Mafia.

Nevertheless, due to the intense ideological animus of most writers on the subject, it is necessary to exercise extreme caution in evaluating their claims, and to view any wrongdoing objectively, alongside Left-wing behavior in the vast, murky swamp that is Italian business and politics. It is extremely doubtful that the Left will come out smelling better than the Right anytime, anywhere.

Berlusconi’s Left-wing mentor, Prime Minister and Italian Socialist Party leader Bettino Craxi (1983–1987), who in his last days was beset by legal prosecutions and allegations of corruption very similar to those which plague Berlusconi, was brought to trial in 1993. In his defense he maintained that all Italian political parties needed and took money illegally in order to finance their activities. Indeed, this appears to have been true. Twelve years after Craxi’s death, even his prosecutor admitted that Craxi was correct that the powerful Italian Communist Party received money from the Soviet Union, though it was never prosecuted for its crime.

Berlusconi is also the focus of many alleged sex scandals that would be too time-consuming to enumerate. You can read all about them everywhere on the Internet.

Such matters are ubiquitous in our era; Berlusconi’s lascivious behavior is in no way unique. Certainly it permeates the Left that shamelessly condemns him for his sin, as the behavior of “America’s royalty” (the Kennedys), Bill Clinton, AIPAC apparatchiks, and virtually every other Politically Correct world leader and group makes abundantly clear.

One Leftist even admits [11], “Indignant liberals outraged at Berlusconi’s (mis)behavior have had the exact same thing on primetime TV every day for a very long time. Pornocratic rule has been in place for the last three decades on Italian screens.”

My attitude is: A plague on all your houses. I stopped reacting to selective outrage directed solely at the “Right” on sexual matters long ago. It’s a stupid, cynical ploy that will continue to be used as long as it works—possibly forever, for all I know.

Berlusconi is the longest-serving post-war Prime Minister of Italy, and third longest-serving since the unification of Italy, after Benito Mussolini and Giovanni Giolitti.

Over the years, Berlusconi’s personally-created and -led Center-Right political parties have been named Forza Italia and People of Freedom. His leadership style tends toward personal charisma and a rudimentarily-structured party organization—a “movement-party” that organizes itself only at election time.

He has governed in coalitions with other parties, including, on the Right, the Northern League (Lega Norda) and the National Alliance (the former Italian Social Movement, or MSI, which is unrelated to the National Alliance of William Pierce in the US).

During his first administration, Alessandra Mussolini, granddaughter of Benito, was elected to Parliament on the ticket of the National Alliance, and Irene Pivetti of the Northern League, alleged by Jews to be anti-Semitic, was the speaker of Parliament’s lower house. Five seats in Berlusconi’s first cabinet were allotted to the National Alliance headed by Gianfranco Fini, who later served as Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs in Berlusconi’s second administration from 2001–2006.

It is primarily Berlusconi’s coalitions with the National Alliance and the Northern League, sympathetic comments he and his followers have sometimes made about Benito Mussolini, and his Zionism that have earned Berlusconi his reputation as a fearsome “Right-winger.” He has also made Counter Jihadist-type statements and off-the-cuff remarks deemed insufficiently deferential to Communists, homosexuals, feminist dogma, etc.

For example, he routinely referred to Romano Prodi’s Left-wing opposition group, The Union, as “The Soviet Union,” and after Prodi challenged an anti-Maoist comment Berlusconi had made, responded by handing out 1,000 copies of The Black Book of Communism at one of his rallies.

Television Tycoon

Despite the fact that the television marketplace is increasingly global, Berlusconi’s reach is mostly restricted to Italy. He is not an international force like the Jewish media lords of the United States [12], or Rupert Murdoch’s globe-girdling News Corporation.

In terms of land area, Italy is roughly 80% the size of Germany, and half the size of France. Its population is about 74% as large as Germany’s and 94% that of France. (WolframAlpha.com [13])

US media companies are the largest and most dominant ones globally.

Britain is the second-largest English-language market in the world, and the second-largest television market in Europe after Germany, which is number one. The UK TV audience is roughly one-fourth the size of the US’s.

Nevertheless, Europe “is the world’s most active television marketplace. There are more television households, more television networks, and more programs produced, bought, and sold here than anywhere in the world. With a wide range of languages and cultures, Europe is also one of the world’s more complicated international marketplaces.” (Howard J. Blumenthal and Oliver R. Goodenough, This Business of Television: The Standard Guide to the Television Industry, 3rd ed., Watson-Guptill, 2006, p. 448)

Germany, with 82 million people, is the largest single television market in continental Europe. France, with 64.8 million, is second. Italy, the third largest at 60.6 million, had 19 million television households as of 2006. In that year, popular imported programs there included The Simpsons, Will & Grace, The Gilmore Girls, Walker, Texas Ranger, Malcolm in the Middle, and JAG.

The country’s largest broadcaster, created at a time when the Christian Democrats were dominant, the Socialist Party was in support, and the Communist Party in opposition, was the government-run Radiotelevisione Italiana (RAI). It operated according to a system known as lottizzazione designed to offset the political clout of the Christian Democrats in parliament with a Left-wing bias in broadcasting (hardly democratic).

Since the mid-1970s, RAI has assigned its three main channels, RAI-1, RAI-2, and RAI-3, to different political groups. RAI-1 serves the government and the dominant party within it; RAI-2 is allied to the largest party supporting the dominant party in government; and RAI-3 is permanently assigned to the Left, which in the past meant the powerful Communist Party, and today means the Democratic Party in conjunction with a coalition of other Left-wing parties.

Silvio Berlusconi’s Mediaset channels were founded in the 1980s with the political assistance of his friend, Socialist Prime Minister Bettino Craxi. Essentially, Berlusconi created a nationwide network in defiance of the law.

Berlusconi liberalized the television marketplace by introducing commercial TV to Italy, multiplying the offerings from the three state-owned RAI channels to six, thanks to Mediaset’s three new networks. Berlusconi broadcast on private channels nationwide at a time when such transmission was permitted only regionally, breaching the law first and having it changed in Parliament by Bettino Craxi later.

Mediaset Group Corporate Structure [14]

Mediaset Group Corporate Structure

Though relatively hands-off in the first years of his new TV network, Berlusconi changed decisively when he decided to enter politics and create his own Center-Right party in 1994. His media were then mobilized in his political support.

The Left believes, or claims to believe, that Berlusconi’s influence as Prime Minister over his own commercial channels, as well as over the public channels, diluted and confined the media’s traditional ability to dominate and control the political Right.

Of course, under the RAI system, the Left enjoyed total control over television every time Leftist parties won power, but when Right-wing parties won, a channel remained permanently reserved to the Left—a privilege denied the Right. This state of affairs, however, has caused no consternation or soul-searching by Berlusconi’s legion of critics.

Nevertheless, the Left acknowledges that the Italian media are often aggressively anti-Berlusconi, that many journalists attack him, and that visits to Italian bookstores reveal new books about the man all the time, usually critical and packed with lurid details, written by professional journalists.

It is unclear from accounts I have read exactly how Berlusconi supposedly manipulates significant segments of Italian television for his political benefit, but I assume it involves content pushback along the lines of Fox News in the United States.

Around 2001, Berlusconi encouraged Rupert Murdoch to invest in Italy’s then-fledgling satellite television sector, and Mediaset became a regular customer for Murdoch’s News Corporation content.

But after Murdoch emerged as the main player in a consolidated satellite television industry, and his resulting company, SKY Italia, joined state broadcaster RAI as Mediaset’s main rival, their relationship soured. In April 2013, however, the Zionist television tycoons reportedly met in an effort to arrive at a truce.

A Pat on the Head

In 2003 the ADL bestowed its Distinguished Statesman Award on Berlusconi at a gala fund-raising dinner at New York City’s luxurious Plaza Hotel.

The black-tie crowd gave Berlusconi two standing ovations. Chairing the dinner were Leonard Riggio (the wealthy, philo-Semitic Italian American owner of America’s largest book chain, Barnes & Noble, himself the recipient of the ADL’s highest honor, the Americanism Award) and Jewish New York Daily News publisher Mortimer Zuckerman. Also present were media mogul Rupert Murdoch and aged former secretary of state Henry Kissinger.

The award was criticized by some Jews on the Left—for the wrong reasons.

On the eve of the dinner the New York Times published a familiar, posturing statement of the kind Jews pompously issue so often, signed by three Jewish Nobel economists, Franco Modigliani, Paul Samuelson, and Robert Solow. They said that the ADL award was “shocking to anyone who knows Mr. Berlusconi’s controversial history.”

This occurred at the beginning of Berlusconi’s second term of office, so the award was obviously a cynical gesture designed to influence Italy’s Prime Minister politically, just as so many Nobel Prizes for Peace, Literature, Economics, and so forth are given for transparently racial, ideological, and political reasons unrelated to merit.

Foxman explained to The Jewish Week that Berlusconi “has spoken out that anti-Zionism is anti-Semitism.”

The ADL bigot dismissed criticisms of the award as “politically laced,” adding that Berlusconi was “a solid friend, but a flawed friend.” Though many of his comments were “inappropriate” and “uninformed,” “that’s not enough for me to say he’s no longer a friend.”

Well, how about that? An award, the back of the hand, and spit in the face. “Gee, thanks!”

Leftist Fury

As noted, there are numerous hostile analyses and exposés depicting Berlusconi in a bad light, and hundreds more by foreign journalists that are readily available in Italian translation.

Italy’s largest television network, RAI, throughout Berlusconi’s premierships aired its shows biased towards the Left.

There have also been numerous trials, most of which publicly exposed damaging allegations.

Many statements by Berlusconi demonstrate conclusively that he does not perceive himself to be a huge beneficiary of the media despite his network television ownership. In fact, he believes there is a Left-wing media conspiracy against him.

Certainly it does not help that he is Italian instead of Jewish. Moreover, he is perceived as “Right-wing”—i.e., bad in Establishment-speak.

The Left is not accustomed to alternative viewpoints being aired in the political arena, especially when backed by a medium as powerful as television—even when one lone channel (or network) can’t possibly compete with society’s dominant message. The mere existence of television networks like Berlusconi’s, or Fox News Channel in the US, drives them mad.

The hatred of Berlusconi’s broadcasting power is directly analogous to the loathing for Fox News.

And it is hatred.

One of Berlusconi’s furious media assailants outside of Italy is The Economist, a well-known British magazine that has published cover stories on “Why Silvio Berlusconi is unfit to lead Italy” (2001) and “The man who screwed an entire country” (2011). It’s primary muckraker, David Lane, has written a book called Berlusconi’s Shadow (2005). Berlusconi refers to the magazine as “The Ecommunist.”

Books in English about Berlusconi are uniformly hostile.

John Lloyd, a contributing editor to London’s Financial Times, which has an average daily readership of 2.2 million, is co-author with Ferdinando Giugliano of Intimate Fusion: Media and Political Power in Silvio Berlusconi’s Italy (2013). Lloyd is a former member of the Communist Party of Great Britain and the British and Irish Communist Organisation, and was a strong supporter of Tony Blair’s Labour government.

Paul Ginsborg, a Jew who teaches history at the University of Florence, penned Silvio Berlusconi: Television, Power and Patrimony (2005), published by Verso Press, a subdivision of New Left Books. Ginsborg indicates in the Introduction that he wrote the book as a warning to the Left about the dangers of “soft fascism.”

A third English-language book, Alexander Stille’s The Sack of Rome: How a Beautiful European Country with a Fabled History and a Storied Culture Was Taken Over by a Man Named Silvio Berlusconi (2006), violates my heuristic of avoiding nonfiction books with tendentious titles when evaluating publishers’ offerings. Stille believes there is a worldwide concentration of media control in the hands of a Right-wing conspiracy. The author, who is probably Jewish, married a Jew and has a Jewish son.

In the final analysis, Berlusconi is interesting not for anything substantive about his beliefs, media productions, or political programs, all of which are fundamentally anti-Western and anti-white.

Rather, he is interesting because he is a Gentile in a Jewish industry, achieved a dominant position in television ownership that he parlayed into political power, and is politically incorrect according to prevailing standards.