Italy, Land of the "Partly Free"

"In its 2004 media report, the U.S.-based Freedom House, said press freedoms were deteriorating in Italy and ranked the country 74th in its global league table -- beneath African countries such as Mali, Ghana and Benin. 'Italy was downgraded to Partly Free in 2003 due to an unprecedented concentration of media ownership and a resulting increase in and misuse of political pressure on media outlets,' the Freedom House report said." (from CNN International)

The rest of the report is snapshot below from "
Network Games"...

This news is being recirculated now that the Italian Prime Minister, Silvio Berlusconi, insinuated last week that he'd blacklist seven satirical comics.

Serena Dandini, Sabina Guzzanti, Gene Gnocchi, Enrico Bertolino, Dario Vergassola and Corrado Guzzanti, not surprisingly, tend to target the political leader of the country. And, agree with them or not, a lot of them are pretty damn funny when they do it! If only you could see Sabina Guzzanti doing her fantastic impression of Berlusconi... (photo at right)

But, of course, she also used to do a screamingly funny sketch of the left's last prime minister, Massimo D'Alema, being completely in love with himself. He's able to laugh, though... (even if he does prefer her impersonation of his political rival!)

Berlusconi needs to foster a sense of humor. After all, as Will Rogers once said, "There's no trick to being a humorist when you have the whole government working for you." :-)

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