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Italy. From Radio Audizioni Italia (1946) to Silvio Berlusconi’s Mediaset. 1975. Television in Italy consisted of 3 national PUBLIC stations, which were partitioned to the major political parties (lottizzazione). RAI Uno. Dominated by the Christian Democrats. RAI Due.

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From Radio Audizioni Italia (1946) to Silvio Berlusconi’s Mediaset

  • Television in Italy consisted of 3 national PUBLIC stations, which were partitioned to the major political parties (lottizzazione)
rai uno
  • Dominated by the Christian Democrats
rai due
  • Dominated by the Socialists
rai tre
  • Dominated by the Communist Party (now the Democratic Party of the Left)
1976 1984
  • RAI had a monopoly of national broadcasting, but LOCAL broadcasting was permitted
  • In the early 1980s Silvio Berlusconi brought up local stations throughout Italy and provided a common schedule
  • Berlusconi owned three linkages that IN FACT amounted to 3 national channels
    • CANALE 5
    • RETE 4
    • ITALIA 1
broadcasting act of 1990
Broadcasting Act of 1990
  • Placed a limit on the number of networks that could be privately owned at 3, legitimizing Berlusconi’s ownership of 3 national channels
  • Forza Italia (a totally new political party) was formed by Berlusconi 3 months before the national election
  • Forza Italia won and Berlusconi became prime minister
  • His government collapsed in 8 months
2001 to the present
2001 to the Present
  • Berlusconi’s party won the national election in May, 2001 and he became Prime Minister again
  • “What can happen when the political power of, for example, George Bush is united with the media control of Rupert Murdoch with the wealth of Ross Perot or Steve Forbes in the same person?”
conflicts of interest
Conflicts of Interest
  • The media and the business empire
corruption charges
Corruption Charges
  • The statute of limitations keeps running out
  • Laws are passed to give him immunity from prosecution while in office
controversial statements
Controversial Statements
  • On Islamic Culture
  • On Mussolini
  • On available Nazi roles
  • On President Obama’s deep tan
free press issues
Free Press Issues
  • Media control and censorship
  • Resignations and firings
  • Libel suits
april 2006
April 2006
  • Berlusconi’s party loses the election
    • But he refuses to step down
  • Romano Prodi becomes prime minister again
new legislation proposed
New Legislation Proposed
  • Conflict of interest law
  • New media law
    • 45% ceiling on advertising for any one broadcaster
    • RAI and Mediaset must transfer one of their analog channels to digital, making 2 channels free for new investors
prodi given chance to form new government
Prodi Given Chance to Form New Government
  • “It wasn’t love or even any real faith that they could stick together long. Rather, it seems, a singular frightening thought pushed nine bickering parties to agree . . . To come together again: that Silvio Berlusconi might soon lead Italy again.” [NYT, 2/24/07]
april 2008
April 2008
  • Italy returns Berlusconi to power
and the marital drama continues
And the Marital Drama Continues
  • Veronica sues for divorce (April 2009)
  • Berlusconi invites himself and appears on a TV show
    • “Veronica will have to publicly apologize to me. And I don’t know if that will be enough.”

The Latest Scandal

    • Berlusconi is accused of
      • Paying money for sex with a 17 year old girl
      • Abuse of power in trying to get her released from custody (charges of theft)
        • Berlusconi claimed the intervention was based on information he had that she was the niece of Hosni Mubarak
        • In fact, she in Moroccan, but claims to have invented “a parallel life” as an Egyptian

Berlusconi used his media empire to attack

    • The judiciary
    • The center left coalition of the Italian government
    • Anyone prying into his private life
  • In the press, both Berlusconi and “Ruby” deny having sexual relations

Wiretaps reveal contradictions

    • “Ruby” reveals she has attended parties at Berlusconi’s villa since she was 16
    • She has asked for $6.7 mil to keep quiet
    • She claims he called her and said, “Ruby, I’ll give you as much money as you want, I’ll pay you, I’ll cover you in gold, but the important thing is that you hide everything; don’t tell anyone anything.”

Other young women have spoken out

    • They prostituted themselves to him in return for
      • Cash
      • Rent-free housing

On April 6, 2011 the prostitution trial was set to begin in Milan

  • Berlusconi did not appear, occupied by a meeting on the Libya crisis
  • “Ruby did not appear
  • The trial has been postponed until the end of May