Berlusconi checks out the newly crowned Miss Italy, Miriam Leone, in a TV appearance in September 2008.
Everyone’s favorite world leader/womanizer is in the news again after a film director accused the Italian prime minister of censorship. Italian state television has refused to show a film trailer that accuses Silvio Berlusconi of creating a “frivolous media culture,” and many think the PM’s incredible influence over the media has something to do with it.
Silvio Berlusconi is accustomed to allegations about his predilections being excitedly received abroad. France’s Nouvel Observateur recently published a story titled “Sex, Power and Lies” and the Spanish newspaper El Pais showed photographs of naked guests at the Italian Prime Minister’s retreat in Sardinia. (He announced his intention to sue both for libel.)
Back home, though, the priapic 72-year-old’s influence over the media is such that the slew of claims over his private life usually receives a muted reception – perhaps because they come as little surprise.
So when Italy’s state television channel refused to show a film trailer which blamed Berlusconi for creating a frivolous media culture filled with “half-naked women” and chauvinistic images (he owns three commercial Italian TV channels), the movie’s director interpreted it as straight censorship.