Tuesday, June 15, 2004

Lilli the Red Wins

He who lives by the sword shall die by the sword", says an ancient proverb - and it appears to have come true in modern Italy. Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, the man who controls over 90% of Italian television, has received one of the most humiliating beatings of his political career by a disgruntled TV anchorwoman.

Lilli Gruber, Italy's most famous newsreader who ran for the Olive Tree opposition coalition, got more than 236,000 votes - roughly twice as many as the premier in the capital, Rome. Ms Gruber, also known as "Lilli the Red" after her flame-red mane, heads a new breed of fierce opponents of the premier who have defected - or have been banished from - that very broadcasting world which is largely controlled by the media-magnate-turned-premier.

A hugely popular and well-respected journalist who acted as a correspondent from Baghdad during the war, she has infused fresh blood into the Olive Tree opposition coalition. The coalition, steered from afar by European Commission President Romano Prodi, has won 31% of the votes compared to the prime minister's Forza Italia, which reached a meagre 21% - less than the 25% minimum predicted by Mr Berlusconi.

The Olive Tree has long suffered from a lack of telegenic personalities able to challenge the prime minister's trademark 24-carat smile. But this trend has been reversed by the glamorous anchor, who, in popular surveys, has often topped the list of Italy's sexiest women.

Viewers were taken aback when Ms Gruber in May announced she was quitting her job as news presenter of Italy's main evening newscast after 20 years to run with the Olive Tree. In doing so, she accused the news programme she hosted of having been twisted to reflect Mr Berlusconi's views. She also voiced her unease after Freedom House, a New-York based think-tank, downgraded Italian media from "free" to "partly free", putting the country on a par with Turkey....

Over the past few months, an increasing number of journalists and show business people have been denouncing what they see as widespread forms of censorship within the national broadcaster, Rai. But by his actions, Mr Berlusconi has unintentionally breathed new life into a stagnating opposition coalition. Now that his popularity appears to be on the wane, he will have to thoroughly rethink his media strategy ahead of the 2006 general election.

8 Comments:

At 9:07 AM, Blogger BSizzler said...

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At 9:08 AM, Blogger BSizzler said...

Hmm....I wonder if there is any relation between her and Erik The Red. I must know.

 
At 11:52 AM, Blogger Luke said...

Not sure on that one... but imo she is pretty. ;-)

 
At 5:48 PM, Blogger BSizzler said...

I agree...she is a looker, but I'd be leary of red heads. It has been my experience that they are short tempered and volitile. Nature of the beast i guess...but thats not really all that different from any other woman. So....rock on.

 
At 8:29 PM, Blogger Luke said...

I've heard exactly the same thing about redheads, so I tend to think there might be some truth to this notion, however, I also dislike stereotypes. I won't prejudge anyone just yet. Besides, I'd rather be around a fiery redhead than a dumb blonde. And rock on, I shall. ;-)

 
At 4:10 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I would dispute the fact of any stereotype that says all women are "short tempered and volatile"....I mean, we may be more sensitive than you boys (at least outwardly) but I still think it is not fair to say we are all the above discription. I will agree, there are alot of girls out there that even I can't stand. But that doesn't mean we're all so bad. Let us not judge anyone!

 
At 9:39 PM, Blogger Luke said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

 
At 9:43 PM, Blogger Luke said...

"I will agree, there are alot of girls out there that even I can't stand. But that doesn't mean we're all so bad. Let us not judge anyone!"............You're being judgmental. ;-)

 

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