Hookers Might Be his Problem
Silvio Berlusconi has been prime minister of Italy since 2001… 2001. Is it just me, or was that a lifetime ago? Yes, it was the 9/11 year, but 2001 was also the year Ariel Sharon was voted in as Israeli Prime Minister, it was the year Wikipedia was founded and the year that launched both the Harry Potter and the Lord of the Rings film franchises. Do you remember how old you were when you saw The Fellowship of the Ring?? Who were your friends? What did your hair look like? That is how long Berlusconi has been the PM of Italy.
He’s managed to hold onto power for most of that period despite serious discomfort about his leadership in international public opinion. He’s had every accusation thrown in his face from being a Mussolini style fascist to propositioning underage girls, and none of them have really stuck in a way that has made any political difference. This is partially because Berlusconi has a strangle hold on the media in Italy (ok, mostly) but also because Berlusconi himself doesn’t really seem to care. Berlusconi doesn’t think he has an image problem, and his opinion seems to be contagious. Take for example, that old scandal with him attending an 18 year old’s birthday party. Despite the odd protest from Berlusconi that the girl was a friend’s daughter, the main message was: Why is everyone being such a prude about this? Can’t a 72 year old Prime Minister enjoy the company of a seventeen year old blond who dreams of being a showgirl/politician who calls him “Papi” without some one crying out that it’s inappropriate and then divorcing him?? Berlusconi just makes anyone reacting to this scandal seem so… uncool. Like saying that only fat girls think beauty pageants are sexist, he’s managed to spin this story so only people who can’t get laid themselves seem to have any problem with old Prime Ministers and young showgirls/politicians.
So how do you spin the hooker? I see only two plausible versions of this story. Version 1: Silvio Berlusconi exploits vulnerable women, is legally treading a very thin line. Version 2: Silvio Berlusconi has to pay for sex. This is all very embaressing, so it looks like Silvio is going for Version 3: “I don’t even know that bitch.” which is just sort of lazy if you ask me, and pretty useless considering that she has the whole thing on video. Now that this story is out in the open, five of Berlusconi’s parties are under investigation because it’s becoming more and more clear that they were all lousy with hookers.
This might be an actually problem, so it’s a good time to gag the press. Berlusconi has now made it almost impossible for police to use wire taps, and illegal for the press to leak transcripts. Which makes perfect sense, because insuring an old man some privacy is a lot more important then trying to stop organized crime. It’s not like Italy is the birthplace of the mob or anything….