Friday, November 14, 2008
Silvio Berlusconi: No Apologies
Italy's Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi offers no apology for saying Barack Hussein Pbama is, "tan." Corriere Della Sera, Italian News In English:
“Yes, of course I said it. He’s handsome, young and suntanned.” Berlusconi smiles, repeats himself and offers an unrepentant explanation. “What’s all the fuss about? I don’t see what’s wrong with paying the man a compliment. Can someone tell me what’s so negative about that? Anyone who thinks that can just go ….. If they don’t have a sense of humour, that’s their problem, I made up my mind to always say what I think […]” Now in the lobby of Moscow’s Kempinsky Hotel, Berlusconi repeats the remark he had made half an hour earlier in the Kremlin’s main conference room in the presence of Russian president Medvedev who had smiled, although perhaps from embarrassment.
While the rest of the world is mesmerized by the fact that the USA has elected its first ever black president, Berlusconi jokingly makes light of Obama’s skin colour. The Italian prime minister defends his right to use irony; “it was just a sweet thing to say”. He attacks the Italian Democratic Party (Pd) and those “imbeciles with no sense of irony; God save us from the imbeciles, if they start sounding off about this, we’re all done for.”
...Berlusconi was perhaps carried away by the desire to play for laughs. He explained to the audience that he was “a veteran of politics” who would “try to give some sound advice” and put his experience to good use “to help Russia and the USA develop the best of relationships”. He added that both presidents were “young” and could “get on” and said that Obama had “everything going for him to get on with Medvedev: he’s handsome, young and tanned”. There was obviously no malice intended; Berlusconi merely wanted to set a light-hearted tone but his complimentary remark quickly became a faux-pas as it was picked up by the news agencies before turning into a full-blown scandal that further inflamed political debate back in Italy.
Also: Our hotel in Sorrento was right across the street from a high school (I mean within spitting distanceO and I would go out on the balcony in the morning and talk to "lo studenti" from time to time. They seemed very interested in the American election, and are all gaga over Obama. The asked who I voted for, so I told them McCain, and that Obama was "communista." The Italian teacher heard the commotion after that and came over to shut the window and give me a dirty look! It seems to me that they all get their info from BBC and CNN International; and there is the "Intsitui Kennedy" there someplace. I saw stickers at the bus and train stations all over for that. We need a "Euro-Rush" or something to counter all the Lib American Media they are exposed to over there. "Ciao for Now!"
Also: U.S. CustomSS "seized my salami" in Philadelphia. BASTARDS!
p.s.: You would love it there as everybody smokes (even the pigeons!)
Yeah, I've heard Italy loves the cigs!
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