In the run-up to Sunday’s elections in Italy and in the days since, mainstream media outlets in Europe and the United States have taken up the hysterical cry that the specter of fascism once again looms over the eternal city of Rome and the Italian people in the form of soon-to-be Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni and her Fratelli d’Italia (Brothers of Italy) party.
It would appear that left-leaning, analysts and political figures clearly took neither the time nor effort to read up on the complicated history of Italian politics. They also must have forgotten to ask one of the most prominent voices of the Italian left about it before CNN brought him on-air live Monday.
And boy, they were unprepared for his answer.
“While it’s not the first time the, quote, ‘far-right,’ has been in government in modern Italian history, this is the first government led by the far-right since World War II. The Brothers of Italy Party and its coalition partners … came in well ahead of the center-left, why, sir?”
Renzi’s response could not have been what Anderson was looking for.
Renzi, who leads the left-leaning Italia Viva party and formerly led the Italian Democratic Party until 2018 acknowledged that, “I was against Giorgia Meloni. So I’m not the best friend.”
“We grew up together in politics, but we were we, we are, and will be rival, always,” he said. “At the same time, I think that is not a danger for Italian democracy.”
Then he dropped did what would be the unthinkable for most CNN talking heads: He not only refused to brand a rival as a “fascist” simply for being a rival, he called the attempt to do so “fake news.”
“But the ideas are now there is a risk of fascism in Italy is absolutely fake news,” he said. “She won election, particularly because of populism, a lot of times won in Italy. She has a majority’s government — majority’s coalition, and probably she will be, I think, next month, the next prime minister.
“And — but I think there is not a risk for Western alliance, there is not a risk for democracy, there is not a risk for everything.
“That is very important, because I fought against her. But at the same time, I think there is not a danger for fascism in Italy.”
Indeed, it’s parliamentary democracy at work. As the European news site Euractive explained, Meloni must first be tasked by Italian President Sergio Mattarella with forming a government based on Sunday’s results. It will likely be weeks before she actually takes office.
Appearing derailed by Renzi’s response in affirmation of his colleague and rival, Anderson attempted to pivot. And as if to delegitimize Meloni’s victory she offered a throw-away comment regarding a 10 percent dip in voter turnout while she was at it.
“Well, your analysis and insight is really important, because many people are concerned that there is a road towards fascism at this point,” she said.
“So let’s just discuss what a government led, or government made up of this coalition and led by a Meloni, might look like. Voter turnout was down about 10 percent from last election, so let’s be quite clear, those who did vote, voted for change. Voted from the sort of continuity that you and others have represented in the recent past.
“So what does this vote, what does this change mean, practically speaking? And, for the benefit of our international audience, let’s talk specifically with regard Italy’s position, for example, within Europe.”
It really is a shame that CNN’s producers didn’t favor the audience with a reaction shot from Anderson whose clearly audible “hmm” following Renzi’s pronouncement that renewed fascism in Italy is “fake news,” may have betrayed her surprise — and displeasure — at his answer.
Fox News’ Tucker Carlson was quick to note the absurdity of the establishment media’s pearl-clutching, breathless reactions.
During his monologue Monday on “Tucker Carlson Tonight,” Carlson showed clips from various outlets, but one highlight was from MSNBC and such left-leaning luminaries as Joe Scarborough, Medhi Hasan and David Ignatius with their takes on Meloni’s victory.
Check it out here:
Medhi Hasan, MSNBC: “I want to start today by talking about a politician on the right we should all be worried about … a politician who has brushed off accusations of fascism.”
Joe Scarborough, MSNBC: “What separates us from, let’s say, Italy, who elected a fascist.”
Edward Luce, Financial Times: “She is from fascist roots.”
T.J. Holmes, ABC: “A very far-right political party whose roots go back to post World War II neo-fascist.”
Davide Ignatius, MSNBC: “A party that has its roots in Italian fascism.”
Carlson was brutal in his scorn, “‘Its roots in Italian fascism.’ Define that for us, if you would, Joe Scarborough? Oh, sorry. You’re an idiot. You can’t.
“But the point is, ‘fascist’ means unacceptable. Whatever this chick is saying, you’re not allowed to agree with. They’re very worried that that many Italians do agree with it. So, she has to be completely unacceptable. Don’t read further. She’s a fascist and in case you missed the theme, a recent New York Times piece on Meloni mentioned ‘fascism’ or ‘fascist’ 29 times, not a subtle newspaper. Apparently, she’s on the verge of invading Poland.”
Carlson noted that Meloni’s platform of “God, family, country,” without a word on “climate or equity” must be pretty scary to the left.
Earlier in the monologue (about the 10:30 point, he noted the crucial misread of historical fascism by left and the establishment media.
“So, they hate your family, they hate your religion, and you don’t actually have to put up with it because it’s a democracy, and you’re supposed to be in charge, you being the population.
“That’s a radical message? God, family, country. That’s not radical. It’s hard to imagine a more wholesome message, a more pro-human platform. Fascists don’t believe in God because God is a rival to their power.”
Carlson summarized (about the 13:40 mark):
“It’s their hysteria and their total unwillingness to ask obvious questions that lets you in on the secret, which is they’re panicked because they know the current system is doomed and in fact, what happened last night in Italy is the best-case scenario for them, because it was a peaceful transfer of power. That’s a good thing. That’s what you want.”
It would seem that before issuing their learned verdicts on the alleged resurgence of Italian fascism, these “well-respected” publications and networks may have failed to actually ask the Italians, or consult a history book for that matter.
Truth and Accuracy
We are committed to truth and accuracy in all of our journalism. Read our editorial standards.