All hail, all hail

Two interesting news items in the Italian press today. The first says that Freedom House, which evaluates press freedom throughout the world, has classified Italy as ‘partly free’. It’s at 71st place, alongside Benin and Israel, a surprisingly high position given the parlously servile state of most Italian journalism. The other item is a no doubt independent poll on how much Italy adores its tinpot duce Berlusconi. His popularity rating is now at 75%, putting him higher than Obama and approaching the dizzy heights of unquestioning adulation enjoyed by, well, Kim Jong-il. Whose country, coincidentally, also does rather badly in the Freedom House charts.

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