Snip snap snip

For someone whose media empire is based on vulgarity, indiscretion and an obsession with what famous people get up to in their spare time, assuming that’s still a meaningful concept, Silvio Berlusconi’s attempt to block the publication of photographs taken at one of his Tiberian extravaganzas in Sardinia seems a bit mean-spirited. Particularly as, according to SB, the photographs are not damaging, and show people, in the great man’s own wonkily grammatical words, “during absolutely private moments which are completely legal.” I wonder what he means by damaging. Come to that, I wonder what he means by private and legal. Official photographs of one of his Sardinian knees-ups a couple of years ago saw him surrounded by a bevy, as the cliché has it, of young beauties, draped on and around him like piglets round a sow. They were published, I believe, in one of his house magazines, Panorama if I remember rightly, or possibly Chi. These didn’t seem to be a problem. Obviously, the mood has changed since then, as moral clouds gather around the hairpiece of the anointed leader. But the fact that the incriminated photographer, a certain Antonello Zappadu, has handed over the snaps of his own free will after having tried to flog them to, that’s right, Panorama suggests that they really are innocent images of the rich and the lovely in moments of legal intimacy. So why all the fuss? Surely it can’t be a warning to other photographers that their less innocent work should be discreetly destroyed? Surely not? I mean, that’s the way the Mafia behaves.

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