All those Italian leftists inconsolable over Silvio Berlusconi’s improbable return to power in Italy this month have only Miuccia Prada and her friends to blame.
At least that’s what one right-leaning Italian daily is gleefully saying this morning, by printing – on their front page – a picture of an acquaintance of the the fashion designer using a body guard as a stepstool to reach the bottom stair of a private jet on a St. Moritz runway. The picture lies under the sarcastic headline “How Human the Left Is,” and is intended to depict “progressive chic” leftists as out of touch with the regular people who voted for Berlusconi over his liberal opponent, Walter Veltroni.
“Here’s Why Veltroni Lost,” the headline of the paper, Libero, continues. Hillary Clinton, who has tirelessly argued that Barack Obama is “elite” and out of touch over the last week, is no doubt hoping for a similar headline about Obama after the Pennsylvania primary.
But there might be some other factors contributing to Berlusconi’s election; a deep social malaise and economic paralysis that has drained Italians of the courage to try something new, the lack of any legitimately new choices for leadership, Berlusconi’s iron-clad grip over much of the media, the sprouting of darker hair on his once-balding head and photo spreads of showgirls sitting on his lap to reestablish the 71-year-old’s vigor, the suicidal infighting of the Italian left or Veltroni’s unintentionally comic echoing of Barack Obama’s “yes we can” as a campaign theme.
Or, maybe it was just Miuccia.
UPDATE: Miuccia Prada writes into Libero’s editorial director that the photo depicted only a “joke among old friends” and asked for an apology. The director, Vittotio Feltri, responded “absolutely no.”