Emperor of TV

This story on what the left might do to Silvio Berlusconi’s companies ran in Fortune. It’s archived below.

April 7, 2006
Emperor of TV
Italy’s Silvio Berlusconi is fighting for his political life — and the fate of his media empire may hang in the balance.

By Stephan Faris

One evening this winter the Italian talk-show host Enrico Mentana played a clip for his guest, Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, in which Oscar-winning actor Roberto Benigni mocked Berlusconi’s five-year reign.

The Prime Minister was clearly irritated by the attacks. But as the show’s director prepared to broadcast Berlusconi’s fidgets and frowns, his media handler intervened. Without asking permission, he climbed onto the set to warn his boss that the cameras would soon be rolling. When they did, Berlusconi was all smiles.

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