Friday, July 04, 2003

Regarding "Berlusconi, at EU, sets off an uproar", IHT, July 3, 2003: Of course, Silvio Berlusconi's remarks aimed at Europarliamentarian Martin Schulz were stupid, uncalled for, an insult to the European Parliament and an embarrassment for the country that this week took over the European Union's presidency. Still, this does not absolve a newspaper such as the IHT from an obligation to be accurate when reporting a scandal such as this. In the article's subheading it says about Berlusconi "...he likens German MP to a Nazi guard", and in its first paragraph the article's author, Thomas Fuller, writes that the Italian Prime Minister "...compared the German parliamentarian to a Nazi prison guard". First of all, Mr Berlusconi did not compare or liken anything. He 'simply' suggested Martin Schultz for the role of kapo in a film on Nazi concentration camps. Besides - and Fuller makes this clear himself later in the article - kapos did play an important and often cruel role in the diabolic hierarchy within the concentration and death camps, a hierarchy created by and evolved under the Nazi regime, but the roles played by kapos and ( Nazi ) guards were quite different from each other.

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