They piss on us and tell us it’s raining

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Today at 2:00pm Marco Travaglio initiated the column called “passaparola” {spread the word}, his weekly appointment with the blog.
Below I’m giving the translated transcript of the live broadcast.

”Good day to everyone. This is the start of a weekly appointment. I am a bit of a beginner in this stuff and so I hope that things go well, but they’ll go better in the weeks to come. I would like to glance at this week’s newspapers with you to show you the problems that are afflicting the information system that all of us, I guess all of you, are very worried about. I’ll start with an issue that involved me but that in fact is not an issue about me: it’s the “Schifani case”, even though many people have called it the “Travaglio case”. Ten days ago I was with Fabio Fazio giving an account of certain things that are already published in books that have never been taken to court for libel and in some articles that have been taken to court by Schifani who however lost the case because a judge established that everything that l'Espresso had written about him was basically true and so there was no defamation That evening, as happened to me seven years ago when I went to present another book in the exact same conditions by Daniele Luttazzi, there was an intervention from the first hen to lay an egg, always in these cases, that is the person who at that time was the leader of the provisional group Popolo della Libertà, Maurizio Gasparri who declared that there would be political consequences. For an instant, I wondered “Will they oblige Schifani to resign?”, in fact they wanted me to stop and throw out all the possible and imaginable heads in the RAI as though I had asked permission or even received orders from the heads of departments in the RAI, just imagine that, to say all that I said. It really struck me that among the keenest to take action against the fact that I had given an account of something true, something that was documented and well known, was the director of RAI 3, Paolo Ruffini, already known for having closed down Sabina Guzzanti’s programme "Raiot" – there again because too many true things were said all together. He declared that I had “gratuitously offended the second highest position in the State”. Effectively it was “gratis” {free} because no one paid me to do it. In reality, Ruffini has a conflict of interests when he talks about Schifani. Perhaps no one knows, or at least only a few know but Paolo Ruffini does not (just) have the same name as the former Christian Democrat Minister and as the former Cardinal of a certain Palermo in the 1970s: he is the son of the Minister and a relative of the Cardinal. There’s more: the mother of Ruffini, the RAI 3 director is the sister of Honourable La Loggia who is not the namesake of the current Forza Italia parliamentarian (who was an associate of Schifani and of Nino Mandalà, later convicted for mafia, in the famous company Siculabroker at the end of the 1970s and the beginning of the 1980s): it’s really him! Basically Ruffini is the nephew of La Loggia. Thus to get to know the Siculabroker stories he’d just need to go round collecting them from the family.

Continue reading "Ci pisciano addosso e ci dicono che piove" {They piss on us and tell us it’s raining}

And when he states that I cannot say such things on television... let’s just say that he is saying that I shouldn’t dig up certain family stories. Concerning his family that is. It’s called conflict of interests, even though on this occasion Berlusconi had nothing to do with it, however, no one has bothered to point this out. Oh well, never mind! It is better to know precisely whom you are dealing with, namely the one who talks and directs the progressive Rai network. Then there is the matter of the other networks also directed by the centre-right. What happened at that point? No one bothered to call Schifani to account for his actions, nor did anyone bother to ask any questions regarding what is stated in the documentation. Instead, they began calling on me to account with regard to a number of alleged offences, which, just in passing, I never committed. For example, the excellent journalist from "La Repubblica", Mrs. D'Avanzo, even made certain insinuations in a sweet-talking article, claiming that I had allowed the costs for my summer holidays in 2002 or 2003 to be paid by some or other gentleman, whom I have never seen, never known, nor ever heard anyone speak of, and who was subsequently convicted of collusion with the mafia. She then proceeded to write: “who could believe such a thing?" She must be the first journalist in history to make a statement at the top of the page and then proceed to state at the bottom of the page that: “ no one believes it!” However, if no one believes it, then why write about it in the first place? Why not check the information beforehand? Why not do your job properly? All very well, but this person has put the spotlight on me and on my holidays, instead of talking about the Senate Chairman’s companies and his urban planning consultancy services. Urban planning consultancy services that Schifani himself (surprise, surprise) was commissioned to provide by the Villabate Municipality, one of the most mafia-infested municipalities ever known, and more specifically by the very same Nino Mandalà who, fifteen or twenty years before, had been a member of the very same brokerage firm, together with Schifani and La Loggia. The same Municipal Council that was subsequently dissolved twice for reasons relating to mafia collusion, which is why Schifani was unable to complete his task involving the Urban Planning Scheme, for which the Chairman of the Villabate Municipal Council, Francesco Campanella, is currently serving a jail term and has elected to turned state witness, and regarding which Schifani and La Loggia had received direct instructions from the Boss himself. Another lesson for D'Avanzo: how can you accuse other people of having had dealings, including business dealings [with these same people] prior to them even being incriminated and found guilty? A person does not suddenly become a mafia member on the very day that he/she is accused of mafia activities, or for that matter on the very day that he/she is arrested. A person normally becomes a member of the mafia from a very early age, simply because it is very difficult to get in as an adult. They recruit you as a youngster. Anyone who happens to be in Palermo and decides to go into business with certain people should first find out precisely who and what these people are. Anyone agreeing to provide consultancy services to a Municipal Council that has been heavily infiltrated by the mafia, cannot turn around later and say that: “I didn’t know”. Before going to work in certain environments, such people should first gather enough information and, specifically in Manadalà’s case, there were copious amounts of such information readily available on site. Whenever a new Magistrate arrives in a new place, it is said that he is always the last to find out what is actually going on, just like a man who is being cuckolded by his wife. In political circles, as Paolo Borsellino stated long ago and as Giuseppe Aiala wrote in his latest book, you get to hear about anyone who has had shady dealings, long before the courts are able to put anything down in writing. Otherwise, today we would be obliged to state that Al Capone was never a member of the mafia. Al Capone was never, in fact, convicted on any mafia-related charges, but only on tax evasion charges. According to D’Avanzo, we should therefore refer to Al Capone as "the well known Italo-American tax evader ". But let’s move on, because I don’t want to say too much in this regard, but what I do want to talk about are the newspapers, about how they decide on the headings for their articles and what they write about in these articles. Naturally, the source that D'Avanzo mentioned, namely the attorney of this Mr. Aiello who apparently stated that he had paid for my holiday, wrote a little letter to D'Avanzo, which was subsequently published in La Repubblica, in which he states that: “There is no way that I am her source, simply because I have never heard from her nor met with her personally". D'Avanzo response was certainly to contritely say: "I’m sorry, I made a mistake, it was all a big lie ". There is no one around who is prepared to accept responsibility for having told this lie and no one who knows the person responsible. D'Avanzo’s response only runs to two lines, a genuine lesson in journalism: "The statement made by Michele Aiello – in other words the statement that he paid for my holiday, which is untrue – was made by sources closely linked to the investigation". "Sources closely linked to the investigation". Remember these words, these are all totally new expressions, neologisms that are hauled out of the cupboard and dusted off especially for certain occasions. " Sources closely linked to the investigation". No one knows who said this, it was heard, it was reported. " Sources closely linked to the investigation". Sources as pure as the driven snow... The Riformista: "Travaglio excuses himself in La Repubblica: 'I paid for that holiday’". The heading alone is interesting: "excuses himself". For what precisely? I do not excuse myself for anything, I have done nothing wrong! I only spoke about my holidays precisely because I have nothing to hide. Meanwhile, just ten days before the scheduled broadcast of "Che tempo che fa", the only person that had not as yet come up with any explanation was the leader of the Senate himself. Also because it is true that he would never do so of his own accord. What is required is one journalist who is prepared to shove a microphone under his nose and ask him some questions about Siculabroker, about the Villabate Municipality and about the consultancy services that he provided. Unfortunately, this did not happen. The only person who shoved a microphone under his nose was a TG1 reporter who, crouching down on all fours, asked: “Mr. Chairman, how do we go about encouraging dialogue between the right-wing and the left-wing?" Mr. Chairman answered, naturally, that dialogue is important. Far better than any dialogue he may have witnessed in recent days. He was only kissed rather forcefully by Anna Finocchiaro. He could not have imagined anything like this. Second question: "Anna Finocchiaro came to your defence, does this please you?" End of the interview. No further questions. It would in fact be fairly difficult to imagine anyone like him answering any questions that were not specifically put to him and, in reality, this is the only Country in which a person who has had certain questionable dealings in the past and whose background is tainted with certain biographical details can go on to fill what is essentially the post of Deputy Prime Minister, since it is the second highest post in Government. En passant, I quote Il Giornale, which, instead of talking about Schifani, talks about me, in an article that is riddled with lies. At a certain point in the article, it is written that I have a weekly column in the Repubblica Torino newspaper, which is true, in which I respond to readers’ letters "in an affected manner reminiscent of a self portrait signed by the painter Mannelli". But how can I have a self -portrait signed by a painter other than myself? That is called a portrait, while a self-portrait, instead, is something that I have painted myself! They no longer even know what words to use in certain cases. They use words that are completely fake. And what happens next, you ask? The mist rises and it becomes patently clear that even the story regarding my holidays was a lie, but no one bothers to apologise – on the contrary, they write about " Sources closely linked to the investigation " – and all sorts of legal procedures are implemented in an attempt to shut up either the programme presenter or the person that spoke about the matter in the first place. Off go the usual authorities, the usual boards of directors, the usual parliamentary overview committees. All of which are nothing more than political bodies that include D'Alema, Fassino, Berlusconi, Fini and Mastella, hiding behind their emissaries, instituting proceedings, threatening sanctions, introducing codes. They even go as far as reporting violations that no one has ever committed, because they alone know all about the codes and all about the rules. I personally only know of one rule, namely the one that states that I must check whether or not something is true and then I must decide whether or not that something is of interest. Then, if that something turns out to be both true and interesting, I proceed to mention it. The only rule I know is the one stating that one should not violate any of the provisions of the criminal code. Is there anyone out there who believes that I may have violated some provision of the criminal code? Let him/her prove it in Court. Is there anyone out there who believes that they have something to say? Let him/her say it. I don’t hear anyone saying anything, nothing but a lot of meaningless hot air. You should also remember the following word: contradiction. Fabio Fazio is the interviewer and I am the interviewee. It happens every Saturday and Sunday night and it is known as an interview. It makes provision for one person to ask questions and for another person to answer them. In this case, they said that what was lacking was some sort of contradiction, a third person - I don’t know who that could be, perhaps Mrs. Finocchiaro or Minister Schifani tucked away under the armchair – who could pop out at the appropriate time and tell me to shut up or to tell me that I’m talking nonsense. This, however, has never happened previously in any interview! Just in passing, the leader of the Senate has no shortage of resources at his disposal and all that is required is for him to give the nod, at which point he will find all the television cameras at his feet, ready to capture even the smallest sigh that may escape from his lips. Even when he is announcing a serious and ferocious battle against the mafia, although this would certainly sound more convincing were he not a partner in the mafia, however, one can’t have everything in life. The thing that pleased me the most was that this attempt to discredit anyone attempting to telling the truth was unsuccessful: anyone that manages to earn a certain amount of credibility through his/her work and through his/her own propriety will, in the long run also receive that celebrated “recognition from below” that Enzo Biagi spoke of and that is incomparable to any recognition coming down from above. Every person must make his/her own choice. If he/she wants recognition from below, he/she won’t receive any from above, and vice versa. Therefore, with the smear attempt having vanished into thin air, all that remains are a few messages that I have noted down for my own reference. One was from an old friend who works at RAI’s London office, who reminded me that, unlike what occurs in his company, in England, when reporters from one of the public broadcasters, namely the BBC, are attacked, precisely the opposite occurs than what happens in Italy. In 2004, a number of BBC reporters reported on the contents of the Iraq dossier, a dossier containing the lies spread by the Blair Government, with Bush’s agreement, in order to mislead the people of the West, tell lies about the weapons of mass destruction that were never found, and the relationship between Bin Laden and Saddam Hussein, which never existed. When this scoop concerning the government was aired, the government immediately proceeded to attack these reporters. All good and well, except for the fact that both the Chairman and the General Manager of the BBC, a public service radio and television broadcaster that is paid for with English taxpayers’ money, instead of venting their wrath on the reporters that may have put them in an embarrassing position with the scoop in question, instead resigned in order to defend their reporters. Did you see instead what the leaders of RAI did? They said that I had done something disgraceful, perhaps because they are obviously not accustomed to hearing the truth being told while, when they see a doormat shoving a microphone under the nose of the Senate leader Schifani to ask him how to encourage dialogue, well….. that is something they do like because, in their opinion, that is a proper interview. In that case they refrain from demanding contradiction, or even any real questions! It is purely a question of habit. And when they speak of the BBC, perhaps they should watch it for just a few minutes each day, that way they would understand what a real public service radio and television broadcaster looks like. Another thing that pleased me no end was that many people have sent me quotes, phrases, articles and even some sayings. I would like to end with a Catalan saying sent to me by a female student from Barcelona who is in Italy on an academic bursary, as well as another one from Paul Valéry whom I already knew. Paul Valéry’s saying goes as follows: "there is only one way to see one’s dreams come true, and that is to wake up ". Another one of Paul Valéry’s sayings is that: "if you are unable to destroy the logic, at least you should try to destroy the speaker ". The same occurs when you are unable to destroy the facts, which have an intrinsic life of their own, you should at least try to destroy the one that revealed them. Finally, the Catalan saying sent to me by the this girl who states that she can think of nothing that is more appropriate in order to describe the current situation in Italy, which upsets her very much. And with this I will take my leave: "they piss on us and tell us that it is raining ".

Posted by Beppe Grillo at 08:24 PM in | Comments (5) | Comments in Italian (translated) Post a comment | Sign up | Send to a friend | | GrilloNews | listen_it_it.gifListen |
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'Those who can make you belive absurdities can make you commit atrocities.' - Voltaire

Posted by: silvia intravaia | May 22, 2008 10:45 AM

To Edededed | May 20, 2008 03:54 AM

I see your point, there are many speculations about the Americans, the nation's saviors. I'd rather talk about them here on the blog but if u can understand Italian, i would suggest you to watch this massive documentary done by Carlo Lucarelli about the SECRET RELATIONS BETWEEN AMERICA AND ITALY. It's really , no more than a good book but we are on the web, so i'd say LET'S STREAM IT!
However it makes you wonder a lot on how things really are.
It touches many hot subjects from OSS, CIA, GLADIO etc.
You should take a night off, there are maybe 10 videos to be watched, it's damn worth it, believe me!
Utube's link:

But it's no finished...
There's something MORE interesting to be taking into account and it's the political implication this documentary had in 2004. BERLUSCONI'S GOVERNMENT baned the documentary and denied its broadcasting on RAI. What was that scared them to make such a strong decision, they were scared that many seniors and old mamas staring 19 hours a day at the television and who vote for them would watch the documentary and remember their not so glorious past?
Just to make sure i ain't saying bollocks, there's the link:

Many questions, still no answers but one thing is sure, there's always Berlusconi in the middle of it.
Let me know...

Posted by: Francesco Ubaldo | May 20, 2008 09:41 AM

Ron Paul did my day!

This evening I finally bought my copy of the best seller The Revolution a Manifesto by Ron Paul. I was in line like many others for signing the copy, Ron Paul smiled at me gave me the hand, his wife was there and smiled and waved.

A little timid I said to his careless Washingtonian "lieutenant" that I posted some news quite often about Ron Paul on the highly acclaimed and visited the worldwide Top Ten Blog Beppe Grillo.

Ron Paul noticed his " lieutenant " sufficient behavior with me and to make me smile he tendered
his hand toward me. It was unexpected as he was
just signing books before me, I felt a little timid looking in the eyes of such a strong tempered gentleman at the same time.

His eyes were a little tired a sign that he is working hard for United States of America Presidency. Judge Andrew Napolitano is keeping an eye on him as some refer to him as nuts, later adjusted in .... his supporters are nuts of him!

Ron Paul visits Austin to sign copies of his book.

07:42 PM CDT on Monday, May 19, 2008


He may be on the losing end of the race, but presidential candidate Ron Paul remains very popular in Austin.

Monday night, the Republican lawmaker signed copies of his book, “The Revolution: A Manifesto” at Book People.

Despite John McCain’s primary victories, Paul continues to campaign for president. This last weekend, Paul was in Kentucky ahead of that state’s primary.

Posted by: Gualtiero Cocco | May 20, 2008 05:48 AM

If some Italian journalists think the news of the man second in command in Italy, eighteen years ago, had contacts with mafiosi shouldn't be reported then they're doing a disservice to their profession and the Italian people paying them.

Read and ponder. Where I live, media saw fit to report that a certain governmental "higher-up" is married to a woman who, in her youth, hung around with "bikers". The report meant to imply a possible (a remote possibility) connection between the politician and certain "bikers" engaged in criminal activities. No such connections were found. Yet, as insignificant as that bit of indescretion may have been, it was reported. Why? Because the woman is married to a public servant and the tax-paying citizen has a right to know. This is not a question of doing journalism one way or the other.

And as far as the Davanzo's story is concerned it's a poorly disguised attempt to smear Travaglio. An apology to Travaglio is in order. In the meantime the paper should be ashamed for reporting such falsehoods on a fellow journalist committed to his profession. Shame!

Posted by: LP | May 20, 2008 04:28 AM

Ok...really cool this whole idea of web streaming contributions, specially by such a eloquent interlocutor and journalist as Mr. Travaglio.
We should learn how to deliver an healthy information by looking not too far away, western Europe is greatly represented by British and French newspapers, their advocacy to inform the citizen with a legitimate work, based on archive files and true facts has made honor to the job they invest. I' am sure they are taken into account by many, but i think it would be an enormous challenge to shape the Italian journalism on the British ones. However i am damn sure that the action began by Grillo and Co. to eradicate a plague which effect is largely intrinsic in the italian culture is a gigantic undertaking. A country where despicable authorities use their power to prevent any truth to be known by the public is embarrassing for us as free citizens of a democratic nation. I support individuality as a person being conscious, informed and aware of the issues of the community and not a quiescent follower who lives in absolute and atrocious ignorance absorbed in a rooted "clientelismo".
In the schools at the place of translating Greec and Latin versions they should teach the costituzione and specially the articolo 21.

Posted by: Francesco Ubaldo | May 20, 2008 02:07 AM

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