Meloni’s liberal opponent: Nascent fascism in Italy is “absolutely fake news”

Source: Hot Air

Are American media outlets ignorant about European politics, or just hoping to keep us that way? News orgs here in the US have spent the week so far warning that the fascisti had gone on the march in Italy with the election of Giorgia Meloni and her right-wing coalition. Nearly every media outlet in the US worked in a mention of Benito Mussolini in their hyperventilating over Meloni’s win as the first female Prime Minister in Italy.

Where do they come up with that take? Not even Meloni’s opposition leader, former PM Matteo Renzi, thinks the fascists are making a comeback. In an interview with CNN yesterday, Renzi scoffed at that accusation, calling it “absolutely fake news”:

Breitbart’s Alana Mastrangelo reported on Renzi’s comments earlier today:

“Personally, I was against Giorgia Meloni. I’m not her best friend. We grew up together in politics, but we are, and will be, rivals, always,” said Renzi, who served as Prime Minister of Italy for nearly three years until December 2016, and is the leader of the liberal “Italia Viva” party.

“At the same time, I think [Meloni] is not a danger [to] Italian democracy,” Renzi continued. “She is my rival, and we will continue to fight each other, but the idea that now there is a risk of fascism in Italy is absolutely fake news.”

The former Prime Minister went on to say that Meloni won Sunday night’s election, “particularly because populism, a lot of times, [wins] in Italy.”

“She has a majority coalition, and probably she will be — I think next month — the next Prime Minister,” Renzi said, before doubling down on his claim that “democracy” is not at risk.

“That is very important, because I fought against her, but at the same time, I think there is not a danger for fascism in Italy,” Renzi affirmed.

You know where you can’t find that reported, however? CNN. A search for “Renzi” comes up with 195 results, but the most recent is from July. The clip does not appear in the transcripts for the last couple of days. The only real mention of this CNN interview by CNN comes up in an edited clip on yesterday’s Connect the World, in video but not in print. Becky Anderson introduces part of her interview with Renzi, which may or may not have been the same as from this clip above:

ANDERSON: Well, earlier I spoke to former Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi, who assured me that there was absolutely no danger to Italy’s democracy under Meloni and he is one of her opponents, it has to be added. He also poured cold water over any risk to Italy’s tough line on Russia, over its war on Ukraine, have a listen.


MATTEO RENZI, FORMER ITALIAN PRIME MINISTER: I think that, first of all, there is not a change in the position of Italy about Russian crisis and the Ukrainian war, please. That is the first point. Giorgia Meloni was the first who support the position of Prime Minister Draghi in a very strong alliance with the President Biden and the others, member of Alliance.

About Europe, yes, I attacked in electoral campaign in Giorgia Meloni for our position about Europe. She used to say we have to change everything in Europe. But that is a very good position, only for social media for Tik- Tok, for Instagram and for Twitter. Then when she will be Prime Minister, when she will understand that there is in the wallet of Italian family in Italian community – 209 billion euro — will come from next generation EU, the plan for resilience of the European Union. She will change idea. So I will believe unfortunately we have to change Italian legislation to guarantee more stability to government.

RENZI: But and I was very aggressive and she was aggressive about the position in economy because you know that everywhere is problem for inflation cost of energy situation of families you know, in Italy is particularly true because our companies pay for energy 10 times the American companies. That is a historical problem and other energy in Italy. But I don’t believe our – the international alliance in Europe and in NATO will be worried for what could happen not problem from Italy.

Of course, I’m sad, because she became a prime minister, but I defend Italian democracy that is very important.

Anderson’s Twitter handle is in the above clip. Perhaps it’s not the same interview, but at one time or another, Renzi told Anderson that a return to fascism is “absolutely fake news.” Why not play that declaration, especially since it goes directly to the point Anderson made in this intro?

The lack of reporting on this rather newsworthy tidbit from the news organization that created it raises suspicions of narrative journalism surrounding the Italian election results. Andrew Malcolm and I discuss that on the latest episode of The Ed Morrissey Show podcast, which is now up. Either American media outlets are deliberately stoking false fears about conservatives in Europe with narratives than even European liberals don’t buy, or they just don’t know any better. There aren’t any rational alternatives, and neither lends much credibility to CNN’s coverage — or anyone else’s, for that matter.

Today’s show also features:

  • Andrew Malcolm and I discuss the shrieking coverage of the Italian elections, and we also take note of the coverage of our own.
  • Why aren’t more pollsters using likely voter models by now? Why did the WaPo avoid reporting LV results in their own poll?
  • Andrew also talks about his Two Bidens VIP column, and we have plenty of fun cutting up as well.
  • Plus, I review the morning’s top stories, including the prospects of a legal block against Joe Biden’s Academia bailout. More on that in tomorrow’s podcast!

The Ed Morrissey Show is now a fully downloadable and streamable show at  SpotifyApple Podcaststhe TEMS Podcast YouTube channel, and on Rumble and our own in-house portal at the #TEMS page!