Three Monkeys Online

A Curious, Alternative Magazine

Historic is the official line

Did you feel the paradigm shift yesterday? Did your knees tremble as the Italian delegation at the United Nations smiled humbly watching their painstaking work on the abolition of the death penalty turn into a completely non-binding resolution voted for by 109 countries,54 against, and 29 abstentions.

The evening news here ran with it as the main headline, devoting a large chunk of its coverage to an interview with Foreign Minister Massimo D’Allema. Historic, and a triumph for Italian diplomacy was the verdict of TG1’s journalists. Historic and a triumph for Italian diplomacy was the verdict of the Foreign Minister. A Historic signal, according to President Napolitano.

Strange then how, given that it’s an international issue, this historic moment has been so completely missed outside of Italy. Glance through the front pages of the Suddeutsche Zeitung, Le Monde, the Irish Times, El Mundo, and the Guardian all seem to have been caught napping in relation to this resolution yesterday.

Napping, or exercising good editorial judgement in the face of an admirable but completely pointless diplomatic exercise the results of which were always going to be fudgey at best.

Given that initiative was primarily an Italian one, it’s only right that significant coverage should have been given. Astounding is the fact that the coverage was entirely devoid of criticism. They swallowed the ‘historic’ moment hook, line & sinker.

My new year’s resolution is to stop watching TG1 and to switch to Teletubbies instead.