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Politicians vs. Journalists. Attacks by the M5S’s website and Mr Salvini

“Scribble-sellers” is how the new secretary of the Northern League, Mr Salvini, commented; while the website beppegrillo.it continues with the column “today’s journalist”, this time dedicated to Pierluigi Battista of Corsera

Politics keeps on attacking journalists accused of being unfair and biased: Sunday 15th, Mr Matteo Salvini, during the congress in Turin of the Northern League – of which he has become secretary just a few days ago – he attacked reporters defining them as “scribble-sellers… devoid of moral objectivity” and authors of a “a shameful and disgusting lynching” of his party. Two days before the website beppegrillo.it continued in its column dedicated to unsympathetic journalists with an article on Mr Pierluigi Battista, a columnist for the Corriere della Sera, who would have culpably failed to indicate in its first page opinion that the M5S had waived its electoral reimbursements.

SALVINI – “Padania is ready to disobey: we have thousands of sections ready to be centres of struggle and counter information” Mr Salvini said. “There’s a shameful and disgusting lynching of the Northern League by Italian and roman journalists. Without resorting to blacklisting, at the next Congress those who demonstrate moral objectivity will be allowed, while all the others will be kicked away in the ass”.

BEPPEGRILLO.IT – Today’s Journalist, Pierluigi Battista , Corriere della Sera is the title of the post from the website of the M5S published on December 13 in response to an editorial of journalist on the Milan’s newspaper. “Battista has the fury of a Savonarola”, it said referring to the heretic who lived in the 1400s. “Battista did not report (Did not know? Did not want to? Could not?) that the only political force that has given up reimbursements (worth 42 million euros) was the M5S. Indeed, for Mr Battista, the M5S is a hungry latecomer, and as such an object that provokes disgust, “the disgust that the public feels towards political money-grabbers.”

THE ANSWERS TO THE M5S – “To Pierluigi Battista and all the ‘excommunicated’ by Beppe Grillo, the FNSI expresses its full personal solidarity”, the Secretary of the National Federation of the Italian Press, Mr Franco Siddi, said in a statement. “In the end, Beppe Grillo will eventually become a caricature of his invective, but his repeated tirades against journalists and different ideas are likely to fuel a problem for democratic guarantees. The new accusing finger pointed against the Corriere della Sera and Pierluigi Battista, after the blacklisting of Ms Maria Novella Oppo (L’Unità) and Mr Francesco Merlo (La Repubblica), is a form of apparent annoyance for the pluralism of information, a condition that distinguishes democracies from other regimes”.

The union component Giornalisti in movimento – Stampa romana, in a statement in which it is stated that the union component feels “culturally close to the 5 Star Movement”, but it has to take the distance from the “heavy and defamatory judgments addressed” to journalists. Mr Fabrizio de Jorio, coordinator of the current, writes that it is unacceptable to “draw up blacklists or reporting requirements for journalists, thus inciting and fomenting anger and resentment against individual colleagues and the entire category”. At the same time, Mr de Jorio points out that the articles of Ms Oppo on the M5S “go beyond the limits imposed by the ethics and correctness that should govern, always, the exercise of our profession”.

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