A blog written by Manchester College students studying the 2008 presidential campaign.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Handsome and Even Tanned

Italy's Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi described Barack Obama as "young, handsome and even tanned." Some people were shocked and taken aback by this statement, but it was only meant as a joke. He said this at a news conference after meeting with the Russian president. Apparently, he said Obama has everything needed in order to reach deals.

If it's meant as a joke, then I see no problem with a comment like that. People should lighten up and have a sense of humor. If it was meant to be negative or anything, then I could see people getting upset. The article also said that Berlusconi has said questionable things before like comparing a German lawmaker to a Nazi camp guard and saying that there were too many women in the new Spanish government. I guess it all depends on how serious you take things, and how easily you can be offended. What do you think about it?


LKS said...

I think if the guy does have a history of saying questionable things like that, then no one should really take offense to this. When I saw this, I wondered who the Prime Minister was and what he was like before I made any judgment about it. Some people just have a problem with saying things before they think about them and wonder if they will offend anyone. Or else he just doensn't care.

Anonymous said...

The problem is, this is not just 'some people', he is the Prime Minister of Italy, he owns most of the Italian media, which put out his spin day and night, and he is an EMBARRASSMENT to any Italian with a minimum of culture and savoir faire. He is crass, vulgar and though old and unattractive (apart from the money, some 'ladies' would say), continues to make offensive and sexist jokes about women, including in front of his (much younger, beautiful and surprisingly intelligent) wife. Political leaders are expected to know the meaning of the word DIPLOMACY.

LKS said...

I wasn't defending the Prime Minister in any way - I don't know anything about him. I'm sorry to hear that he embarasses people of his country. I was merely pointing out that people shouldn't be too offended by the stupid comment he made about Obama, as long as it wasn't intended to be racist.

cjfrankum said...

I wish anonymous had posted as who they actualy are, first of. Secondly, I have to say quit being so sensitive. Is humor not allowed? After talking to a few foreign born friends of mine, it is obvious to me that racism is truly only shown in the US. In other areas, color is no barrier, it is typically religion that any disstaste is shown towards other. So I believe people should stop being so ridiculously uptight and just let things slide. If you can't laugh at yourself, you're always going to be laughed at.

Anonymous said...

lks: I grew up in Italy and that phrase is a very old but still very common racist joke. It is more or less the equivalent of calling a white man 'pale butt' (verbatim translation from Italian).
cjfrankum: You are right, it is a joke, but being a *racist* joke is not funny. Fortunately, you made me lough out loud saying: "racism is truly only shown in the US" :D

LKS said...

I didn't know that. Thank you for the insight. That is pretty bad that a political leader would say something like that when he should know it would offend or embarass people.

Anonymous said...

I'm Italian and I confirm, that Berlusconi is even sexist, as he said that there were "too much women" in the Spanish government. He has the party AN that is a derivate of the fascists, they try to push the citizen to be afraid of immigrants, gipsies and so on in the name of security, you know better than me, pure populism.
Also he answered to a girl who was asking about the insecurity of work today to "marry a millionaire" . Plainly disgusting

Markus said...

Bloody hell, have a look at the video, he was smiling and joking” it was clearly a joke !!!!
Hi fellow, this is Markus from Italy
Berlusconi has been elected 3 times, also because he is loved in Italy for his “spontaneous” and ironic nature.
And, believe me, in Italy most of italian mass media and newspaper are “ex-communist” ( you do not have had communism in your country, we had the biggest communist party in Europe, do not forget…and we still have, they just changed name from PCI into PD, Democratic Party…nothing to do with your Democratic Party, of course !!! ), thats why also in USA you can have a wrong idea of our President.

Anonymous said...

He also made several law to avoid his processes and favour his television company. He also "joked" on a German socialist deputee, Martin Shulz" defining him as a "kapo" (jew lager guardian, during jew deportation). This german politic also have a father who has been deported there. These are facts, not an opinion of "communist" press. For this last joke he also defined "imbeciles" who "misunderstand his innocent joke" aka half world of imbeciles. You american also learnt this during maccarthism (In "Good night and good luck") everyone was not aligned or is skeptic or critic is deemed as communist, something like that is happening in Italy, the same old story..
Have him also joked about "Marry a millionaire"? Was that just to provocate out of the politically correct mud? Or just to poke on this climate of cultural closure even about women liberation.
Well i think "Al quaeda will be happy".. lol