On air: Do you feel sorry for Silvio Berlusconi?

It was a pretty vicious shot for a bar-room brawl, let alone for a Prime Minister surrounded by security men. Silvio Berlusconi, Italy’s controversy-ridden Prime Minister, is going to spend a second night in hospital after a man assaulted him, breaking his nose and two teeth when he was greeting crowds in Milan.

His attacker, Massimo Tartaglia, allegedly has a history of mental problems. He is being hailed as a hero by the part of Italian society which detests its leader. Check out how many people have posted on this fan page for him on Facebook.

Silvio Berlusconi is a very divisive figure in Italy. In the last year he has been embroiled in alleged scandals involving call girls, and two separate court cases involving corruption and alleged mafia links. Mr Berlusconi denies all impropriety.

His opponents accuse him of controlling Italian media and stifling any criticism of him. Even his spokesman admitted there has been a “buildup of hatred” towards him. Some people in Italy say they feel the country is now so divided by its leader feels like an echo of the extremist violence that plagued the country in the 1970s.

A leading opposition politician accused Berlusconi a few days ago of “inciting citizens to violence against himself” with his alleged avoidance of his pending anti-corruption trials. Since the attack Antonia Di Pietro has said that he doesn’t approve of violence, but that he “shares the complaints of those citizens who are disappointed with the Prime Minister.”

But no matter how much you dislike a politician, is there ever an excuse to assault a 73 year old man?

Do you feel sorry for Silvio Berlusconi? Or is he getting none of your sympathy?

118 Responses to “On air: Do you feel sorry for Silvio Berlusconi?”

  1. 1 Nigel
    December 14, 2009 at 12:33

    His “I am above the law” arrogance makes him a very annoying person but no one deserves to be hit in the face with a stone or metal statue. I guess he would have prefered shoes especially if the thrower’s aim was as bad as the guy in Baghdad. This won’t hurt his image one little bit as his already waining popularity is driven by totally unrelated factors that are sustainable and not a “one-of” TV clip like this one .

  2. 3 Greg
    December 14, 2009 at 12:54

    Does Berlusconi also go to church, as it has to him? 🙂

    But seriously, why does a dodgy politician of his type run a country anyway?
    It was bad enough when George W Bush and Ronald Reagan before him embarrassed Americans worldwide. The UK had Margaret Thatcher, Zimbabwe still has Mugabe. How do these types persuade millions they are to lead their countries? Something is wrong in electoral processes somewhere, or is is the dominance of the media influence?

  3. 4 Josiah Soap
    December 14, 2009 at 13:08

    I love this guy, he’s so politically incorrect and is always joking around. He is like breath of fresh air compared to other politicians.
    Other people on facebook obviously have different opinions. I wonder what would be the reaction is this had happened to President Obama???

    • 5 David Hay
      December 16, 2009 at 10:44

      How can you call a man who is suspicious of,(and who publicly has attacked,)those who oppose his views, such as the magistrates, students and members of the press, as a breath of fresh air?

      He controls much of the media(a situation which would not be allowed in the UK)and has changed the law to suit his own ends.— This is a matter of record.

      As someone who has strong family ties to Italy and who travels there often, I am deeply aware that since Berlusconi returned to power, the north south divide in the country has widened considerably due to the divisive nature of his party’s rhetoric.

      Due to the ineffectual performance of the Left and Centre Left, Italy became fertile political soil for the Right and Far Right parties. The result has been the biggest divide for many years.

      The recent censorship of Facebook and Twitter reveals the true stripes of this
      man’s party’s intolerance for true democracy.

  4. December 14, 2009 at 13:39

    Savage, Reckless, Lethal!
    Hallmark of Gomorra. The other side of glitz!
    Even they have standards and Berlusconi seemed to undermine that!

  5. 7 wintergreen
    December 14, 2009 at 13:41

    If only we could tempt more so called “world leaders” into the open so they too could feel the wrath of the public they so despise.

  6. 8 steve
    December 14, 2009 at 13:55

    I doubt this was even political. The guy did it to get attention. prepare to see even more outrageous actions today because of the rampant narcissism and the internet enabling them to be that way.

  7. 9 landilani
    December 14, 2009 at 14:05

    what society r we building if we say some pipo deserv the sudden punch.i mean shud we even be asking the question.

  8. 10 steve
    December 14, 2009 at 14:18

    Notice how people on the far left, despite how anti war they claim to be, applaud violence against leaders they don’t like?

    • December 14, 2009 at 15:01

      I tend to be what you call “on the left”, but have ALWAYS held violence to be wrong, solve nothing and only serve to create more violence. Evil begets evil, and while there are indeed those on the left who are hypocritical, if you even try to say that there aren’t the same type of people on the far right, then you are either lying to yourself, or simply being intellectually dishonest.

  9. December 14, 2009 at 14:21

    …still to harsh, a rotten egg, rotten tomato of pie in the face could do. But still goes to show how ingrained the mafia culture is in some Italians. Diplomacy doesn’t work much there

  10. 13 Guido
    December 14, 2009 at 14:43

    I was quite amused until I heard that he was seriously injured. It is important, that there is a possibility to protest against politicians, but please use tomatoes and not heavy sculptures.

    And yes, I feel sorry for him, but I still do not like him.

    • 14 ross
      December 14, 2009 at 18:09

      I don’t approve of attacks on politicians, but perhaps it makes up for all the smacks in the gob he should have got, over the years…

  11. 15 patti in cape coral
    December 14, 2009 at 14:43

    I really don’t like Mr. Berlusconi at all, especially when he called Eluana Englaro’s father a murderer when he took her off life support. It was just political posturing at the expense of a grieving father and it was truly despicable. That being said, I’m not doing a happy jig at the thought of violence toward him either. I’m not exactly feeling sorry for him, just don’t think that kind of violence is justified.

  12. 16 Crispo, Uganda
    December 14, 2009 at 14:52

    Let’s say that the insanity that affected this man was as a result of Berlusconi’s quack politics. What was better than hit him with his own version of bad politiking style? I’m glad he finally realises it hurts and a lot too. I wish a few others too, could be given such ‘baptisms of stone’ just to reaffirm to them that we ain’t happy with their dealing.

    Berlusconi to me, is more of a professional jester or shall we call it clown! If he so much enjoyed throwing jests at people, no matter the effect it had, how come this one isn’t that funny to him?

    Well, like the well known adage goes, ‘two wrongs do not make a right’, it wasn’t the best thing to do to a PM. So I guess the guy will go to jail and come out a hero or villain? We’ll wait and see. At least Iraq has given us an example.

    All said and done, it’s time politicians out there got wind of this and put up their best acts if they are to save their photogenic faces after all. Or is it photogenic any way?

  13. 17 gary
    December 14, 2009 at 14:55

    Divisive politicians have the same rights as do peacemakers. Those celebrating this attack are condoning the anarchy which such politicians inspire. One mustn’t aid that which one opposes.

  14. December 14, 2009 at 14:56

    Silvio Berlusconi understandably represents a political trend which was democratically voted into power. Lashing out at him violently is an attack on democracy itself. In a democracy, or rather a civilised society, there are institutions that deal with transgressions.

    The attack is by no means a political expression that should prevail in a democracy. There are ways to remove a politician through impeachment or general elections. Allowing physical violence against leaders is akin to bloody coups.

    It can be funny for some to throw eggs at politicians or make derisive comments about them through caricatures or articles. But it’s no fun lashing out at them physically as that means everyone has the right to take the law in their own hands, which is a prelude to anarchy.

  15. December 14, 2009 at 14:58

    ..and i’ll be writing the humourous side of this on our blog tomorrow, so gross Berlusconi didn’t deserve this what if the lunatic had knocked out six [teeth] instead of two. The PM still needs his teeth- more battles to be fought

  16. 21 steve
    December 14, 2009 at 14:59

    It’s quite disturbing that so many people can laugh off assaults on people, which are crimes. We had a show about domestic abuse, men hitting women, and what an abomination is, yet people joking around here saying “they should have used a tomato” which is still an assault and a crime. Are we picking and choosing what crimes we condemn and which ones we can laugh off? Maybe one day people will be so aloof, we’ll laugh off pedophelia.

  17. 23 Chintan in Houston
    December 14, 2009 at 15:05

    What were his security guards doing? This is complete failure on their part. They need to recruit the secret service people from the white house who let party chashers in 😉

  18. December 14, 2009 at 15:11

    Mr Berlusconi has acted very foolishly and has been in the lime-light for the very wrong reasons. However no one has the right to attack him physically. What was done to him was criminal. The pepetrator of this dastardly violent attack should be given the maximum sentence in a fair trial to deter others especially those with a violent streak. Perhaps it is true to say that Mr Berlusconi goaded his detractors but in the same breath his opponents have no right to take the law into their own hands. The problem with Mr Berlusconi is that he is too cock-sure and that upsets many people.

  19. December 14, 2009 at 15:13

    This is a barbarian act and ought to be condemned by all peace lovers. There is no comparison between what happened in Iraq and this act. This lunatic was obviously injurring his leader and countryman that are embodied in one person. Given this kind of behavior, it makes me question the sincerity of the accusations leveled against him. May be they are not credible but rather orchestrated by his ‘holier than thou’ protagonists who seem to be panicking after waiting for too long for their turn to ‘eat’.

    Italians can be as overworked for all of me but they should wait for the voting time to cast a no vote instead of resorting to physical brutality.
    Is the world becoming united in violence?
    I wish a quick recovery to this marveric leader.

  20. 26 Chintan in Houston
    December 14, 2009 at 15:15

    The story says the attack was done by a mentally unstable individual that needs medical attention.
    Unlike the comments above, this is not a crime against democracy or right wing politics or left wing conspiracy or some one trying to get 15 minutes of fame and end up in some relaity television show. This just makes for a good news story, its sensational, grabs your attention; hence we are talking about it right now.

  21. 27 steve
    December 14, 2009 at 15:18

    @ Chintan

    People who seek attention, narcissists, including politicians, need mental medical attention too. Personality disorders are a mental condition, which hopefully can be treated, but not in all cases. Mental illness is not limited to people thinking a dog tells them to kill their neighbor.

  22. December 14, 2009 at 15:19

    Aaron from Portland, Oregon, USA. The court system in Italy hasn’t proven Silvio Berlusconi as guilty to any crimes or links to the mafia. In any normal circumstance I would then say that he didn’t deserve the physical attack. However, Silvio Berlusconi has great power in Italy with the media and with laws as prime minister. He has put in place laws to avoid trial, trying to attain immunity. Silvio Berlusconi has interfered with the judicial system, thus obstructing justice and not letting the courts decide. There is a huge opposition aganist Silvio Berlusconi, just look at the facebook page of his attacker. The court systems have failed to bring justice, thus the people took it into their own hands. As an American “We the people” is a powerful statement becase we ARE our country and all have a stake in it. The attacker on Silvio Berlusconi was doing his civic duty to his countrymen to uphold justice. I don’t feel sorry for Silvio Berlusconi because he obviously is hiding something if he is trying to gain immunity, he deserves punishment for obstructing the court system and avoiding trial, the people have spoken, it is their country, not one man’s! At what point is it ok for citizens to take the law into their own hands?

  23. 29 neil
    December 14, 2009 at 15:20

    Silvio deserves my sympathy and admiration particularly when he decided to exit the car his “security” team had bundled him into, so that the media could maximise the moment and make him front page news worldwide. The man thinks on his feet and in an instant – pity the same didnt apply to the “security” team.

  24. 30 Crispo, Uganda
    December 14, 2009 at 15:24

    I’d like to remind Steve that this isn’t domestic violence we’re talking about. Its politics. Too bad Berlusconi was hit, but isn’t that what he dishes out to fellow Italians much as he was democratically elected?

    Those saying the attack on him is an attack on democracy had better look up the defination of democracy again. Who is/was the first party to assualt the other and violate their fundamental rights?

    Lets sympathise with him but not going on to support his circus act. Who wants to see a clown instead of a politician? I’m sorry if I sound offensive towards Berlusconi.

  25. 31 Kelly from Chicago
    December 14, 2009 at 15:24

    Like some others have been saying, most all people don’t deserve to be victims of violence. However, I don’t feel sorry for him, and can’t really care. While his openness/obviousness about his drama might be preferable than secret-keeping politicians to some, I just find it distasteful. Not a person I would want much of anything to do with.

  26. 32 Linda from Italy
    December 14, 2009 at 15:27

    @ Steve
    Sorry Steve I won’t let you get away with that one. I live in Italy and I see all the harm his government has done to the country and what a shabby individual he appears (won’t say any more because of libel laws).
    Under no circumstances do I condone this act of violence, I want to see him defeated in the polls and taken to task in a court of law, but I do not enjoy seeing this, or any other, member of the human race being made a victim of mindless violence.

  27. 33 steve
    December 14, 2009 at 15:31

    @ Crispo

    So you distinguish between kinds of assaults? it’s not politics, someone assaulted him. That’s a crime. Like it’s a crime to hit your wife. Assault is assault.

  28. December 14, 2009 at 15:36

    The said assailant is just a lunatic in quotes. We do not yet have medical evidence to suggest that his is as described. What we have is just a mearsay which does not constitute credible evidence as such. Does it mean that we should celebate even if he were?

    Oh Noble Brutus, Ceaser is not dead; he is just taking a ceaster before he comes again to greet the Roman senate . Why did you do it? Seeking your own pound of flesh? Ha! It was just a few scrapes – shame on you.

  29. 35 Tony from Singapura
    December 14, 2009 at 15:45

    Nobody should be on the recieving end of this type of assault. I guess his body gaurd should have been more on gaurd having consideration of this guys lack of popularity in some quarters.

  30. 36 John in Salem
    December 14, 2009 at 15:51

    Someday you should explain what you mean by “far left”. I’m fairly left of center but we have agreed on many things here. I define “far” – on either side – as people who consistently use contempt as an acceptable alternative to reasoned debate.

    I think the attack was horrible and it does not bode well for the future that a violent man with a history of mental problems would attract a fan club on the internet.

  31. 37 derrick kwashie from ghana
    December 14, 2009 at 15:58

    when i first heard the news on the bbc, i laughed my heart out. but having the video, i feel extremely sorry for mr berlusconi. its important to note that no matter the scandal mr berlusconi is embroiled in, hitting, especially a 73 year old man does not in any way justify the case for his detractors. mr prime minister have my sympathy. i pray for your speedy recovery.

  32. 38 Peter Gizzi UK
    December 14, 2009 at 16:00


    (Will not be listening tonight have to go out)

  33. 39 T
    December 14, 2009 at 16:08

    While nobody deserves to be attacked, you can’t say that his arrogance doesn’t have consequences.

    Obama gets roughly 30 death threats a day. Imagine if someone attacked him. What would people say?

  34. 40 Harry Webb
    December 14, 2009 at 16:14

    Signor Berlusconi has nobody but himself to blame. Or, is this just the Italian political equivalent of the “New Pearl Harbour”, which was 9/11? What with his court case coming up. What better way of generating Public sympathy?

  35. 41 Dan
    December 14, 2009 at 16:19

    To support his attacker is to support anarchy.
    Every Democracy has mechanism to remove any politician.
    Berlusconi was validly elected and as such should enjoy his personal protection.
    Sadly, politics has become so polarized anymore that I fear for the future as people can no longer agree to disagree and move on.

    • 42 Marissa in Oakland, CA
      December 14, 2009 at 19:35

      Hear hear. True “tolerance” means agreeing to disagree. It is a rapidly disappearing commodity these days.

  36. December 14, 2009 at 16:20

    Poor Silvio,
    He honestly did not deserve that.
    But given the enthusiasm the cowardly act has been treated with in Italy itself, it speaks volumes of the perception Italians have of their clownish and arrogant media-controlling billionaire leader.

  37. 44 Methusalem
    December 14, 2009 at 16:34

    Frankly speaking, NO! After Berlusconi and Gaddafi signed the so-called “friendship deal” worth billions of pounds – comprised of “some billion dollars” as reparation for Italy’s colonial occupation of the country, and some $5 billion (£2.75 billion) in the form of investment, I have lost respect for a European statesman. Mind you, hundred thousands of defenseless Ethiopian men, women and children were killed in Ethiopia by bombs and poison gas by the fascist Italian forces during the Second World War. There is still no apology from Berlusconi and Co.

    Please read the following:


  38. 45 Miriam Hyde
    December 14, 2009 at 16:49

    This kind of behavior is wrong, no matter who gets attacked; no matter what the reason. But, no, I don’t feel in the least bit sorry for him. Karma, baby…

    What bothers me most about all of this is that Massimo Tartaglia has already been labeled “alleged mentally ill”. Actively being part of that community, I took a stand many years ago that “mental illness is no excuse for bad behavior”. However, I hope someone takes the time to dig deep enough to learn what triggered this, and that he gets the treatment he needs.

    I wonder how many Italians – without mental illness – wish they had done it? Especially Veronica Lario and his children???

  39. 46 Mike in Seattle
    December 14, 2009 at 16:51

    It doesn’t matter how terrible the leader is, no one deserves to be beaten up.

    On a slightly different issue: Would we tolerate Berlusconi getting hit by his wife for his notorious philandering? It’s a hypothetical of course, but I’m curious to hear what the folks here think.

    • 47 patti in cape coral
      December 14, 2009 at 17:17

      Hi Mike ~ I wouldn’t condone his getting beat up by his wife for his unfaithfulness, domestic violence just isn’t acceptable. And hopefully I could live up to those ideals if I were in the same situation (but no promises).

  40. December 14, 2009 at 16:56

    What Nigel said.

    I have absolutely no sympathy for Berlusconi, but assault is immoral.

  41. December 14, 2009 at 16:56

    Violence is not to be condoned in any circumstance. Yet Mr. Berlusconi’s words and actions have been intended by him to be a lightening rod for attention… and now lightening has struck.

    Several divergent thoughts here:

    The issue isn’t that a 73 year old man got hit… he pretends he is 30 or 40 with the arrogance of one who can’t be touched by the rules that guide the rest of us.

    Attributing lofty political reasons for the attacker’s violence is more our own projection than reality. Who knows why the attacker wielded the statuette? The real issue is the security that did not keep its leader secure.

    The point that Mr. Berlusconi exited his car to let his injuries be photographed (to garner public sympathy?) makes him feel less a victim than an actor in a tragedy.

    I am sorry for Mr. Berlusconi, the human being, but not for the lightening rod he has used his billions to make himself… if he truly wanted to be president for more than another ego-feather on his belt, he would not use his media to silence his opponents, would not grandstand about a father’s difficult decision to shut down his daughter’s life support, and would not support violence against the minorities in Italy.

  42. 50 kamalanii
    December 14, 2009 at 16:58

    No, people are sick of the corruptions and lack of patriotism.

  43. 51 steve
    December 14, 2009 at 17:02

    Blaming berlosconi for this is like blaming a woman for b eing raped because how she is dressed

  44. 52 Anthony
    December 14, 2009 at 17:07

    I want to know how this was able to happen? No one would ever be able to hit Obama like that.

    • 53 kamalanii
      December 15, 2009 at 07:04

      Anthony!! you poor boy!! Bush get a shoe!! and Palin tomatoes!! Obama will get his!! sooner or later!!

      • 54 Jennifer
        December 15, 2009 at 16:03

        Sarah Palin was not hit with tomatoes. The thug missed her and hit cop(s) instead; including one in the eye.

        So true to “non-violent” liberals; dismiss it when they are violent. Call for it when they just can’t keep their “radicalism” in check.

        Flip flop/double standard!

  45. December 14, 2009 at 17:07

    @ Muthee in Nairobi,

    I totally disagree with your second point. What you are talking about as the Italian feelings could just be that little minority of opposition and their supporters because they are likely to be misconceived beneficaries of this shameful act. My best guess is that if an election were to be held now, Burlesconi has already been given a clear win because he would get a sympathetic vote. If the so called opposition hope one day to lead a civilized Italy, they ought to visit the man and show their empathy to their injured elder citizen. This act is not just shameful to Italy but to Europe as whole. Instead of resorting to such uncivilized behavior, the protagonists are missing a valuable point.
    Italy should not resort to barbarities of seventies and eighties. Where did they get this new idea, Guinea or Chechnya? Its stupid and there is no heroism in it.

  46. 56 Linda from Italy
    December 14, 2009 at 17:11

    I think this “climate of hatred” angle is being over-hyped. Most Italians I know, especially those under 30, are utterly indifferent to all national and local politics, with the exception of those on the hard right, mainly in the North. Many are deeply embarrassed by Berlusconi, not so much the open secret “scandals” surrounding his sex-life, but the sort of crass remarks he makes and his buffoonish behaviour in general.
    All of us who live here suffer from the appalling bureaucracy, unfair tax regime, nepotism and corruption but we don’t harbour any realistic hopes that a government of any colour has the will or the ability to change it. With the notable exception of a couple of daily newspapers, which hardly anyone reads (newspaper circulation figures have always been astoundingly low, apart from the sports comics) our media is beneath contempt, so even with Berlusconi controlling most of it (directly or indirectly), no one takes a blind bit of notice.
    This attack changes nothing politically, it is being heavily reported here that the guy responsible has a history of psychiatric problems and while many Italians may well feel this is comeuppance time, but it is much less to do with Right vs Left than with a dislike of politicians in general.

  47. December 14, 2009 at 17:19

    No to violence. The ballot box is the most civilised way to show one’s dissatisfaction with one’s leader. That is the beauty of a democracy. Resort to violence and that is the passport to anarchy. However the person who attacked Mr Berlusconi is known to have mental problems. So the man’s mental state makes the case more complicated.Perhaps he needs medical help rather than severe punishment. Let qualified judges decide this one. In the meanwhile Mr Berlusconi will receive the best treatment that Italian doctors will undoubtedly provide. Let us wish him a speedy recovery.

  48. 59 Jennifer
    December 14, 2009 at 17:42

    Violence is violence; and it’s wrong. Of course I feel “sorry” for this man. Noone should be assaulted! Maybe this is the result of being such a babe magnet!

  49. 60 Tom K in Mpls
    December 14, 2009 at 17:53

    This rates no more attention than any other part of his private life. Once again, it is his ability to stay out of the courts that makes him an effective politician. But not necessarily a good one.

  50. 61 stephen/portland
    December 14, 2009 at 18:02

    Italian politics is an embarrassment to the European union.

    Yes I feel sorry for all people who are assaulted and injured in such a way. It’s going to be days before their Playboy minister, sorry” Prime minister”, is back to harassing young girls.

    The perpetrator is being fitted for concrete boots as we speak, I bet!

  51. 62 Julie P
    December 14, 2009 at 18:02

    Free speech, which entails burning effigies, street theater mocking whomever or whatever, or egging cars, is one thing, but taking it to the level of causing someone physical harm and distress really isn’t free speech any more. If this person were the average person on the street would be considered a victim of a crime. It may even considered a hate crime.

  52. 63 Alan in Arizona
    December 14, 2009 at 18:38

    I think every Politicians needs a swift kick in the rear every now and then. But just figuratively. Actual violence is the last thing needed. He maybe as bad as Bush when it comes to stupidity, but would it not be better to just remove him.

  53. 64 Donnamarie in Switzerland
    December 14, 2009 at 18:40

    I don’t condone physical violence. That said, it couldn’t have happened to a more deserving person and, no, I don’t feel sorry for him.

  54. 66 T(no relation to T in N.Z.)
    December 14, 2009 at 18:54

    In the States, many people act the same way as Berlusconi does. Despite that, they continue to get elected and become punchlines on the comedy “news” shows.

    Which means what? Politics has become THAT much of a joke?

  55. 67 Tola Mckellar
    December 14, 2009 at 18:58

    re Berlusconi’s face. The only ‘goal’ I have ever enjoyed hearing about. Violence is never an adequate solution to political abuses of power, but this action of a ‘holy fool’ was good for the soul. It may not make sense morally or rationally, but this seems like one of those rare occasions when something like this slips through the net, and seems to make sense on some non-definable level. A case of poetic justice prehaps?

  56. 68 Linda from Italy
    December 14, 2009 at 19:03

    Quote from my son aged 19 who has more or less grown up here in Italy.
    “The question isn’t about whether violence has any place in a democracy, but rather is Italy a democracy?!

  57. 69 Elias
    December 14, 2009 at 19:10

    Having lived and worked in Italy for about six months I found the Italian men preoccupied with sex, Rome has some brothels for men to go to when they fell like sex, the women in the brothels display themseves for men to pick and choose. Italian men are not bothered or surprised Berlusconi indulgence in sex with women, for they too indulge themselves in the same way. In general the Italian women feel that he is taking advantage of women and being mostly catholic feel its against their religion.
    The other matter of Berlusconi’s powerfull power in Politics annoys the general population, accordingly his attacker Massimo Tartaglia who has a history of mental problems felt the momentary urge to hit Berlusconi regardless to the consequences of having done so, and now has become famous in Itaky.

  58. 70 Joseph in Uganda
    December 14, 2009 at 19:14

    This is an example of the shocking extent of intolerance we are experiencing from liberals that feel violence, ridicule and criminal activity is an acceptable way to oppose anyone who does not subscribe to their liberal views of the world.
    Even more shocking is the “support” for this action from people within Italy, afterall this is the leader they elected.

  59. 71 chinaski in LA
    December 14, 2009 at 19:21

    why are we not talking about Tiger Woods?

    • 72 margaret
      December 15, 2009 at 03:46

      Well I for one feel sorry for Tiger Woods, even though it appears his problems are of his own making. However, it has to be hard for an alpha male to resist the attentions of women. I think only in the USA is this such a “big deal”. My personal feeling is that it is simply biology at work.

  60. 73 Reverend LMF McCormack
    December 14, 2009 at 19:25

    I wonder if this is a karmic comeuppance for the time not too long ago when Berlusconi blew off the German chancellor for a cell phone call….?

    On purely human level , I have compassion for him, he is 73 and was viciously attacked.

  61. 74 Julian
    December 14, 2009 at 19:26

    Everybody feels very sorry about Mr Berlusconi yet why is nobody asking the question why is that happeing and what is the actual story of the attacker?

  62. 75 Anthony
    December 14, 2009 at 19:27

    2 trials and a hit in the face? Sounds like Italy is handling their stuff… look at what the Bush administration has done with NO consequences.

    -Anthony, LA, CA

  63. 76 Marissa in Oakland, CA
    December 14, 2009 at 19:29

    Of course I feel sorry for Mr. Berlusconi. As a mugging victim, it is terrifying to experience someone coming out of nowhere to harm you. No matter Mr. Berlusconi’s failings as a leader or person, he doesn’t deserve that, nor do any of us.

    Having said that, it took great courage for the attacker to strike out. But, why cause blood? Would rotten eggs or rotten tomatoes offer the same message without the blood?

    After 8 years suffering under one of the worst US Presidents in history, George W. Bush, I wish there were more protests, more outrage. However, in the end, the American public used the political systems in place to remove that leader, and choose another one instead. Being not familiar with the Italian political system, I wonder why Italians can’t use the methods employed within their own democracy to remove this leader, and/or influence the representatives they elected?

    We must be careful, in these tough economic & social times, to not lose our humanity. Once we lose that, our civilization and our species are doomed…

  64. 77 Peter in Vancouver, BC
    December 14, 2009 at 19:30

    I have an honest question. Does this sort of act demonstrate that Italian people are fed up with their political system? Does it show that many people believe that the political system will not allow their views to be shown, so acts like this are an outlet for their expression?

  65. 78 steve
    December 14, 2009 at 19:36

    When the other politician (the woman) started going onto her list, and she mentioned “masonic lodge” she lost all credibility in my eyes. People who view masons suspiciously are the same people who blame everything on Jews. This is the alternative? Bigotry?

  66. 79 J.B. Konno
    December 14, 2009 at 19:41

    My feelings about the Prime Minister’s policies and behavior aside, assaulting a Prime Minister, or any politician for that matter, does not do a democracy justice. You don’t slap around a Prime Minister if you don’t like him or her– you kick them out at the voting booth.

  67. 80 Tom D Ford
    December 14, 2009 at 19:42

    Italy does not look like a democracy, it looks like a Corporate State under Berlusconi.

    Remember what Benito Mussolini said was the definition of a Corporate State?


    He is just another typical Conservative right wing extremist.

    I feel sorry for the Italians who are suffering under his typically corrupt Conservative government.

  68. 81 tobias marx
    December 14, 2009 at 19:44

    the real problem with berlusconi and his likes is that the reckless business liberalism they propagate have no natural enemies. the only thing one can say to stop them is: think! think about ethical values, think about the next generation, think about everybody else. stop seeing only yourself. the only thing they do is laugh and go ahead on the fast lane. considering this, it’s absolutely sane to want to hit, or worse, the exponents of such reckless behaviour.

  69. 82 Chad
    December 14, 2009 at 19:45

    You can disagree with someone but violence like this is NEVER the answer. Here in the US, I personally disagreed with everything that George Bush stood for and couldn’t wait for his run in Washington to be over, but never wished any harm come to him.

  70. 83 Alex
    December 14, 2009 at 19:46

    What if this had happened to:

    Saddam Hussein?
    Robert Mugabe?
    Adolf Hitler?
    Than Shwe?
    Kim Jong Il?

    Would people feel sorry for these world leaders (former or not)?

    • 84 wintergreen
      December 15, 2009 at 11:54

      Shortly after being elected as a Member of the European Parliment, Nick Griffin was attacked with eggs and bricks outside the Houses of Parliment while trying to give an interview.
      The attack came from the government sponsored UAF but nobody would publicly condem the attack on British TV. It would seem the media think such attacks are ok as long as its people they dont like.

  71. 85 Chad, Kentucky, USA
    December 14, 2009 at 19:55

    The attacker apologists seem in agreement that, though Prime Minister Berlusconi didn’t deserve the attack, attention-courting Silvio Berlusconi either deserved the attack for his flamboyant personality, or at least the apologists “understand” the attack since Mr. Berlusconi does court attention. Isn’t this the same fallacious argument used to “understand” rape or other sexual assault on a woman who is courting attention with her dress or behavior? I wonder if those apologists are willing to apply the argument in that way? “I understand…” is tacit justification for physical violence.

  72. 86 Ninetto Markov
    December 14, 2009 at 20:29

    It is Berlusconi who is creating the violence in Italy: think of the police attacking the sleeping G-8 protesters in Genua, think of his policies against immigrants, against Roma and Sinti, against ANYBODY who does not pray to his God, the business dollar. This man has inflamed class war and cannot then complain about the results.

  73. 87 Mike
    December 14, 2009 at 20:38

    I went looking on wikipedia for “List of television channels in Italy” and discovered that there are many more than 6 TV channels in Italy. Why then were various guests and callers complaining about Berlusconi’s control of 5 of 6 TV channels?

    In the absence of additional information, it would appear that the “5 of 6” argument is simply a deceptive sound bite designed to shock and anger people.

  74. 88 JanB
    December 14, 2009 at 21:02

    I don’t like it when people resort to this kind of thing to get their point across, but then again Silvio Berlusconi and his clique practically turned Italian society into a school-yard, with their party being the bullies. So you might say he had it coming.

    Besides, Berlusconi’s law(yer)s and shady business “associates” have ruined a lot of innocent lives in Italy, so there are plenty of Italians who hate him personally and frankly I can’t blame them.

  75. 89 J.B. Konno
    December 14, 2009 at 21:05

    I look forward to a future World Have Your Say where we debate the ‘health’ of the current Italian political system, accounting for its modern history and events since the Prime Minister took his post. It would be interesting to me, at least, as I fear this incident is the tip of a political iceberg.

    -Oregon, USA

  76. December 14, 2009 at 21:09

    Italians must take this opportunity to right their country through the vote. If things went wrong or right it was a result of their democratic right. This chanel is still open to them.If they don’t like him, they should wait to vote him out – he is still an Italian even they think he is crazy They need to take time too to educate their citizens not behave like simpletons who have led to this unfortunate event in the new chapter of Europe.
    Other channels are through the legal system and peaceful demonstrations or disobedience. We hope its not the mobes all over again in Italy. We believe there is enough inteligence too in that country to sort out the mess and chart out a clean future out of the past mistakes.

  77. 91 Guillermo
    December 14, 2009 at 21:58

    Who can feel sorry for Bersluconi? His tongue or maybe his lash that has hurt and injured many people with the use of power, money and media that he owns, deserves this lick in his face. A lick that plastic surgery will do to show him with his face ready to brag about his young mistresses and to say that he deserves to be a Caesar of Ancient Rome. The truth is that this man that injured Berlusconi represents the rage of the italian people. Age doesn´t mean nothing. Pinochet is an example that until his death he considered himself as a saviour of humanity.

  78. 92 JanB
    December 14, 2009 at 22:09


    The man is a power hungry lunatic. You should see the speeches he gives where he calls the opposition all kinds of names and accuses them of other things (ruining entire companies, though his mobstyle-legislation already takes care of that), let me tell you, he doesn’t use diplomatic language in his rants.
    If there was one name I’d have to call responsible for a political climate where throwing objects becomes possible than that name would be Silvio Berlusconi.

    What goes around comes around and at age 73 Silvio still has to learn that.

    Anyway, I’m sure Silvio will happily use this incident to rally support for his person and continue to throw dirt at the “left conspiracy” that “attacked” him.

  79. 93 steve
    December 14, 2009 at 22:15

    @ Chad
    Best point, hands down.

  80. December 14, 2009 at 22:52

    When I first saw it at about 5:00am on the BBC, I was shoked. Even though media moguls like Silvio Berlusconi are expected to have some people having strong feeling about them due to their personality, nonetheless we all have to remember that this is a new era. A moment when we can disagree, yet work on our differences peacefully. What will the younger children make of this incident? The attacker of Mr. Silvio Berlusconi ought to have thought of other means of speaking out his strong feelings instead. I just hope other high level headed personalities would not copy the example of Massimo Tartaglia.

  81. 95 Charles Massaquoi
    December 14, 2009 at 23:28

    Mr. Bellusconi’s disrespect for women forces me not to invoke any sympathy for him. For me this is a tribute to those who are helpless. Vengeance looks good on this man’s kisser. Sometimes, those that you offend don’t have to lift a finger.

  82. 96 T(no relation to T in N.Z.)
    December 14, 2009 at 23:40

    Actually I feel sorry for the Italian public. I don’t want to say the all-politicians-are-alike mentality is a cultural thing. Yet, is he taken seriously by other world leaders? It amazes me that so many people would put up with him for this long.

  83. 97 T(no relation to T in N.Z.)
    December 14, 2009 at 23:44

    Here’s a possible new line of shows for WHYS. Lots of people talk about corrupt politicians and the public striking back. The Big “Turing Point.” Is this a turning point in Italian politics.

    But also, specifically what is The Great Turning Point? I sound like a BBC producer……

  84. 98 john aboko -cole
    December 15, 2009 at 01:25

    Even if you do not like the face of Mr. Berlusconi or his style talk less of his politics,there is no justification for anyone to assault him like that.Whether the guy(Tartaglia) has a medical history or not, would he have attacked his father that way?he should face the wrath of the law.In the part of the world i come from by now Mr. Tataglia(medically fit or not,mafia connected or not) would be cooling his heels(or broken bones) somewhere.
    what would have gotten to the suave Mr. Berlusconi would have been a rotten egg splashed across his beatiful suit.I can assure you he is going to come out of this stronger.

  85. 99 claudine
    December 15, 2009 at 02:05

    No, I dont feel sorry for him.
    Other people would have gotten into their car and driven to the hospital.
    Not Silvio Berlusconi. He had to come out again and present himself to the press to show his bleeding face and make people feel pity for him.
    Silvio B is a crook and he knows exactly how to exploit the press to serve his needs.

  86. 100 Dennis Junior
    December 15, 2009 at 02:48


    I honestly dont’ feel much sorrow for Silvio regarding his current problems…But, I hope that he recovers from his injury.

    =Dennis Junior=

  87. 101 margaret
    December 15, 2009 at 03:29

    I’m concerned and I echo other comments about the safety of the Italian PM (and US Presidents) and other heads of state such that they can be assaulted in such a manner (or have their parties crashed). Even if you do not like the person, the office deserves respect. Apparently Mr. Berlusconi does not have the “ducking” skills that our former President Bush had. As for the perptetrator, he should be charged with assault and punished accordingly.

  88. 102 Tan Boon Tee
    December 15, 2009 at 03:51

    There is no excuse in assaulting any person, let alone an unarmed old man.

    That said, one would have little pity on a political leader of questionable background yet seemingly above the law.

  89. 103 pianapue early
    December 15, 2009 at 08:04

    I feel sorry for Berlusconi. Regardless of what his detractors say, no one deserves to be brutally hurt like that. If you want a fight, just ask for it, but stonning a leader is cowardice. I pray for the leader and his family.

  90. 104 Ermenegilda
    December 15, 2009 at 09:34

    Obviously violence is never the answer, but I cant help but say he had it coming. I am an italian who has almost stopped claiming my italian-ness because it appalls me that this man keeps getting elected. He is corrupt. He is engages in high-level extortion. He creates a media barrier between free speech and italians. He feels that he is above the law. He oppresses entire minority groups and above all he isnt faithful to his wife, let alone his people.

  91. December 15, 2009 at 10:17

    never get joyfull and happier if you see your detractors being punished….even GOD will see that and stop being mercifull to you too..

    TV(tambua village/jebrock),HAMISI,VIHIGA,KENYA.

  92. December 15, 2009 at 10:27

    and if our leaders and leaders to be saw this reality of the threat towards them….then their solution wouldnt just be having a bodyguard infront of them and at the back….but to understand and have wisdom that leadership aint just meant to enrich them or make them seem to be important than the rest of civilians.
    you come to kenya and see poor people being made homeless,yet our few leaders have grabbed huge lands such that they will never even go round those farms inspecting….because they are beyond.

  93. 107 Roberto
    December 15, 2009 at 12:30

    RE “” Silvio Berlusconi is a very divisive figure in Italy “”

    ———- No matter who feels sympathy for him, it doesn’t change that he is a corrosive, disgusting public figure.

  94. December 15, 2009 at 12:43

    The hit is not on an individual.He is holding an Office of high stature. This
    should not have been allowed to happen. Italians are to be ashamed of this

  95. 109 Jennifer
    December 15, 2009 at 16:08

    Wow; can’t believe some think that VIOLENCE equals free speech!

    It would be like saying……domestic violence is ok because it’s allowing men to “express” themselves using women as punching bags?

    Absolutely crazy. It shouldn’t matter if you don’t “like” this man; he still did not deserve to be assaulted.

    Violence is wrong.

  96. 110 Ronald Almeida
    December 15, 2009 at 16:22


  97. 111 Ibrahim in UK
    December 15, 2009 at 17:26

    Assault is wrong. It’s hard to feel sorry for a politician like Berlusconi and many may wish for something or someone to humble him, but assault is still wrong.

  98. 112 Ishwa Akaa
    December 15, 2009 at 20:06

    It is very embarrassing because the action is not encouraging as it only downgrade the nation admiration to the international community. One thing, to consider is that the action is basically political and the guy who carried out this act i believe that he must have people that sponsored him.

  99. 113 Chris Hager
    December 16, 2009 at 04:25

    It would be asking too much if this incident gives Berlusconi a bit of sympathy for the 93 people he ordered beaten by the DIGOS in the Diaz school in Genoa in July of 2001. They received much worse and the mistreatment continued at the hands of the Italian penal system. The judicial system has been only a slight bit better. The message seems to be that it is okay for the Italian police to beat up innocent people.

  100. 114 Colin Sundaram
    December 16, 2009 at 10:44

    16. 12. 09

    Dear All,

    Indeed I’m extremely saddened. He is true man like the rulers of the yester. He is wealthy like the old rulers. He loves women. Flirts with them. Doesn’t mind appreciating their beauty publicly unlike all other men who are wealthy and powerful. Berlusconi is not an hypocrite. He doesn’t deserve to be wallopped like the way he has been. Those pretenders need to be socked on their faces with footwears.

  101. 115 scmehta
    December 16, 2009 at 14:11

    For whatever reasons, I didn’t feel any pity; in fact, I was quite amused to see his funny face (no politics and no offense intended).

  102. 116 Victor
    December 16, 2009 at 15:45

    No of course I did not feel sorry for Berlusconi. Berlusconi is a criminal and a rogue who has stolen an immense amount of wealth from ordinary Italians and is involved in money laundering, scandals, weapons and drugs money. I mean quit feeling sorry for this criminal please.

  103. 117 Adam
    December 16, 2009 at 16:02

    What a show man!

    After he was carried into the car, good old Silvio came again pushing and shoving pretending he was about to kick some butt. The man deserved to whacked with shoe or two at that moment – just to make sure he stayed in the car.

    Milking the crowd for sympathy was just disgusting but he is a showman and can’t hide it. What an embarrassment! Now we will see how he milks it more for the next few months or till the next elections. I feel sympathy for the attacker as he did him a big favour.

  104. 118 viola
    December 16, 2009 at 19:58

    Too bad his reflexes aren’t as good as former president of U.S., George Bush.

    I feel sorry for anyone who is in pain and suffering. Inflicting pain and suffering is not a legitimate way to express feelings. It’s disgusting and the man who did it is no hero.

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