Bravo, Fisher! (Update)
I have long grumbled (yes, I confess it) about the newspaper of record’s shoddy reporting on things Italian: sensationalistic, superficial, prejudiced are my printable comments. And often the coverage of Vatican affairs was depressingly predictable — one could always guess what would appear in the next paragraph.
But do I sense a new wind blowing from oltre le montagne? And is Ian Fisher the reason my “orrore” is becoming “bravo?”
A positive sign was his recent reporting on the Pope’s new encyclical, Spe Salvi. It was accurate and straightforward, blessedly free of editorializing.
Now comes a front-page article on Italy that shows some real depth — well, at least more depth than the old gray lady has mustered in the past. The opening reads:
[T]hese days, for all the outside adoration and all of its innate strengths, Italy seems not to love itself. The word here is “malessere,” or “malaise”; it implies a collective funk — economic, political and social — summed up in a recent poll: Italians, despite their claim to have mastered the art of living, say they are the least happy people in Western Europe.
“It’s a country that has lost a little of its will for the future,” said Walter Veltroni, the mayor of Rome and a possible future center-left prime minister. “There is more fear than hope.”
The problems are, for the most part, not new — and that is the problem. They have simply caught up to Italy over many years, and no one seems clear on how change can come — or if it is possible anymore at all.
Read on. Then join in chorus: “Bravo, Signor Fisher!”
UPDATE: Mr. Fisher’s article has provoked a response from no less a personage than the President of the Republic of Italy on a visit to la Grande Mela. From Corriere della Sera:
il presidente nella grande mela ribatte all’attacco del New York Times
Napolitano: «L’Italia ha spirito animale»
Il Capo dello Stato: «Clima politico da cambiare e troppi interessi ma ci sono anche molti punti di forza»
When Fisher speaks, people listen!