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.Its 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