News that Milan magistrates had accused Berlusconi of having sex with underage prostitutes and holding wild parties has caused a media frenzy, with fresh details of the scandal hitting the headlines each day.
“Political information should not be limited to scandal-mongering,” Cardinal Dionigi Tettamanzi, Archbishop of Milan, told journalists at a celebration of the patron saint of journalists, Francis de Sales, Ansa news agency said.
“Do newspapers and television really contribute to developing and furthering public opinion when they allow themselves to be contaminated by the poisonous, violent climate caused by a politics that forgets or undervalues people’s real needs?” Tettamanzi said.
Allegations that the prime minister kept prostitutes in luxury apartments and paid to have sex with the underage girl, known as Ruby, have been strenuously denied by both Berlusconi and the Moroccan disco dancer.
But Italian media have continued to reveal details from wire-taps conversations between girls who attended the prime minister’s parties alluding to orgies, lap dances and women dressed as nurses strip-teasing for Berlusconi.
Girls involved have given lengthy television interviews defending Berlusconi as a charitable man, and the prime minister himself has attacked the Milan magistrates in messages on his website broadcast widely on television.