Sunday, February 13, 2011

This won't happen in America

As I wandered the world via newspapers, I came across a Rubygate story in Le Monde, a French newspaper.

You may have heard about Rubygate, the charges against the Italian prime minister, Sergio Berlusconi.  He is accused of paying $10,000 to an underage belly dancer.  I'll let you dig out the details.

Back to Le Monde.  It had a video in the middle of all the French text of a "commercial" made for the new Italian women's group "Se non ora quando" ("If not now when").  Essentially, many Italian women are tired of being second-class citizens.  Sympathetic men welcome.  The video is in Italian, without subtitles or dubbing.  See "Le 'Rubygate' fait descendre les Italiennes dans la rue", Le Monde, 2011-02-09.   How often do you would you see this much in a foreign language in American newspapers?

Well, as of a few minutes ago, even the New York Times has not carried much news about the charges and nothing about the million women who have turned out around the world in support of Se non ora quando".  However, see "Ruby, un milione di donne nelle piazza urlano indignate: 'Se non ora, quando?'" Il Messaggero, 2011-02-13  ("Ruby, a million women in the squares shout indignantly, "If not now, when?")  The demonstrations are being held in over 230 Italian cities and 30 other cities.

The New York Times has nothing about "Se non ora quando" and nothing about the demonstration of 200-300 outside Ruby Tuesday's in New York.  I found out about his in Il Messaggero, "New York, la polizia ordina: 'Manifestate davanti al ristorante Ruby'"

Oh, I should point out that my headline didn't mean that thousands of women across the country wouldn't demonstrate for more dignity.  I meant that few, if any, American newspapers would report so much in a foreign languages.  Of course, few American papers report much foreign news beyond wars and politics.