More support for Silvio

And who could ask for a better supporter than Michael Ledeen? He righteously tears into the hypocricy of those who condemn Berlusconi’s so-called “conflicts of interest”:
As for the celebrated conflict of interest, yes, it is unseemly and perhaps it is even undemocratic in some way for the head of the government to have his own TV channels. But you have to look at the situation in context. Prior to Berlusconi, all Italian television was state-owned, which is to say it was under the control of the government. Which is to say that every Italian prime minister, like virtually every other head of government in the Old World, had the very same conflict of interest as Berlusconi. I used to ask Italian friends whether they thought the government should publish its own newspaper every day. Everyone thought it was a bad idea. So, I would say, why should they broadcast their own news programs? Duh.
Berlusconi busted the state monopoly on TV, and a good thing it was. At least some of the time, Italians could get a different version of the news (and much better movies and sports, which is what actually made the private channels so successful). And if his critics took the time to watch his channels, they would find that the most popular programs — above all, the tedious evening talk shows that go on for hours on end — feature people who are openly anti-Berlusconi. But the very fact of television competition has brought greater variety to Italian TV, just as you’d expect. So all those who believe in freedom of the press ought to celebrate Berlusconi, instead of damning him.