Pondering

I’ve heard newscasters refer to the Italian premier as a “tycoon” or “media tycoon” so often that it usually just wafts by me — but this morning, I wondered how audiences would react if our news sources typically referred to the U.S. president as “oil tycoon George Bush” (or more precisely, “heir to oil wealth”). Maybe he doesn’t have enough money to qualify as a tycoon (how much?), or doesn’t have a sufficiently extensive array of holdings. What makes Berlusconi a “tycoon,” while Bush is simply an extraordinarily wealthy just-plain-American guy?

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  1. 1. Because Berlusconi is the richest man in Italy with holdings about 400 times larger than those of Bush. Think “Rupert Murdoch” of Italy.

    2. Because after electing one of the richest men in the country as our first President, it is not worth comment that the present President is well-heeled.

    3. Because Berlusconi has used his control of Italian media to maintain favorable public opinion (it hasn’t worked so well lately).

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