Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Must satire be parti pris?

Luttazzi: non mi vuole neanche la Rai di sinistra - La Stampa Web: Daniele Luttazzi, persona non grata at Rai ever since Silvio Berlusconi's 'editto bulgaro', has this to say about the politics of satire:
«The satirist must be interested in who is in power: who is there is there. The right argues that the satirists make left-wing satire: no, the satirist is of the left, and makes satire from his own point of view. There can't exist neutral satire - it would be trying to please everyone, satisfying no-one... The argument, however, becomes vulgar and insulting when someone like me is accused of giving the left an easy ride. Last September... I did fifteen minutes on the Unipol scandal at the Festa dell'Unita [left-wing gathering, note].. the kids applauded, the middle-aged froze up".

So, satire is always from a particular point of view, but it may not favour or benefit that point of view or its exponents. Is the commitment to impartiality held by public service broadcasters compatible with viewpoints of the left or right with are neutral with respect to their consequences for the left or the right, or must public service broadcasters adopt the 'view from nowhere', to quote from Tom Nagel? And if so, does that mean that PSBs can't do satire - or that if they do so, they must do so without fully understanding what they do?

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