Behind the controversy that has arisen between Fedez and Rai, there are two political events, which have made their way in the media beyond the very cumbersome but also very justified nature of the pandemic, which obviously have a place on the agenda. These are two events that present an ancient but also slippery trait. The attempt in Parliament by a political entity to oppose the right to discuss a project of another political entity with freedom and democratic outcome. The attempt (still to be clarified) of a powerful medium not to take for granted the right of an artist to express his contents as he believes.
A story is constituted by the bill Zan, from the name of the parliamentary of the Democratic Party who signed a proposal that therefore does not yet have legal effect, which intends to establish not only initiatives against discrimination, but also severe penalties against those who discriminate with respect to the areas LGBTQIA + (extended acronym including Lesbians, Gay, Bisexuals, Transsexuals, Queers, Intersexuals, Asexuals) and the obstruction to the free discussion that the president of the Justice Commission of the Chamber, the Northern Leagueist Andrea Ostellari, has so far exercised (even if in the final clamor he declares that "the fault of the delays lies in the left").
The other story it consists of the participation of the Milanese singer Fedez in the concert on May 3st broadcast live by RaiXNUMX. In order to which the management of the Network has tried to exercise a form of preventive control, or rather of preventive persuasion, about the contents of the "participation" and in order to which the direct confrontation that took place before the concert has now emerged in the discussions (it will remain to understand if a phone call can be recorded and published without authorization) opposing the argument of "no" to prior censorship with respect to the argument of editorial legitimacy, or the right (for reasons of legal responsibility) to choose and select what broadcast.
Scandals and opportunities
Oportet ut scandala eveniant, it is used to say journalistically and politically in these cases (philologists sometimes say this by going back to the biblical phrase necesse est enim ut veniant scandala), a way to polish a little the “scandalous” nature of a fact. Well the parliamentary and political conflict exercised so far against the right of the Hon. In the long run, Alessandro Zan was short-sighted. For a long time, the question of putting a proposal into democratic discussion has been dragged on, which, like all laws on the rights of the person, contains aspects of principle that have shares and resistances in society. The undemocratic code of postponing the question to limbo should not belong to this kind of subject. But it happens very often. And in any case, today the bill is finally scheduled. But it is also socially heated by a controversial and socially necessary debate, around which the Ostellari style has the paternity of a power (the ownership of a function) to which Fedez - here lies the revelation of a novelty - has contrasted the paternity of another power, that of its popularity in relation to the opportunities of social media.
In this leavening, the non-contextualization of the reasons for the controversy would assume in a journalistically sound and not politically held television medium, would be pure hypocrisy. Hiding names and surnames with respect to public statements, recorded, reported by the media (otherwise there are absolute rights of rectification) would mean not even having a clear sense of giving the floor to artists in popular listening events. As we have seen many times, for example on the occasion of the Sanremo festival, it is "unfair" (in the sense of not fair) to ask an artist with a large following to give the medium the advantage of loyal popularity (which translates into listen) without leaving in exchange the freedom of treatment of the communicative contents. The editorial line has the right to make choices, not to condition them in a blatant way. At the time Rai called Celentano on purpose in Sanremo not to make him sing, but to extend the perimeter of the representation of some themes in a so-called "indirect" form.
This is why a subject with this tradition and responsibility like Rai - subject to seeing the actual positions better clarified - must have a management that is up to this delicate balance, as evidenced by countless previous cases. Cultured, civil, tolerant and with a plural vision that is such at the moment of choice and at the moment of preliminary clarifications with the participants. A mode that is part of a simple costume. Knowing how the sphere of freedom is demarcated from the sphere of responsibility. With a real knowledge of artists and creatives, an intelligent mediation of programmers, in addition to the ability to use the schedule to balance any slips.
On good balance, just as the parliamentary obstruction is over, so too the preventive censorship has not technically been implemented. Which removes a possible "crimen", or rather two. But it leaves in evidence the attempts made, which declare the nature of open cultural and civil problems on which we must work in many directions.
In the discussion that is going up between Sunday and Monday, opinions must also be recorded that distinguish the events more, leaving the first - the parliamentary obstruction - the declared conflictual character, but assuming someone for the second more orchestration by Fedez than malintentions from part of the Rai. This was supported by an accredited journalist like Fabio Martini - head of the political editorial staff of the Press - who writes: "Fedez announced to the world that he had been subjected to censorship by Rai and as proof he released (with an extremely incorrect act) a recording in which an anonymous male voice mumbles unclear and improper expressions. Then, as the hours go by, we learn that the real censorship was carried out by Fedez on the recording, from which it emerges that the Rai executive, Ilaria Capitani, does not make any censorship on the text then read by Fedez, who clearly orchestrated a table. self-promotional operation. Leading leaders, Enrico Letta and Luigi Di Maio, hastened to comment without knowing all the facts and did so riding the instinctive indignation of those who, like many of us, did not know the details ”.
I submitted this version to a social expert who offers me a counter-reflection: "Fedez is someone who has no need for an orchestrated controversy against Rai. It has indeed a polemical character but selects its objectives with arguments and logic. Criticism of Draghi for not protecting the world of show business. He criticizes Parliament for not having so far wanted to unblock the process of the Zan bill. But the criticism of the Northern League on homophobia takes place with precise and incontrovertible quotes. Neither he nor his wife will be perfect people, but in this case Fedez declared that he has half an hour of recording which he makes available to anyone who wants to verify it and is a person with too many social commitments to make a fake about something he clearly declares . As for the politicians who start in the fourth place, one thinks that the Democratic Party has not done much to amplify the Zan bill. So that as soon as Fedez gets a lot of support then Letta hurries to support ”.
In short, during the day, the recording of the phone call between Fedez and Rai3 officials goes online.
We see an ambiguous expression: "I was urged to adapt to a system". And another clamor opens up. On which Rai CEO Fabrizio Salini is forced to put pen to paper: "In Rai does not exist and should not exist anyone work, if anyone has said this inappropriately, I apologize". However, adding that "no censorship was exercised"And reporting in full the jokes of the deputy director of the network Ilaria Capitani who specifies that Rai acquires rights to the event does not act as a producer and therefore"he never asked for the artists' texts in advance and he never operated any form of preventive censorship". Meanwhile, the director of Rai3 Franco Di Mare is summoned to the Parliamentary Supervisory Commission, while Matteo Salvini on the one hand invites Fedez "drinking a coffee to talk about freedom and rights", But on the other hand, he does not deflate the Zan bill which he believes"empower judges to criminalize ideas". And Report presenter Siegfried Ranucci talks about "bad page, a big communication short circuit, happy that Rai has apologized". On 7 in the evening Michele Santoro appreciates the "return to an episode of freedom", Provoked by Fedez, while he says that the managers of Rai"they are no longer what they used to be".
In the early morning press today the gap takes on truly "chance" tones. It even lands on the BBC (which puts the word "censorship"), Divides the professional polemics (Vittorio Sgarbi works in the archive to discredit Fedez, who replies; while Selvaggia Lucarelli" brings home ", but reports surprise for"the sudden champion of the LGBT world"); while in full support a very special lawyer, the ex-premier Giuseppe Conte, takes the field.
In the universities of communication sciences the same script. In mine, for example, the IULM, Alberto Contri doesn't like who "Has found a vein of gold in this artificial world, to be frantically pickled to extract endless wealth - money, visibility, sponsors - all while even managing to appear, to his large audience, as a hero". While Mauro Ferraresi captures the transformation of power that the network stages: "The new power of images is real power, political power that indelibly marks our era. Which is no longer Debord's society of the spectacle, nor even Baudrillard's death of the real, it is, if anything, the ultimate effort of the images to return to being themselves, that is, a reflection of the real and ultimate truth of this. Whoever masters these masters a new power".
In short, we do not put the word "end" on this story, which has elements that will soon be ascertained. Others, on the other hand, are part of a discussion on the evolution of the media that ultimately produces not only new aesthetics but also new paradigms. For this reason it must at least be said that the dynamics of the network often cause short circuits, often due to its own rule of speed and immediacy of the replicas. However, the substance of the clamor that has been released has its foundation in the hard resistance of a part of Italian politics against issues of rights that in the world are conquering spaces of speech and representation around which a company such as Rai must mature. uniform behavior, not spoiled by obstacles put in place by partisan logic and with the spirit of making knowledge and awareness grow without prejudice. To put it in a nutshell: a ripping action in the face of overt prejudices is part of natural developments in democracy.
An episode of personal memory
In this regard, I may be permitted - with all the differences of the case - to recall an episode from personal memory that concerns Rai itself and issues of conflict regarding rights between representation and censorship. Rivado at the end of the 70s, in the position of manager and assistant to the president of Rai (at the time Paolo Grassi), when in the course of an afternoon a group of exponents of the Radical Party (known figures, which we could define "historical leadership" of that party, not Pannella and Bonino but of the foreground, Aglietta, Spadaccia, Cicciomessere and others), managed to enter the headquarters in viale Mazzini in dribs and drabs, declared the occupation ad libitum protesting against the veto to the radicals (a parliamentary force represented) to be able to express themselves live on the Tg. The request for a meeting with the president was impracticable due to the absence of the president himself from the headquarters for health reasons. The general management took shelter behind the precise request for an interview with the company's "political" top management. Being sent - by the will of the president himself - to support that dialogue, could have seemed to take time while waiting for dusk, but the will of the "occupiers" was then to use the night on the contrary to give substance to the scandal. The personal point of view was therefore not relevant. It was important to verify whether the managers of the newscasts would metabolize an authorization outcome or not. I considered that we had to start from the major Tg, the dc-guided one, because in the case of the other two we would risk a partial solution, that is, differentiated, stressed, in the end perhaps not applicable. And before the arrival of dusk, an enlightened vision of the matter arrived through the words of the director of Tg1 Emilio Rossi (a respected figure, inside and outside Rai, except for the BR that had injured him in an attack in 1977). he assumed the responsibility to get rid of a rule, which was not written, by approving the equal right to direct for the political forces represented in Parliament in a management that knew how to reconcile freedoms and rights at risk of conflict. The radical delegation understood that in the economy of the important result it was inappropriate to flaunt it as a trophy obtained with controversy.
I tell this episode to place these events in a long story in which, after the reform of 1975, even in the context of seasons with senior managers and directors, there were those who knew how to avoid ending up in the newspapers as the bearer of embarrassing negotiations. For how embarrassing it can be to hide behind the "editorial inopportunities".