Berlusconi Irate Over Pesky Media Questions
Italian PM walks out of interview when asked about teen model
By Matt Cantor,  Newser User
Posted May 24, 2009 10:39 AM CDT
Italian Premier Silvio Berlusconi gestures as he delivers his speech during the Italian Confindustria industrialists and businessmen association assembly in Rome's Auditorium, Thursday May 21, 2009.   (AP Photo/Alessandra Tarantino)
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(Newser) – Silvio Berlusconi owns nearly half of Italy’s television stations—but not La Repubblica, the Italian daily that has incensed the PM with questions about his connection to an 18-year-old model, the Guardian reports. When a reporter asked about Berlusconi's appearance at her birthday party, Berlusconi took offense, saying “shame on you! The Italians are with me!” before stalking out of the room.

An editor for the paper cites “contradictions” that must be probed in the PM’s account of his link to the woman. Though his party is doing well in pre-election polls, some fear Berlusconi is growing authoritarian, with vast control of the media as he shrugs off Parliament. Berlusconi’s “strong reaction to investigative journalism is because he thinks it is immoral to have a free press and an opposition,” says an opposition politician.