Italy Depressed by News Story Calling Italy Depressed

Portrait of Italian malaise hits a nerve
By Jane Yager,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 22, 2007 7:12 PM CST
Italian movie legend Sophia Loren waves to the photographers as she walks on the red carpet at the Rome Film Festival, Friday, Oct. 19, 2007. Loren was among the many prominent Italians who commented...   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – In a self-referential moment, the New York Times interviews its own reporter, Ian Fisher, about the nationwide soul-searching set off in Italy by Fisher's Dec. 13 article that depicts Italians as wallowing in a collective funk. Fisher's description of a dispirited national mood has prompted an impassioned response from all corners.

Fisher has seen reactions from Umberto Eco, Sophia Loren, and the Catholic Church, among many others. Most ordinary Italians who e-mailed him about the article, Fisher says, "thanked me for writing it," while politicians slammed the article as "parody" and non-Italians who'd vacationed in Italy wrote insisting that Italians are very happy people. (Read more Italy stories.)