Italo watchdog points to pro-government slant

MILAN — Italy’s communications watchdog has censured the leading news program of pubcaster RAI for pro-government bias.

The Agcom regulatory body also criticized two Mediaset channels, saying they were biased in favor of the conservative government of Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, who owns them.

But Agcom’s attack on RAI’s flagship “TG1” show will cause the biggest waves.

It comes amid building opposition claims that “TG1’s” director Augusto Minzolini is a pro-government stooge, planted by the Prime Minister, who has considerable influence over senior appointments at the state broadcaster.

“The complaint by Agcom confirms that ‘TG1’ has now become a voice of the government, and among the most biased,” said Paolo Gentiloni, media spokesman for opposition Democratic Party.

In May this year, Maria Luisa Busi, who presented ‘TG1’ on the RAI 1 channel, dramatically quit her post citing pro-government bias.

However, a spokesman for Berlusconi’s coalition, Daniele Capezzone, said RAI had a greater problem with left-wing, anti-Berlusconi bias.

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