News Brief

New Boss For Italian State TV Is Old Fan Of Fake News

No this is not fake news. The man just appointed to run Italy’s state broadcaster, therefore overseeing its daily news output, has a history of sharing fake news on social media.

Marcello Foa, who is about to take the controls of Italy’s Rai network, has also been a regular contributor to Kremlin-backed media outlets, and is on record as an admirer of both Vladimir Putin and Donald Trump’s rabble-rousing former aide Steve Bannon.

Previously a journalist on a newspaper owned by former prime minister Silvio Berlusconi, Foa helped spread a story about Hillary Clinton attending a “Satanic Dinner” during the 2016 election campaign, and also has a history of spreading anti-vaccine and anti-Muslim conspiracies.

He has frequently worked with the Kremlin-funded RT and Sputnik, opposes the European Union, and once said that being gay is “abnormal.”

But his views seem to be in accordance with opinions of other representatives of the current Italian populist government, as Coda recently reported.

The ruling coalition, led by Matteo Salvini’s far-right Northern League, first nominated Foa to become Rai’s president in July. But his appointment was blocked by the country’s former prime minister, Silvio Berlusconi, who remains a powerful force.

Some journalists on the channel were expected to resign after the concerns of the Rai union and media campaigners were ignored and the government went ahead with what opposition politicians say was a “shady deal” with Berlusconi to protect his business interests.