Berlusconi's Bloopers and Practical Jokes

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The Italian TV show The Hyenas has played an elaborate prank on the government:

This sting stunt pretended to interview 50 politicians about next year's budget.

What the politicians didn't know was that the "makeup artist," from a nonexistent satellite channel, had collected body cells during the preinterview brow wipe.

The cells were secretly used to test the politicians for drugs.

The results indicated that of the 50 tested, close to a third had indulged within the previous 36 hours—four tested positive for cocaine, 12 for marijuana.

The program hasn't aired yet, and indeed has been suspended following protests from the pols.

There's an extra wrinkle: The channel is owned by former prime minister Silvio Berlusconi, who passed draconian drug laws at the end of his reign. The Berlusconi-era speaker of the Parliament, Pierferdinando Casini, is already demagoguing the issue, declaring that "Italian citizens have the right to know if the lawmakers they've elected are drug addicts or not." Right: Because nothing screams junkie! like having some pot in your system.

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  1. beautiful. especially this snipet;

    There is also serious talk now about introducing a law calling for compulsory drug tests for all members of the Senate and the House.

  2. Let’s see some no-knock raids against their homes. Make sure to shoot any threatening poodles.

  3. Right: Because nothing screams junkie! like having some pot in your system.

    Jesse, naturally my libertarian self says, right, they can do drugs if they want. Although I’ve never indulged, I know perfectly functional people that have. However, my libertarian self simultaneously thinks that exposing hypocrisy in government is a worthy exercise.

    Oh, please, can we bring this petard-hoisting fun to the U.S.? Please?

  4. Would that be auto-petard-hoisting?

    [attempt to post this comment #2]

  5. honestly, id rather my pols were takin LSD or ayahuasca than smoking pot, drinking, or bumping lines.
    anyone else agree?

  6. Mike, no offense, but that’s a petarded comment 🙂

    Har, har.

  7. Millions of Americans have suffered the indignation of having their piss periodically tested so they can keep their jobs. It’s offensive as hell. Pretty much every table-games and poker dealer in the country goes through this bullshit. If you smoke a little weed at a party and a week later you get tested, you have to go looking for a new source of income. Why not put the politicians who came up with this insane Drug War through the same wringer? These assholes toke and toot just like the rest of us, give ’em a little wiff of their own stink. This country is way overdue for a revolution.

  8. I’m with Buckshot on this. My only caveat would be: if a politician voted against the War on Drugs, don’t announce whether or not he has any drugs in his system. But anyone who voted for the war and tested positive–shout it from the rooftops.

    If I lived in the old South I would have completely opposed racial discrimination, but if I found out a segregationist politician had black ancestry I would have exposed him, too. It’s the same thing.

  9. It’s impossible to ascertain that somebody has used marijuana within the last 36 hours from cells wiped from somebody’s eyebrow, or, in fact, even from a blood sample. The metabolites are removed very slowly, so you can’t be very sure how long ago someone smoked up.

  10. which isn’t really an issue with pols because the war on drugs is a war without end. there’s no metabolite half-life for being a sanctimonious fuckface either.

    i am positively giddy at the idea of drug testing politicians.

  11. I think the idea of politicians being subjected to the same laws they pass for the rest of us is sensible and reasonable. What I would object to is using deception and slight to somehow ‘get back’ at them…to out them.

    Politicians should be no more subject to someone invading their privacy and taking control of their DNA without permission than anyone else…just because we elected them.

    So for all of you who think we ought to stick it to the drug warriors using the very tactics we decry being used on the public at large, well, that’s unprincipled. The end game of a society without principles is something to be careful wishing for.

  12. i am positively giddy at the idea of drug testing politicians.

    I’m in favor of spaying or neutering them myself.

  13. I think the idea of politicians being subjected to the same laws they pass for the rest of us is sensible and reasonable.

    What I would object to is using deception and slight to somehow ‘get back’ at them by tricking them or stealing their DNA (as in the Italy case)…to out them, if you like.

    Politicians should be no more subject to someone invading their privacy and taking control of their DNA without permission than anyone else…just be cause we elected them.

  14. “Politicians should be no more subject to someone invading their privacy and taking control of their DNA without permission than anyone else…just be cause we elected them.”

    except their actions have consequences far beyond yours and mine, especially in the realm of drugs. they destroy thousands of lives without consequence. a little humiliation does a lot of good. some of them might even shoot themselves!

    i realize that sounds unfair, so i should reframe that: “i hope some of them shoot themselves in the face on live television in front of their families!”

  15. Politicians should be no more subject to someone invading their privacy and taking control of their DNA without permission than anyone else…just be cause we elected them.

    The politicians should have thought of that before they exempted themselves from the rules we little people have to follow. They made it impossible to get them in the context of the rules, so we have to go outside of them. I doubt anyone would have swabbed these guys’ brows if they could have been forced to merely pee in a cup instead.

  16. The politicians should have thought of that before they exempted themselves from the rules we little people have to follow.

    And maybe the little people who elected these politicians should give these types of issues some thought before they vote for them, right?

  17. I never voted for any of these assholes, gaijin. But I’d damn sure pull a stunt like this if I had the means to do so. Don’t assume collective guilt is shared by every individual in the collective. “Americans” vote drug-war politicians into office, but this American doesn’t.

  18. Torturing our elected overlords is a rich, American tradition. If they don’t like it, they can stay the heck out of office. Public service should hurt like a paper cut, not be a ride on the gravy train. Heck, citizen harassment of politicians sounds like a groovy idea to me. We should start a foundation that hires people to tail all of the federal fellows around. All of the time.

    1. Under Federal law my employer can randomly drug test me.
    2. Our representatives keep saying they “work for us.”
    3. Line up, suckers. And your staffs as well.
  19. And maybe the little people who elected these politicians should give these types of issues some thought before they vote for them, right?

    1) The Republican candidate is in favor of drug testing the little people.

    2) The Democrate candidate is in favor of drug testing the little people.

    3) I’ve given this issue some thought and I’m against drug testing the little people.

    4) If I vote for the Dem or Rep candidate I’m a hypocrite & fool. If I don’t vote I’m considered to be apathetic. If I vote for the Libertarian anti-drug testing candidate I’m dreaming.

    5) Our elected officials shouldn’t be drug tested because that would be unprincipled.

    6) Huh?

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