Berlusconi's Bloopers and Practical Jokes


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.