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The Denise Pipitone case and the great television circus

When the worst never ends

By Gierreuno

We are a society that lives inside the television screen. Since when the telescreen has existed. And we are completely slaves, totally anesthetized, deprived of any critical capacity.

The problem is not Italian, local. The problem is global. The great television circus envelops us, overwhelms us, distorts us without interruption. We feed on everything the telescreen vomits. And we love doing it.

Let's take for example the last case of the spectacle of pain. The one that featured the main Russian television broadcaster and the two flagship networks of our country, Rai 1 and Canale 5.

The story is that of Denise Pipitone, the little girl who disappeared on September 1, 2004 at the age of 4, while playing in front of her grandmother's house in Mazara del Vallo. A dramatic story, periodically the subject of media attention.

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The story of a mother who loses her daughter without knowing anything about her: vanished into thin air, it is whispered, without any evidence, by a notorious Roma group.

The story of a half-sister, who ended up on trial with the accusation of having favored the disappearance of the child and definitively acquitted by the Supreme Court after a judicial marathon capable of devastating the nervous system of any human being.

The story of a natural father deprived of his first child and a stepfather who ended up in the middle of an emotional storm that still knows no end.

Well: after 16 and a half years on Russian TV a girl appears, Olesya Rostova, who shows a certain resemblance to Denise's mother, Piera Maggio and tells of being an orphan and does not remember anything of the first four years of her life.

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The program is a sort of “Chi l’ha visto?” in Muscovite sauce. The reconstruction is brief but perfect for being shown on television and capturing the attention of the public.

The authors edit the novel in a masterly way: Denise's family is involved, the lawyer Giacomo Frazzitta who represents her and, through a series of clues, spread with melodrama times, the show takes shape, fascinates, captures, seduces the public. Russian. And the Italian one in a symphonic crescendo.

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Because even our TV throws itself headlong with afternoon talk shows that hunt down day after day, re-propose Denise's novel, scan cameras and sent in search of witnesses to the affair and storm the television screens with the drama that manages to cancel for a few hours. the miseries of a nation brought to its knees by the pandemic.

The wave gets bigger and bigger and the story ends up in the main news, on the front pages of newspapers, in the main sections of the magazines and in in-depth programs.

Is Olesya Rostova actually Denise Pipitone? The question rebounds with strength and ever greater solemnity on the Rome-Moscow axis. Doctors, columnists, first women, scholars and acrobats debate it. Each with its certainties, each with its truths. The show is guaranteed. And it goes on until the moment when, as if by magic, the big top of the big circus begins to deflate.

Attention gentlemen: it's time to compare Denise and Olesya's blood type. Another couple of days, just to keep attention and on the Russian channel the decisive episode is broadcast in which the lawyer of the Italian family also participates, already aware of the result but bound by a confidentiality agreement with the broadcaster of Moscow.

Stop everyone: the blood group does not match. “A media circus” ruled Alberto Di Pisa, the former prosecutor of Marsala who investigated the case.

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End of transmission. The Circus changes its program. The workers dismantle the tents. Trapeze artists, animals, magicians, clowns and dwarves get on the trucks. The drivers set in motion. See you next time.

Moral of the story? To get an idea of ​​how we are, we offer Acrimònia readers an excerpt from an article that Pierpaolo Pasolini wrote in Corriere della Sera on 9 December 1973, just under 48 years ago, in which he focused on the role of television in society. Italian.

(…) “It is not only a place through which messages pass, but it is a message processing center. It is the place where a mentality is concretized that otherwise one would not know where to place.

It is through the spirit of television that the spirit of the new power is concretely manifested. There is no doubt (you can see from the results) that television is as authoritarian and repressive as ever in any media in the world.

The fascist newspaper and the writings on the farmhouses of Mussolini's slogans make you laugh: like (with pain) the plow compared to a tractor. Fascism, I want to repeat it, has not been substantially able to even scratch the soul of the Italian people: the new fascism, through the new means of communication and information (especially television), has not only scratched it. , but it tore it apart, violated it, ugly forever”.