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Newspaper accused of blaming ‘rise of gays’ for the stagnant economy

Newspaper accused of blaming ‘rise of gays’ for the stagnant economy

A newspaper is accused of saying gays are responsible for a stagnant economy | Photo: Flickr

A newspaper is accused of blaming the ‘rise of gays’ for the stagnant economy in Italy.

Libero, a right-wing national newspaper, posted a troubling headline on its front page this week.

‘GDP stagnant. Gays on the increase,’ it said.

Many said they felt like the newspaper was implying that gay people were somehow directly responsible for Italy’s economy.

The first paragraph of the article said: ‘There is little to be happy about these days: the GDP is stagnant and gays are on the rise.’

Arcigay, Italy’s LGBTI rights group, said the ‘attempt’ to suggest a link between the economy and gay people was ‘ridiculous’.

A group spokesperson said the headline was intended to ‘feed the climate of hatred towards homosexuals’.

Newspaper denies it blamed the ‘rise of gays’ for stagnant economy

Pietro Senaldi, the director of Libero magazine, slammed the criticism.

‘You don’t like the headline?’ he said. ‘Don’t buy the newspaper.’

Senaldi then claimed that he was not saying there was any correlation between the two at all.

‘They are prosecuting us because we have said there are more homosexuals, where is the offense?’ Senaldi said.

He said the newspaper was the ‘object of prejudice’ and he is ‘slaughtered every time he tells the truth’.

Senaldi added: ‘In the headline we did not tie the two news items with a cause-effect report.

‘Don’t buy the newspaper’ 

‘We took a snapshot of the country, specifying in the summary that Italy is economically on the ground and homosexuals are on the increase.’

The insistence the newspaper meant nothing by the headline continued.

‘There are people who have not liked our headline. Evidently they are not happy with the increase in the homo community,’ Senaldi added.

The editor then claimed the newspaper itself was the ‘victim’.

‘It is easier to break an atom than prejudice,’ Senaldi said, quoting Albert Einstein.

‘I will write to the National Press Federation complaining of intimidation against our newspaper.’

But was it libel? 

Journalist Jane Fae explained the headline was a trick to evade libel laws.

She said: ‘If you wish to say something skanky…to make a link that you can’t really stand up…and your editor and lawyers don’t dare make, simples:

‘Just juxtapose two sentences. “Mr Smith is a member of x club. In the past x club has included notable murderers such as….”

‘Sorted!

‘You’ve not drawn the link. But you can be pretty sure that the majority of your readers, not trained to look at language and grammar with the same sceptical eye as a libel lawyer will do so.

‘And sadly I see this time and time again in response to press stories. Individuals want to complain about a story that “said a slur”….and i know the story did, effectively….but I also know in my heart no complaint will succeed because it literally did not.

‘And so the [mainstream media] continue to lie through their teeth while all the time presenting themselves as purveyors of nowt but the unvarnished truth.’

Gay Star News has reached out to Libero for comment.

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