Mr Beppe Grillo, the Leader and Spokesperson of the Five Stars Movement, hates many things, among them mainstream media. He constantly accuses them of being of the “System” destroying Italy, since they have political connections and receive public funding. His MPs and local councillors were once forbidden to make statements to the press or take part to TV debates, under harsh penalties. In time, this was relaxed to avoid accusations of internal censorship and also because mainstream media are simply too important in politics.
However, the announcement that on 19 May Mr Grillo will be a guest in the TV show “Porta a porta” remains shocking. A combination of politics, crime and court news and gossip, “Porta a porta” is not a mainstream show, it is THE mainstream show. This were Mr Berlusconi’s most infamous appearances took place, with the former Prime Minister flirting with girls or signing a “contract with Italians”.
Mr Grillo’s sudden U-turn was perhaps triggered by the polls predicting his defeat by Prime Minister Matteo Renzo in the next European elections.