Is this a lamppost which I see before me...

4 April 2006

The latest handbags-at-dawn effort from the Prodi-Berlusconi camp was certainly entertaining.  

Gleeful trade-offs (ubriaco! utile idiota!) flooded the floor in the second round of a live televised debate between the premier and the wannabe premier, in the run-up to Sunday's elections. Rival Romano Prodi showed how his fast-talking opponent has influenced him, as he momentarily lost himself in grand Macbeth-esque hallucinations.  He attacked Berlusconi for clinging on to figures and statistics (no doubt including 'numeri' such as his glorious five year office term so far), with all the skills of a drunkard trying to keep himself propped up.

Berlusconi almost leaped across the table. He eloquently slid the insult ball back into Prodi's court, lacing it with keywords including 'cheery parish face' and 'communists'. His equally suave and indignant 'I am the Prime Minister!' retort however may not prove to be his future saving grace - he is still trailing the leadership polls by five percentage points, and as Prodi would have it, may need to sober up sooner than expected.  

How can Americans fight dark money and disinformation?

Violence, corruption and cynicism threaten America's flagging democracy. Joe Biden has promised to revive it – but can his new administration stem the flow of online disinformation and shady political financing that has eroded the trust of many US voters?

Hear from leading global experts and commentators on what the new president and Congress must do to stem the flood of dark money and misinformation that is warping politics around the world.

Join us on Thursday 21 January, 5pm UK time/12pm EST.

Hear from:

Emily Bell Leonard Tow Professor of Journalism and director, Tow Center for Digital Journalism, Columbia Journalism School

Anoa Changa Journalist focusing on electoral justice, social movements and culture

Peter Geoghegan openDemocracy investigations editor and author of 'Democracy for Sale: Dark Money and Dirty Politics'

Josh Rudolph Fellow for Malign Finance at the Alliance for Securing Democracy

Chair: Mary Fitzgerald Editor-in-chief, openDemocracy 

Further speakers to be announced

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