Corrado Augias and his farewell (with controversy) to Rai: the last brick of the historic public service falls

“This incompetent government pushed me away.” Another Rai historical piece goes to another channel. Whatever you think about it, the 88-year-old’s escape Corrado Augias towards the archipelago Cairo editore, private neighbor on the number seven button on the remote control, sanctions the definitive demobilization of the entire cultural-political package of the last forty years of public service. Nouvelle vague TV born, very soul and core, under the creative cabbage of Angelo Guglielmi’s Rai3 – Augias comes from there, as does Fazio -, but also closely linked by the founding Christian Democratic roots. Mother Rai who becomes a third cousin, in short. You are now an unrecognizable relative of that aesthetic and ethical figure that you painted the trajectories of the schedules from pre-talk journalistic insights to late-night comedy variety shows or even those jewels that were the forerunners of so much crime rubbish from contemporary TV rotogravure like that Yellow telephone which made Augias, the future presenter of the cult, known to the TV public Who has seen?Donatella Raffai, and whose authors included none other than Franca Leosini.

A step back precisely because of Augias’ debut on TV. Telefono giallo was truly a highly forbidden glimpse from a horror film into the great unsolved mysteries of Italian crime news. The host standing, the guests seated and that yellow telephone in the middle of the studio that could ring at any moment. Who knows, speak up. And every now and then the ring came. And the spectator, of course, jumped in his seat. There were no social media yet and the exclusivity of a deep throat on live TV who could “speak” was first of all scary. Ustica, Orlandi, Carlotto, Monster of Florence (still in hypothetical action, we are in the eighties) were just some of the cases addressed. Augias explains it well in the interview given to Courier of today: “We don’t have money to do dramas, but I will give you a broadcast that will be our drama”, Guglielmi told him, entrusting him with the historic management of Telefono Giallo.

In short, Augias was first and foremost this brilliant thing here: an elegant, rational high lord dealing with the horrifying blood spatters of history. In the wake of the success of Telefono Giallo, Augias built thanks to the exclusive interviews of the Babele program what he would then definitively structure in 2003 with Le storie – Diario italiano: the idea of ​​a calm, cultured and solid presenter-popularizer in a strip of cultural in-depth study, definitively positioned here at lunchtime. In the middle – the nineties – there are the unfortunate escapade in Telemontecarlo of the then Montedison and his commitment as an independent European parliamentarian with the PDS from 1994 to 1999. In short, Viale Mazzini in the 2000s has the face of this graceful gentleman, British in aplomb, well-read, who never shouts, a sort of fundamental figure for a TV that offers a serious public service between arts and letters.

Then it’s clear, Augias he has never hidden his political orientation and his Berlusconi era it accentuated the radicalization of thoughts and words. After all, so to speak, subdivision is beauty. The parties that win go on to collect. But this time, in this ballet of “they’re not sending me away, I’m the one who’s leaving”, an era comes to an end, perhaps in trouble, perhaps in further transformation, but still a robust and significant piece of public service history, not at all similar to the Fazio case, in fact exactly the opposite, relegated to bands with low advertising revenue, which runs out. And here comes the good, or rather the bad, for Rai. Despite the obvious political opposition of the divided logic, the new right in power does not have its Guglielmi gang ready, nor does it have the Bernabei touch, or even just a more conservative Augias. Between the old safe used and the hypothetical new there is a void. Paid, as always, by taxpayers.

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