On Tuesday Michael Rundle wrote in an article for HuffPost UK about outgoing Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi. He said that satire in Italy had failed to attack Berlusconi as much as it could have done, and suggested that was partly because of Berlusconi's power over the media to shut down dissent - and partly because he was so ridiculous he made satire redundant.
Understandably this struck Paolo Aleandri the editor-in-chief of Il Misfatto - the satirical magazine directed by Stefano Disegni, edited by Il Fatto Quotidiano, with 100,000 reported readers - as a little unfair.
Writing today in the Huffington Post, Aleandri points out that Italy does in fact have a tradition of satire. But perhaps the assumption that it doesn't says something meaningful about how effective that satire has been during Berlusconi's rule - and about the moral compass of the people who voted for him.
The statement that nobody in Italy is doing satire about Berlusconi is not true - but that people think that it does means something.
Even before starting his political carrier, in 1993, Berlusconi was a target for satirical jokes. In time he became one of satire's favourite targets.
On Television he was ridiculed, even harder than in print, and was attacked strongly and directly.
Just to give you some names that laughed and made us laugh about him: Corrado Guzzanti, Daniele Luttazzi, Sabina Guzzanti, Serena Dandini and Neri Marcorè. All were principal figures in satirical shows that are now living on the web as cult satire.
After the closing of Cuore (an historical magazine that was edited by L'Unità) in 1996, cartoon satire has had less room in the media - but newspaper and weekly magazines give space to Altan, Stefano Disegni, Staino, Riccardo Mannelli, Vauro and a lot of other 'poison pencils'.
But the opinion that we have not done satire against Berlusconi, although false, is meaningful, because it shows that it was not effective enough.
It was able to make people laugh but not to arouse a thrill of genuine revolution, or a rebellion of intelligences and consciences.
To shock is not enough for satire. Being merciless and brilliant is not enough either. What it needs for those who are reading it, listening to it and watching it to be scandalised. It needs a moral.
Of course, Berlusconi has used his power to eliminate every dissent.
The public television network (RAI), which is dominated by his men, has in time kicked out all that were inconvenient for the owner. Not just satirical authors but even excellent journalists, like Michele Santoro.
Mediaset, Berlusconi's TV station, was smarter, permitting easy and light satirical shows using an immoral form of comedy.
The effect of repressing the opposition on one side through power, and of erasing every moral limitation on the other side, made Italy appear like a mass of subjects under a ridiculous king.
Journalism has lost its grasp on reality in the same way. In every bookstore we can find books documenting Berlusconi's story, which talk about the obscure origin of his fortune, his never clarified involvement with the Mafia and his illegal and fraudulent business. Everyone can read it, but it does not shock anybody. It does not cause political or social earthquakes.
In these last few months drawn satire has been more effective. On Sunday, in the newspaper Il Fatto Quotidiano, Il Misfatto is publishing 8 pages of articles and cartoons. We have at least 100,000 readers that, we know, are having fun.
If after that they don't get angry, is not entirely our fault.