Italy is about to have its first female leader and the American left is furious. Giorgia Meloni grew up in a working-class neighborhood in Rome and was raised by a single mother, after her father, a communist, fled to the Canary Islands and was later convicted of drug trafficking in Mallorca. She wrote in her autobiography that her mother planned to have an abortion when she was pregnant with her but changed her mind at the last minute. Meloni worked as a nanny, a waitress, and a bartender before getting into politics, but she’s no AOC.

Meloni,...

Italy is about to have its first female leader and the American left is furious. Giorgia Meloni grew up in a working-class neighborhood in Rome and was raised by a single mother, after her father, a communist, fled to the Canary Islands and was later convicted of drug trafficking in Mallorca. She wrote in her autobiography that her mother planned to have an abortion when she was pregnant with her but changed her mind at the last minute. Meloni worked as a nanny, a waitress, and a bartender before getting into politics, but she’s no AOC.

Meloni, 45, is the leader of the right-wing populist Brothers of Italy party, which recently won Italy’s general election with 26 percent of the vote. She’s widely expected to be named Italy’s first female prime minister. A staunch Catholic who is also an unwed mother with a longtime partner, she campaigned on a populist platform of “God, country, and family.” In 2018, the Brothers captured just 4 percent of the vote, and in the 2019 European election, just 6 percent. But this year, her party’s pledges to defend individual liberty, Italy’s borders and national identity resonated like never before.

Meloni’s rise is a remarkable story regardless of your politics, but the media and prominent Democrats have portrayed her as a fascist and a threat to democracy. President Joe Biden implied as much in a recent speech, insinuating that her victory was an ominous threat similar to the one he claims so-called Ultra-MAGA types pose in our country. The New York Times described her as “the hard-right leader of a party descended from post-Fascist roots.” CBS News claimed Meloni “sparked fears of fascism” and juxtaposed her win with images and clips of Hitler and Mussolini.

MSNBC weighed in with a piece likening her to Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene and other “white feminists” who are part of “crypto-fascistic and white nationalist movements.” The piece claims that Meloni’s election “is absolutely anything but a win for feminism,” but rather “an exemplar of how some white women weaponize gender and use it to oppress other women and minorities.” For its part, CNN published a piece with the headline “Giorgia Meloni claims victory to become Italy’s most far-right prime minister since Mussolini,” describing Meloni as a fascist who was “raising fears for the future of women’s rights in the country.”

Matteo Renzi, a former prime minister who is liberal, threw cold water on the idea that Meloni is a fascist or a demagogue on CNN. “She’s my rival, we will continue to fight each other, but there is not a risk of fascism in Italy,” he said. “It is absolutely fake news.” His comments were largely ignored by American pundits who had already reached their verdict on Meloni.

This pattern of portraying conservative world leaders as far-right extends beyond Europe. The media also despises Brazil’s president, Jair Bolsonaro, who faces an October 30 run-off against former President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva. Like Meloni, he’s been branded “far-right” by news outlets. By contrast, Lula, who served 18 months in prison on corruption charges that were later vacated, is never branded far-left.

This despite the fact Lula’s Workers’ Party uses communist symbols and has close ties to Venezuelan dictator Nicolás Maduro and the leader of Brazil’s Communist Party (one of its coalition partners), which recently urged Brazilians to “occupy the streets” to secure Lula’s election. In March, Lula also appeared at a celebration of the 100th anniversary of the founding of Brazil’s Communist Party, and gave a fiery speech surrounded by adoring red-clad commies.

While the media hypes non-existent threats from leaders like Meloni, they turn a blind eye to real threats to American interests abroad. If Lula wins the October 30 runoff, Latin America’s seven largest economies will be run by leftists. The so-called Pink Tide is concerning because anti-Americanism runs deep in leftist circles in Latin America. But many in our media class see no cause for concern because they too have swallowed the dogma that Latin America’s problems are America’s fault.

Far-left leaders like Maduro, Peru’s Pedro Castillo, Bolivia’s Luis Arce, Colombia’s Gustavo Petro, and even Cuba’s Miguel Díaz-Canel are almost never identified as far-left in the American media. For example, in a recent Reuters piece on how the Biden administration is wooing Latin America’s leftist leaders, Reuters tagged Bolsonaro as far-right but didn’t identify any leftists as far-left.

A day after he was elected in 2021, Peru’s Castillo, for example, appointed Guido Bedillo, a (fellow) Marxist who was under investigation for his ties to the Maoist guerrilla group, Shining Path, as his prime minister, and Héctor Béjar, an 85-year-old former Marxist guerrilla, as his foreign minister. But that wasn’t enough to convince the New York Times, the Financial Times, CNN and others he should be branded “far-left.” In multiple pieces about Castillo (see here and here, for example), CNN didn’t identify him as a leftist at all and made no references to his Marxist comrades.

The fact that so many prominent conservative leaders are tarred as far-right and virtually none are classified as far-left tells you how far-left our media has drifted. The left claims to want more women and people of color in positions of power. But time and time again, we see that progressives only celebrate milestones like Meloni’s if the incumbent shares the left’s agenda.

The good news is that trust in media is at an all-time low, and conservatives around the world are pushing back hard against fake news. Meloni emphasized this perfectly in a recent interview with the New York Times. “They’ll accuse me of being a Fascist my whole life,” she said. “But I don’t care because in any case the Italians don’t believe anymore in this garbage.”