The French are worried about the Italianization of French life, as Adam Gopnik notes in a New Yorker article about Dominique Strauss Kahn:
[M]any in Paris [anxiously note the] “Italianization” of French life — the descent into what might become an unseemly round of Berlusconian squalor…
We Americans aren’t worried, but there’s plenty of evidence that we’re Italianizing right along with the French:
[No one really cares about the University of North Carolina scandal because] any college sports scandal after Penn State [seems] like business as usual. Nothing ever can approach the horror and depravity of a sainted coach knowingly allowing a child rapist to use a storied football program to help him cultivate victims, exemplifying the awful depths to which a school would go to protect images, all in the name of a game. When the epitome of rectitude is revealed to be rotten to its core, there’s no going back to a pristine, previous time. No-show classes and fraudulent term papers can never resonate the same way again after the searing testimony from violently scarred children, who were failed by coaches, administrators, campus police and the cult of worshipful, willfully blind fans.
… So we can only get so angry, anymore, even for something seemingly so big and so important. We know too much. We have seen too much.
Another example of the emerging Italian attitude in America:
It is not so much that UNC has been giving away grades and sending its athletes to the “easy grade” courses, because that goes on at every campus that needs to keep its athletes academically eligible… If this is not an important issue in our society then let the band play on and the circus continue …
Americans have become so accustomed to depravity at their big-time sports universities that they no longer rise to any occasion that falls short of horror.