Final Word from Thursday, August 26, 2004

Readers of the international press would be forgiven for thinking that Stanislav Gross is the next great communicator, in the footsteps of Cicero, Churchill and Reagan. The Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, for example, wrote that he has "extraordinary communication skills." Back home, it took just one speech as almost-confirmed premier to pop the bubble. Alexandr Mitrofanov of Právo said that Gross's pre-confirmation speech was "littered with clichés and repetitions of words in the same phrase." It almost seemed, Mitrofanov said, that in learning English, Gross had lost his Czech. Gross is the CR's first president or premier, other than laconic Josef Tošovský, who doesn't write his own speeches, and it shows. When foreign journalists praise his word skills, perhaps they're confusing him with his clever little smartphone, the Nokia Communicator. Marcus Tullius Winston Ronald


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