Final Word from Thursday, August 15, 2019



A tried-and-true formula of the tabloid press is to present related facts in such a way as to evoke the impression on the part of the reader that there is a causal relationship, when in fact there might not be one. This gets the desired message out while maintaining the ability to deny that anything libelous was printed. "We never said he stole the money! We just said he was there at the time it was stolen." Pres. Miloš Zeman pulled this trick yesterday through his spokesman, and it worked to a tee. Jiří Ovčáček provided three pieces of information in an official statement: 1) Zeman stated that Michal Šmarda has never been involved with Czech culture; 2) Šmarda is therefore not qualified to serve as culture minister; 3) Zeman therefore asked ČSSD Chair Jan Hamáček to submit the name of a qualified candidate. Never has Zeman said that he will not appoint Šmarda. If he did, it could be used against him in court as evidence of a violation of the Constitution. Yet nearly every media outlet reported that, "Zeman will not appoint Šmarda." Tabloid Zeman took full advantage of the tabloidization of the Czech media. [ Czech Republic Constitutional Court ]

Glossary of difficult words

tried-and-true - denoting something that has proven in the past to be effective or reliable;

libelous - containing or constituting a published false statement that is damaging to a person's reputation;

to a tee/T - to perfection; exactly.

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