Final Word from Wednesday, May 7, 2003

Like journalists the world over, Czech journalists love to catch politicians in bed - literally or figuratively - with someone other than their spouse. Stanislav Gross and Jaroslav Tvrdík were caught accidentally by a police wiretap taking late-night phone calls from the owner of a building where a brothel is located, and the Czech media have had fun with the story. (She isn't a "madam," insisted Tvrdík.) The press is keeping politicians honest (well, theoretically, at least), but who's keeping the press honest? Several journalists we know of have written articles about people with whom they've had intimate relationships, without disclosing the relationship. Editor-in-chief Veselin Vačkov of LN said that at his newspaper, this would be a breach of the editorial rules and would perhaps be grounds for dismissal. In contrast, another editor told us he doesn't care how his reporters get a story ... as long as it's a good one.


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