Final Word from Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Henning Mankell said in one of his Wallander stories that there are two kinds of reporters: Ones who dig for the truth, and ones who try to bury it. The spat between Václav Klaus and Mirek Topolánek over whose government was more corrupt gives fodder for both kinds of news sleuths. By tossing around the names of each other's lobbyist friends in MFD, Klaus and Topolánek are going on the record with tidbits about some of the CR's darker moments. The sunshine is welcome, but if you watch closely, you'll notice that they speak only about villains who fall within the discrete set of the other's interests. Klaus talks about Marek Dalík; Topolánek talks about Roman Janoušek. There's a subset of common benefactors who are much more powerful and insidious, but few dare to go after them. Respekt is an exception and writes in depth this week about one of those who excel under any cabinet, Andrej Babiš.[Czech Republic Agrofert MF Dnes Kurt]

Glossary of difficult words

to overlap - to cover part of the same area of interest, responsibility, etc.;

Henning Mankell - Swedish writer known for his crime fiction about Kurt Wallander;

spat - a petty quarrel;

fodder - food, or something regarded as material for a specific use;

sleuth - detective, investigator;

tidbit - a small and particularly interesting item of gossip or information;

discrete - individually separate and distinct;

insidious - treacherous, crafty;

to excel - to be exceptionally good at or proficient in an activity or subject;

Andrej Babiš - one of the Czech Republic's most successful businessmen, with vast holdings in chemicals and agriculture.


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