Final Word from Tuesday, April 1, 2003

With polls showing that 70-80% of Czechs are against the war in Iraq, it wouldn't be surprising if the mass media were skeptical too. Miroslav Macek of ODS said he feels like he's watching TV Baghdad when he follows ČT1, Prima and TV Nova. In the case of Nova, there's more to it than meets the eye. CEO Vladimír Železný has often used his weekly "Call the Director" show to criticize the U.S., primarily because his arch rival Ronald Lauder of CME is an American. Železný regularly cites U.S. business failures such as Enron as a way to relativize the theft and tunneling in the CR. When U.S. Ambassador Craig Stapleton called recently for the Czech government to investigate the Nova "debacle" that cost Lauder his TV station, Železný no doubt saw this as a hostile act against him. Getting fair coverage of the Iraqi war on TV Nova will now be difficult for Stapleton.


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FS Final Word