Final Word from Friday, November 12, 2010

Investigative journalism in the CR, and esp. at MF Dnes, often consists of taking a rather flimsy file served up by someone on a platter and splashing it on Page 1. Sometimes someone is dismissed, such as in the recent case of Dep. Defense Minister Jaroslav Kopřiva, but usually nothing more comes of it. A score is settled without disturbing the general system of institutional corruption. It's disappointing that the Americans are playing a similar game. Two years after the fact, Tatra's American representatives, including ex-Amb. William Cabaniss, accused Martin Barták in MFD of asking for a bribe as dep. defense minister. They can't explain very well why they waited two years, and they're unable to recall a key detail - how big the bribe was supposed to be. Barták might be forced out, but bilateral relations will be spared the embarrassment of any serious investigation into state-sponsored corruption.[Czech Republic United States of American ambassador]

Glossary of difficult words

to settle a score - to take revenge on someone for a past act;

flimsy - weak or unconvincing;

to serve up/hand on a platter - to let someone get something very easily, without having to work for it;

to splash - to print ( a story or photograph, esp. a sensational one) in a prominent place in a publication;

after the fact - after having taken place;

to spare - to refrain from inflicting something on someone.


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