Final Word from Thursday, July 14, 2011

The Murdoch empire extends to the Czech Republic (NewsOutdoor billboard company, Dow Jones news agency), but thesale by Dow Jones in late 2006 of its 23.5% stake in Economiato Handelsblatt kept Rupert Murdoch out of HN and Ekonom.Handelsblatt subsequently sold Economia to Zdeněk Bakala inAug. 2008, and Bakala sought to garner some of the Murdochtouch by recruiting a News Corporation director, AndrewKnight, to serve as chairman of Economia's board. HN pointedout this direct link to Murdoch in April 2009. This is onlyimportant because there are increasing suspicions that Bakalais using Murdoch-like techniques to influence Czech politics.We certainly don't mean phone-hacking, but rather the otherMurdoch specialty of punishing enemies through his publications.At least that is one way to explain the spate of articles inHN about ČSSD's party financing. You see, if ČSSD could bebrought into line, Bakala's political problems with the wholeOKD privatization might conveniently go away.

Glossary of difficult words

Dow Jones - Murdoch acquired it in 2007, after Dow Jones had already sold its stake in Economia to Handelsblatt;

to garner - to gather or collect;

director - in this sense, a director of a company is a board member;

spate - a large number of similar things or events appearing or occurring in quick succession;

to bring someone into line - to cause someone to conform (to a desired way of behavior or thinking).


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