Final Word from Tuesday, January 29, 2013

When Miloš Zeman thanked the foreign-owned press for the Schwarzenberg overkill that sealed his victory, his sardonic words were aimed at Prague, but he could have just as easily meant Paris and London. English-language papers from these cities gave Zeman's rival adoring coverage in the last days of the campaign, even if few Czechs read it. The Paris-based International Herald Tribune, like the Financial Times, Wall Street Journal and The Economist, played up "Karel's" youth appeal. The IHT also quoted an unbiased observer as saying, "We are seeing the end of the era of the giant and unquestioned names in Czech politics," meaning of course Havel, Klaus and ... Zeman. Oops, that wasn't an unbiased observer, it was Erik Tabery of Respekt, a Schwarzenberg sycophant. Too bad the IHT failed to mention this; it puts an entirely new slant on the story. Czech journalists already know what Zeman thinks of them; their foreign colleagues will soon find out how they stand when they seek to interview him at the Castle.[Czech Republic presidential elections journalism reporters]

Glossary of difficult words

down and out - without money, a job or a place to live;

Down and Out in Paris and London - the title of a George Orwell novel; used here to suggest that the quality of journalism in Paris and London is sometimes poor;

overkill - too much of something;

sardonic - mocking or cynical;

adoring coverage - very favorable treatment in the press;

to play up something - to emphasize, accentuate;

sycophant - a servile flatter;

slant - a particular view from which something is seen or presented.


Tel: 420 224 221 580

Published by

E.S. Best s.r.o.
Ovenecká 78/33
170 00 Prague 7
Czech Republic



FS Final Word