Final Word from Monday, August 21, 2017

A typical trick of politicians is to tell a journalist something scandalous or otherwise out of bounds and to claim later that it was supposed to be off the record. Steve Bannon used this device last week as a parting shot before leaving the White House. Justice Min. Robert Pelikán deployed a version of it in today's Respekt. He cast doubt on the police request for lifting Andrej Babiš's immunity, and then he accused Respekt of violating the copyright law by printing the interview over his objection. From a legal standpoint, Respekt was completely within its right. The copyright law specifically excludes "daily news," and it could easily be argued in court that such an explosive comment by the justice minister fits the bill. Whether Respekt should have fallen into Pelikán's trap, though, is another matter. Pelikán warned during the interview that he might object to its publication, just as a pick-up artist tells his prey during the lustful act that he loves her. Pelikán has used and abused Respekt to make a major political statement that benefits his party boss. Will anti-Babiš readers still love Respekt tomorrow? [Czech Republic parliamentary magazine Shirelles ANO Stork's Nest]

Glossary of difficult words

Will you still love me tomorrow? - a major 1960's song about what might have been a one-night stand;

parting shot - a final remark, typically a cutting one, made by someone at the moment of departure;

to fit the bill - to be suitable for a particular purpose;

pick-up artist - a person who is practiced at attracting or habitually pursues sexual partners (typically used of a man).


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