Final Word from Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Visitors to Czechoslovakia soon after the Velvet Revolution and to the newly independent Czech Republic were often shocked to hear how casual Czechs were about explaining the practice of cheating in school. Not only was it widespread, but Czechs were also rather shameless in admitting it. This culture gradually changed at many schools and universities, culminating in the resignation yesterday of Taťána Malá as justice minister in the wake of a plagiarism scandal. It wasn't merely a moral epiphany or an evolutionary process that ultimately caused her resignation, though, but also a political and media contrivance. Compare the mild reaction to Milan Chovanec's plagiarism scandal in Oct. 2016 to the full frontal assault against Malá by not only the opposition media, but also by Andrej Babiš's own media. The difference is that Chovanec was a key figure for the business-political-media conglomerate we call ČSSD a.s. For Agrofert a.s., Malá was fully expendable. [Czech Republic plagiarize copy]

Glossary of difficult words

in the wake of - following (someone or something), esp. as a consequence; as a result of;

epiphany - a moment of sudden and great revelation or realization;

contrivance - a thing which is created skillfully and inventively to serve a particular purpose;

frontal assault - a military tactic involving a direct, hostile movement of forces toward the front of an enemy force;

expendable - of relatively little significance, and therefore able to be abandoned or destroyed.


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