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US Ambassador quizzed Czech journalists

26.1.2009 - Britské listy / Lidové noviny

The now ex-Ambassador of the USA, Richard W. Graber (on the photo), has been truly busy in his radar emissary role. As well as snooping around the situation inside the CSSD party (the biggest Czech opposition party that is against the proposed radar), he was also organising 'informal meetings' with (purportedly independent) journalists of the Czech mass-media...

Štěpán Kotrba of the on-line journal Britske Listy describes one of Graber's party tricks:

“The American Ambassador to the Czech Republic, Richard Graber, is inviting Czech newspaper commentators to private informal consultations regarding their views on the potential placement of the American radar in the Czech Brdy region. And the journalists do go to these meetings, though they do not publicise the invitations to such 'consultations' in their media. Neither do they make public the contents of their discussions, preferably backed by tape recordings. Nor do they describe such consultations with the ambassador of a foreign power outside of any official press-conferences as an ethically unacceptable influencing of opinion.”

Source (Czech): Kotrba, Štěpán. Americký coming-out Miloše Čermáka. Britské listy, 19.05.2008 (translation No to Bases initiative)

This coming-out comes from the pen of the commentator Miloš Čermák who writes primarily for the Czech daily "Lidové noviny":

"A few weeks ago, together with a couple of other journalists, I was invited to an informal meeting with the American Ambassador. The meeting lasted about an hour and concerned the debate around the radar. Having been asked about my personal views..."

Source (Czech): Čermák, Miloš. Radarem proti mihuli. Lidové noviny, 17.05.2008 (translation No to Bases initiative)


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