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Czechs and Balances


Claim:   An editorial penned by former Czech president Vaclav Klaus criticizes those who voted for Barack Obama.

PROBABLE INCORRECT ATTRIBUTION

Example:   [Collected via e-mail, July 2012]

CZECH PRAGUE NEWSPAPER ARTICLE --

An article in the Prague newspaper, Prager Zeitungon:

"The danger to America is not Barack Obama, but a citizenry capable of entrusting a man like him with the Presidency. It will be far easier to limit and undo the follies of an Obama presidency than to restore the necessary common sense and good judgment to a depraved electorate willing to have such a man for their president. The problem is much deeper and far more serious than Mr. Obama, who is a mere symptom of what ails America . Blaming the prince of fools should not blind anyone to the vast confederacy of fools that made him their prince. The Republic can survive a Barack Obama, who is, after all, merely a fool. It is less likely to survive a multitude of fools, such as those who made him their President."
 

Origins:   An item circulated in November 2012 supposedly reproduced an article critical of those who voted for Barack Obama in 2008, supposedly published in "the Prague newspaper, Prager Zeitungon." That mention appeared to be a misspelled reference to Prager Zeitung ("Prague Newspaper"), a German language weekly newspaper from the Czech Republic which is also circulated
in Germany, Austria and Switzerland.

However, the version of this item circulated online provided no other contextual information (such as a publication date or headline) to help track down if and when it was actually published in Prager Zeitung. A search of that newspaper's web site at that time pulled up only one article that mentioned Barack Obama, and that article included only an incidental reference about the level of security provided to a U.S. president.

The same item since been attributed to Václav Klaus, a Czech politician who served as the second President of the Czech Republic from 2003 to 2013, but we have found no documentation that he wrote or spoke the words reproduced above either.

Even if the Prager Zeitung or some similar newspaper did reproduce this item it likely did not originate there, as the same bit of text was circulating anonymously as far back as 2009 and did not pick up an attribution crediting it to the Prager Zeitung until much later (or to Václav Klaus until even later than that).

Last updated:   10 March 2014

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