Former Czech president Václav Klaus called the American people a 'confederacy of fools' for electing Barack Obama.
Collected via e-mail, July 2012
This political item recirculated widely online in November 2012 (shortly after the re-election of President Barack Obama) and was presented as a reproduction of a newspaper editorial harshly critical of those who had voted for Obama in 2008, one 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. Later versions of this same item attributed that editorial to Václav Klaus, a Czech politician who served as the first prime minister of an independent Czech Republic from 1993 to 1998 and then as the second President of the Czech Republic from 2003 to 2013.
The attributions of both publication and author are unverifiable, however. The initial version of this item (which was circulated at least as far back as April 2009) provided no contextual information such as a publication date or headline that would facilitate verification of its publication 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. No one has since documented that this editorial was published in either the print or online version of the Prager Zeitung.
Moreover, not only is there no evidence that Václav Klaus penned this editorial, it’s exceedingly unlikely that he would have written anything like it. Václav Klaus and Barack Obama appeared to have a reasonably good working relationship while both were in office, and Klaus has not been otherwise been recorded as writing or saying anything (in public or private) nearly so harshly critical of President Obama as the editorial attributed to him here.
This piece has been repurposed to reference a number of other national leaders and politicians from around the globe, including South African president
A Word to Our Loyal Readers
Support Snopes and make a difference for readers everywhere.
- David Mikkelson
- Doreen Marchionni
- David Emery
- Bond Huberman
- Jordan Liles
- Alex Kasprak
- Dan Evon
- Dan MacGuill
- Bethania Palma
- Liz Donaldson
- Vinny Green
- Ryan Miller
- Chris Reilly
- Chad Ort
- Elyssa Young
Most Snopes assignments begin when readers ask us, “Is this true?” Those tips launch our fact-checkers on sprints across a vast range of political, scientific, legal, historical, and visual information. We investigate as thoroughly and quickly as possible and relay what we learn. Then another question arrives, and the race starts again.
We do this work every day at no cost to you, but it is far from free to produce, and we cannot afford to slow down. To ensure Snopes endures — and grows to serve more readers — we need a different kind of tip: We need your financial support.
Support Snopes so we continue to pursue the facts — for you and anyone searching for answers.