Updated December 22: replace paragraph 8 with comments from Prager Zeitung
Social media users are sharing a text, allegedly an excerpt from an editorial by a Czech newspaper translated into English, claiming that the United States is threatened by the people who elected Joe Biden as president. Reuters found no evidence to support this translation, comes from an actual article. Virtually the same text has been circulating since at least 2010, targeting Barack Obama.
Examples are visible here, and here, here, here.
“From a PRAGUE NEWSPAPER – It seems that for the rest of the world it has become obvious that the United States is digging its (sic) own grave”, the report begins.
Some repeats claim that the text is an excerpt from an “article in a Prague newspaper” translated into English. The alleged excerpt from the article reads: “The danger to America is not Joseph Biden, but a citizen who is able to trust a man like him to the presidency.” The ‘Republic’, the text reads, can survive Biden, but ‘is less likely to survive a multitude of fools, such as those who made him president.’
Most of the text in this claim, but referring to President Barack Obama, has been online since at least 2010 (here, here).
Some versions of the Obama version say that the article comes from “Prager Zeitung” (here, here), a Czech German-speaking publication (www.pragerzeitung.cz/uber-uns/).
Some later repetitions (here, here) attribute this to “the Prague newspaper, Praguer Zeitungon”, which is probably a misspelling of Prager Zeitung.
Marcus Hundt, editor-in-chief of Prager Zeitung, told Reuters in an email that the newspaper “has never published such an article. Not about Joe Biden or about Barack Obama ”. Prager Zeitung, he added, “reports mainly on events in the Czech Republic and Europe and not on home affairs in other provinces”.
A search on his website yielded 15 articles mentioning Obama, the earliest of which was from March 10, 2012 (www.pragerzeitung.cz/?s=OBAMA). No one included the statement in this claim, nor anything similar.
According to a 2012 article from the website Snopes here, the text was also falsely attributed to Václav Klaus, a Czech politician who served as President of the Czech Republic between 2003 and 2013 (here, here).
Snopes also noted that the claim was used to target several world leaders, including former New Zealand Prime Minister John Key (here) and former South African President Jacob Zuma (here).
Untrue. Reuters found no evidence that a news organization from the Czech Republic or elsewhere wrote this text about Joe Biden. A similar version aimed at Barack Obama has been in circulation since at least 2010.
This article was produced by the Reuters Fact Check team. Read more about our work to actually check social media posts.