Since the Hungarian media didn’t report an important piece of news about kuruc.info I guess I have to write about it. Especially since it indirectly concerns the United States.
It was exactly a month ago that Viktor Orbán, prime minister of Hungary, answered a letter written by fifty U.S. congressmen expressing their concern over the growth of antisemitism in Hungary. They alluded to an especially notorious website, kuruc.info, that uses an American server, a fact that came in handy for Orbán, who wrote the following to the congressmen:
Your letter appeared just in time because I was on the verge of asking your assistance in a matter on which I failed to get satisfaction through international channels and through the [American] embassy….
Some of these anti-Semites call the Hungarian government and Viktor Orbán himself “hirelings of Jews,” and these forces “receive considerable support from the United States.” The Hungarian center of antisemitism is a website that operates on an American server. If that problem could get resolved the Hungarian forces of antisemitism would be considerably weakened. “I ask you to assist us in this matter because our request to close this site was rejected by the U.S. government.”
As we have discussed many times, although the server might be in the United States the website is being managed in Hungary. Even Viktor Orbán, although he seems to be completely Internet illiterate, should know that much. Laying the blame for Hungarian antisemitism on the Americans is truly disingenuous.
I might add here that the Hungarian police and prosecutors steadfastly maintain that they are helpless. They cannot do a thing about kuruc.info.
Well, ATV did something. Now it is up to the Hungarian prosecutors to move.
ATV functions very much like a public television station. They broadcast news often and in depth. They have excellent political programs that have half a million or more viewers. Olga Kálmán’s evening program Egyenes beszéd (Straight talk) is especially popular, and Újságíróklub (Journalists’ club) on Monday evenings is a must for anybody who wants to hear intelligent conversations by three excellent journalists on the topics of the previous week. Wednesday nights there is A tét (The stake) where commentators carry on lively debates on political topics. Lately ATV acquired two excellent television reporters who had been sacked from the state-run television station, MTV: Antónia Mészáros and Krisztina Bombera. Mészáros had to leave because she dared to ask a few questions from Viktor Orbán. Bombera used to report from New York to MTV but obviously her reporting on American news didn’t meet with the approval of the new management. Now she does the same for ATV.
In addition to all this ATV is moving into news gathering. ATV’s website offers good coverage of domestic and foreign news as well as economics, culture, and sports.
ATV, feeling just as frustrated as I am with the kuruc.info affair, decided to do a bit of research on its own. It all started with an announcement that appeared on the website of kuruc.info that from here on advertisers can get receipts on the basis of which companies can claim back the value added tax (VAT; in Hungarian ÁFA) included in the price of the ads.
ATV’s reporters created a fictitious businessman, József Varjú, a photographer. “Varjú” back in May asked for the price of an ad for www.fenyiro.atw.hu. The correspondence took place via e-mail. Soon enough “Varjú” received an answer to his inquiry from “Tamás Bodóky,” an equally fictitious name. The real Bodóky is the reporter who first uncovered kuruc.info’s not quite legal advertising practices and who nowadays is running www.atlatszo.hu, a site devoted to uncovering corruption. “Bodóky” gave the e-mail address of his “co-worker” who handles matters connected to advertising. On June 13, our “Varjú” received the following letter:
Dear József Varjú,
My name is Attila Nagy, the managing director of Unified Quality Kft. I learned that you are interested in placing a banner on kuruc.info. Here is a list of steps to be taken. You will have to give all the important data about your business: name of the company, location, tax number, name of the director, etc. You should also give us your postal address where we will mail the signed contract and the receipt. Once we receive the amount of money either through the bank or the postal service we will place your ad on the kuruc.info website within twenty-four hours. This, in your case, will be 82,550 forints.
“Varjú” at that point specified that he would like to place the ad for two weeks only and the price he discussed with “Bodóky” was 30,000 forints. Attila Nagy answered that “I will be the one to send you the receipt; the rest is the boys’ business.” By June 29, the deal was sealed. Nagy indicated that “yes, the money arrived and I passed on the information. I trust that the ad is already on the website.”
Attila Nagy was as good as his word. On the very same day the ad of our fictitious József Varjú was on kuruc.info’s website and remained there for the specified two weeks.
So, the money arrived by bank transfer to Nagy on June 29 and on the very same day the ad appeared on kuruc.info’s website. The dates here are important in establishing that kuruc.info has a financial presence in Hungary. It would take at least four working days for an international bank transfer to be processed in the United States. So, surely, the financial transaction took place within the country.
Now only a bit of research was needed on Attila Nagy, who indeed is a real businessman and not a fictitious character. His business, Unified Quality Kft., is situated in Jászapáti and is engaged in home security system installations. On the side, Nagy organizes larger events and lately he also runs an advertising agency. Nagy also works for MÁV FKG, a company that takes care of trunk lines. On Facebook Nagy indicates that he is involved with Jobbik and that his chief interest is kuruc.info. According to iwiw, a Hungarian social media outlet, Attila Nagy is a member of the Jászapáti’ section of Jobbik.
Well, if the Hungarian authorities are at all serious about kuruc.info, here is their opportunity. They can start with Attila Nagy, who surely knows a great deal about kuruc.info and the “boys.” He could be called in as a witness; as such he is supposed to reveal any information he has and he must also be truthful.
But how can we expect any move from the police when even the Hungarian media ignore ATV’s discovery of Attila Nagy and his connection to kuruc.info’s boys? I don’t think that the August slump is any excuse.