The Washington voice of MTI: Judit Járai

The two pro-government dailies, Magyar Idők and Magyar Hírlap, don’t express their editorial opinions on the U.S. presidential election too often. They seem to be satisfied reprinting the reports of Magyar Távirati Iroda/MTI coming from its Washington correspondent Judit Járai, who is a fully committed ideologue of the right, if not the extreme right. Járai arrived in the United States only a few months ago, but this is not her first stint in Washington. She was the correspondent of Magyar Rádió/MR between 2004 and 2010. She turned out to be a biased reporter whose knowledge of the English language and the American media was scant. After her return to Budapest, I wrote a Hungarian-language article about her incredible ignorance and her misrepresentation of the U.S. political process. If you know Hungarian and want to have a good laugh, read my piece in galamus.hu.

So, Járai is back and is continuing where she left off six years ago, except that now she can do much more damage than before. As the correspondent of MTI, which supplies news stories to all Hungarian media outlets, regardless of their political persuasion, her biased reporting can spread far and wide. The leadership of MTI must be very satisfied with Járai’s reporting because almost every article she sends to Budapest is designated as “Judit Járai reports from Washington,” something that was not customary during the tenure of her predecessor, Demeter Pogár.

Jarai

In my Hungarian article I noted that Járai doesn’t seem to know that a reputable journalist doesn’t rely on the notorious National Enquirer as a source. She still hasn’t learned which American sources are reliable and which are not. This resulted in MTI passing along misinformation, which has remained largely uncorrected.

Here is the story. A right-leaning internet site, DailyCaller, published an article about Khizr Khan, the father of the slain Muslim war hero whose appearance at the Democratic National Convention was one of its most memorable moments. The author claimed that Khan had written extensively on Sharia law, which he considers to be superior to all others. It is unlikely that Járai read this short, not very coherent post, but she certainly discovered an article by Paul Sperry in the right-wing Breitbart News. On August 2, under the headline “Khizr Khan Believes the Constitution ‘Must Always Be Subordinated to the Sharia’,” Sperry offered a fuller account of two publications by Khizr Khan: a very short book review and a juristic classification of Islamic law. Sperry, I assume quite intentionally, completely misinterpreted Khan’s writings. On the same day, Khan appeared on CNN and in a conversation with Anderson Cooper explained that he couldn’t possibly be an adherent of Sharia law for the simple reason that there is no such thing. “There are laws of various Muslim countries which are a hodgepodge of British laws, French laws, Portuguese laws. In them, there is tremendous discrimination of genders which disqualifies them under the constitution of the United States.” Since then, a detailed critique of Sperry’s interpretation appeared in the Huffington Post titled “Breitbart Tried To Smear Khizr Khan, But Face-Planted.” By the way, Breitbart is still on Khan’s case. Now the site tries to besmirch his legal qualifications by talking about his age when he passed the bar exam.

Judit Járai most likely wasn’t paying attention to the fact that, aside from Breitbart News, no respectable American newspaper picked up the spurious story. Nor that Khan had explained his position on the subject on CNN two days earlier. Otherwise she wouldn’t have filed a report on August 4 taking the accusations against Khan as proven fact. And of course she didn’t take the trouble to check Breitbart’s sources, because if she had (and if her English is good enough) she would have discovered that Breitbart’s accusations were unfounded.

Járai makes no effort to hide her political bias in her reporting. Here are a couple of telling sentences from her Khan story. She describes Khan as “a lawyer from North Carolina who after the party meeting [pártgyűlés] arrived in Washington, where he continually delivers indictments [vádbeszédeket] against the Republican candidate, Donald Trump.” Her disapproval and sloppiness shine through.  For starters, Khan lives in Charlottesville, Virginia, not in North Carolina. And then there is her choice of the word ‘indictment.’ In this country a grand jury hands down an indictment only if it finds, based on evidence presented to it, that there is probable cause that a crime has been committed by the suspect. A loaded word, and one that is especially loaded in Hungarian. Khan was not delivering an indictment, he was expressing his opinion. In a democracy this is not a sin. As for the “party meeting,” it is an odd way to describe the party convention. As far as I know, the Hungarian word is “konvenció.” Or, here is another sentence by the “objective” reporter of MTI: “Khan, who is invariably introduced as a ‘Pakistani-American’ by the Clinton campaign team and the liberal media, is an expert on the doctrine of Sharia law.” What is wrong with describing Khan as a Pakistani-American? He was born in Pakistan and later in life he and his family emigrated to the United States where he became an American citizen. A perfect description of Khan’s status. But obviously Járai’s mind works differently. To her Khan is first and foremost a Muslim and a Pakistani. The unnatural emphasis on Khan as an American is a political ploy to drum up public resentment against Donald Trump.

Járai’s report was published by Magyar Idők and a couple of other mostly right-wing or extremist internet sites, Gondola, Hunhir, Dzsihádfigyelő, and a few independent ones whose editors were not careful. To my surprise, the next day Magyar Idők ran (well, actually, buried) a correction under the unlikely headline “The Clintons’ man is under fire.” Buried in the story is the crucial sentence admitting that Khan didn’t express his own opinions but rather “summarized legal arguments” on Sharia.

I’m sure that if one took the trouble one would find hundreds of subtle and not so subtle comments in Járai’s reports favoring Trump and denigrating Clinton. But, for now, Hungarians prefer a Clinton presidency by a large margin. Her biased reporting hasn’t changed their minds. More about this tomorrow.

August 14, 2016
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Doy
Guest

Jàrai is afraid of using the term neocon. She is afraid of Jews, like Eva.

Janos Mandarin
Guest

Absolutely. The usual stuff. Jewish whining and factual Jewish terror. Just like in the case of MTI.

webber
Guest

“Jewish terror”???
You are terrorized by people writing what they think?
IF that scares you, I wonder – Do you spend all your time locked in your room?

Guest

Do we have new trolls?

Not too much OT:

The “news” aka lies spread by breitbart has often been debunked by snopes.com, my favourite US site on “constipation theories”, urban legends etc.
Here’s an example – seems that even Trump and his camapigners rely on that stuff:
http://www.snopes.com/2016/08/13/trump-reads-snopes/

Btw the site is usually called “breitfart” by critics … 😉

Mr. Breitbart who died a few years ago was an “interesting” character!

Janos Mandarin
Guest

I understand that you call facts anti-Semitic. Go to MTI, write “neokonzervatív” in its search engine, and wait… For ever.

e-2016
Guest

Wolfi, please refrain from your harsh judgement of Breitbart.
Lots of people, duped by disinformation, are attacking Breitbart, to dupe other victims.
Be careful of snopes.com. Lots of dubious material can be found there, too.
See: http://www.americanthinker.com/articles/2016/08/khizr_khan_shills_for_hillary.html
Let us read into the Kizhr Kahn deal.
I think that his credibility is very shaky.
Let us hope that Tuebingen is remaining a bright spot, and center of reason.

Reality Check
Guest

Wolfi continue your harsh criticism of Breitbart. The cite is full of fraud and conspiracy. Debunked by facts on a daily basis.

FU e-2016 for smearing a Gold Star parent.

E-2016 you have NO credibility what so ever.

Guest

So now you link to an even more extremist right wing Trumpist site?
Bloody propaganda full of idiotic lies, even worse than breitfart – is that all you can do?

No sane person could/should vote for Trump!

Observer
Guest

“Járai most likely wasn’t paying attention to the fact..”
Is anyone surprised ? The Orban propaganda machine, burning close to 90 billion Ft/year, is just that – propaganda, not information media. Why would they let facts spoil their stories and tales.
The problem, and probably crime, is that this is taxpayer’s money and the current laws don’t say the MTI group is a anyone’s mouthpiece, quite to the contrary. Hence we are looking at hundreds of billions illegally channeled to serve a political party.

But if you want a crazy Hungarian hotchpotch try this: http://magyarhirlap.hu/cikk/63504/Izlesfejadag

Guest

‘It’s you you you
And me me me
All we need is love
to set us free

Be with you
You with me
All we need is time
to set us free’

Odette.. Sziget 16 ‘anthem’

The kids are having a good time with all that Szigetian revelry and muszikas. Will they follow the Beatles’ ‘nowhere men’ as the years go on? Real life usually always intrudes when it comes to ‘freedom’ and its meanings.

András B. Göllner
Guest

Járai has a very long track record as a “yellow journalist” serving alongside such anti-Semitic, hate-mongering writers as András Bencsik, Zsolt Bayer and István Lovas, to name just three members of the so called “Media-Club” that Járai was a member of. in HírTV. as far back as 2002. Those well meaning and serious intellectual fellows who counsel Éva, and myself, to ignore these writers are like ostriches who love to stick their heads in the sand. Járai is not a speck of dust, not a peripheral member of Orbán’s propaganda machinery., but a highly valued cog. She is, as Éva rightfully points out, the North American Voice of the Hungarian National News Service. This would be akin to having Tokyo Rose, or Goebbels serve as the head of Reuters during WWII. Járai should be continuously scorned and unmasked by independent journalists in America and in Hungary, for her betrayal of the principles of ethical journalism, for her service in support of autocratic rule in Hungary.

Guest

Re: ‘…….National Enquirer as a source. She still hasn’t learned which American sources are reliable and which are not. This resulted in MTI passing along misinformation, which has remained largely uncorrected’

And the fact is Judy (reporter as trust in disguise’ like Goebbels, Rosie and I’ll add Lord Haw-Haw) doesn’t care about vetting her sources which shows a serious lapse of her ‘journalism’.

And that Enquirer. It morphs and seamlessly provides salacious and ridiculous reportage no matter the era and no matter the topic when it comes to believing the unbelievable. It’s the yellow paper cockroach, sleazy as all hell and keeps hanging around. With the demise of newspapers in recent years due to competing media , Jarai with a Fideszian eye for the ‘right’ story surely keeps one tabloid in the circulation business. It’s a slice of media that will never seem to go out of style. Be ause of all those who read and use it.

Doy
Guest

If it is Göllner, you can bet on a Nazi parallel. I am waiting for G. Lázár to remind us of Weimar, Kristallnacht, and the boring rest.

Doy
Guest

I just checked randomly Göllner’s “facts”. I started with Hir Tv. In 2002, it did not exist.

Observer
Guest

Further to http://magyarhirlap.hu/cikk/63504/Izlesfejadag

I was told that the author of this crazy hotchpotch is Máté T. Gyula, the son of the unreformed Communist Türmer Gyula. Son Gyula used to be hard line communist and after G.Széles bought Magyar Hirlap, son Gyula turned active fascist, as they often do in the Orban regime.

webber
Guest

OT – The international press is starting to report on Hungarian police harassment of whistle-blowing journalists. Mark my words, the Hungarian Interior Ministry will put some journalists in prison sooner or later for reporting on Fidesz corruption.

And people “wonder” why the opposition press is so “weak!”

webber
Guest
Guest

A possibility that incarceration if reporting goes ‘out of bounds’. I’d say watch out for chronic laryngitis and a run of dysgraphia as new and significant ailments in the society.

petofi
Guest

“…will put some journalists in prison…”

Oh my, people still haven’t cottoned on to the depth of Orban’s chicanery. Let’s put it on the table: nothing is being reported that
Orban doesn’t want out there. ‘Whistle-blowing’journalists is a fantasy–there’s no such thing in Hungary. For whatever reason, Orban is toying with the lives of people…not unlike Stalin’s habit.

Observer
Guest

Petofi
…whistle-blowing’journalists is a fantasy–
Come on.! Here are the Rainai pieces, the coverage of Ákos Hadházi, Péter B. Adrás Horváth, of the great work of the late Krisztina Ferenczy, etc.
The opposition media is much smaller, but the conten is there.

Observer
Guest

Sorry, I meant PéterJuhász.

Doy
Guest

Untrue. You were evidently thinking of Luxembourg.

webber
Guest

I wonder how good Járai’s English is? She’s too old to have had English in school. She surely studied Russian. I’ve met a few Hungarian journalists covering the US and UK of about her age, and though some of them spoke fair English, none of them understood the nuances of our language, much less slang or dialect. One, who covered “Anglo-Saxon” news for MN simply because he had spent a couple of years in the US as a child (father worked in embassy), and had a nice style in Hungarian, misspelled nearly everything he wrote, and misunderstood everything he read.
Has anyone here ever met Járai? If they have, what’s her English like?

(OT: How I hate the term Anglo-Saxon/angol-szász for British+American. Obama “Anglo-Saxon”? Kennedy??? Queen Elizabeth???)

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