Breaking news: Opimus Press buys Mediaworks’ Népszabadság

Today Vienna Capital Partners (VCP), the owner of Mediaworks Hungary Zrt., sold Népszabadság to a recently established company called Opimus Press Zrt., part of the Opimus Group, a holding company that is listed on the Budapest Stock Exchange (BÉT). The transaction is somewhat murky, so let’s begin with the two companies’ press releases, starting with that of the VCP Group.

Although VCP purchased “several regional papers” for Mediaworks at the end of September, less than a month later it was willing to part with its very successful business. Several companies had expressed an interest in the purchase of Mediaworks in the past, but VCP decided to sell it to Opimus Press because “its owners had declared their intention to publish the suspended Népszabadság.” VCP “decided on the earliest sale of Mediaworks Hungary Zrt. because of the misleading and malicious rumors that had surfaced.” The announcement emphasizes that the offer came after the October 8 suspension of the paper.

In their press release the new owners of Mediaworks explain that in March 2016 the Opimus Group (described by the Financial Times as active in the pharmaceutical preparations manufacturing sector and engaged in the manufacture and distribution of veterinary medicinal products), seeing great possibilities in the media market, established Opimus Press Zrt., “which has an adequate financial underpinning for the implementation of the necessary investments.” Opimus Group, like VCP, emphasizes that the offer to buy Mediaworks came after the suspension of Népszabadság. Even with the suspension of the paper, Opimus Press’s management, “after reviewing the situation of the company’s finances and its market position, decided that its already significant value could be further enhanced in the future.” VCP accepted Opimus’s offer on October 17, and today the Hungarian Competition Authority approved the sale.

In purchasing Mediaworks, Opimus is interested only in running the company in an economically efficient way. It “doesn’t want to influence their content in any way, especially as far as the freedom of expression and the freedom of the press are concerned.” The owners will take stock of the situation. They will, “first and foremost, attend to the possibility of the resumption of [Népszabadság’s] publication and will make a decision as soon as possible.” Opimus Press Zrt named Gábor Liszkay, János Lóczi, and Andrea Pintér to be members of the board of directors. Liszkay is the owner of Magyar Hírek and Lóczi is the CEO of its publisher. Andrea Pintér, according to LinkedIn, is a civil servant with a law degree.

The two statements were carefully crafted, perhaps by the same hand. The deal was certainly fast-tracked, if we are to believe the timeline of the statements. The whole multi-billion forint deal was closed in nine days, possibly fewer, and the owners convinced the Hungarian Competition Authority to give its blessing to the deal in another eight days. An amazing feat, especially if we consider that there were three weekends in the seventeen days between October 8 and October 25.

plt

Instead of getting involved with the checkered history of the Opimus Group, let’s concentrate on what investigative journalists have managed to learn so far about the background of the sale of Mediaworks. I should say, for starters, that I have no doubt that the purchase of Mediaworks was orchestrated, most likely Viktor Orbán himself, quite some time ago but that it was only in March 2016 that there was sufficient assurance that the purchase of an expanded Mediaworks would be possible. It was at that time that Opimus moved and established Opimus Media Zrt.

My take on this sordid affair goes along the following lines. Viktor Orbán dearly wanted to acquire Nemzeti Sport, his favorite daily paper. He always has a copy of it in his Volkswagen mini-bus. Apparently, when he is not in Hungary, his office makes sure that he gets a copy of it. And to add Népszabadság to his media empire, or in the worst case to subtract it from the already dwindling media portfolio of his adversaries, must have been a deal clincher.

Mediaworks’ portfolio was impressive even before the addition of the seven regional papers, which are a real goldmine. At the time that Heinrich Pecina of VCP bought up several Hungarian newspapers and magazines in 2014, rumors circulated for weeks that his purchase may serve the interests of the Orbán government. I wouldn’t be at all surprised if that turned out to be the case. Perhaps there was already an understanding between Orbán and Pecina two years ago that, after a suitable length of time, a deal could be struck between them. The deal most likely entailed the purchase of the additional papers that took place at the end of September. In support of this hypothesis, in March 2016 nyugat.hu, a liberal online news site, reported that Miklós Szabó, the managing director of Pannon Lapok Társasága (PLT), a company that owned five regional papers, had been fired because he negotiated about the possible sale of the company without the okay of its German owner. That is, he negotiated with someone other than Heinrich Pecina. Once Szabó was gone, negotiations about the sale of PLT to Mediaworks began and were, by the end of September, successfully concluded.

Now comes the big question mark: how could Opimus Group, which is “massively losing money” and lost five billion forints in 2015 alone, buy Mediaworks less than a year later? Apparently a few weeks after the establishment of Opimus Press, the company floated a three-year, 20 million euro bond offering. (The company’s market cap is only about 48 million euros.) According to hvg.hu, so far Opimus hasn’t managed to raise the full amount, but because of rumors about the possible purchase of Mediaworks, the price of Opimus shares on the Budapest Stock Exchange has soared, rewarding stockholders with a gain of 707% in a year. But what, in absolute terms, “soaring” means tells us a lot about the company. Opimus shares currently sell for 46 forints (€0.14 or $0.16). This is the stock’s highest price in the last three years.

By all indications this company should have hit the dust a long time ago. But last December two mysterious investors appeared: Cariati Holding, registered in the Cayman Islands, and TAC from Nigeria. Bloomberg’s description of the former tersely says that the company “does not have any Key Executives recorded.” TAC is “a composite one stop professional and consulting firm providing Professional Services, Business Consulting & Financial Advisory Services to clients in various sectors of the economy.” A strange company to invest in the Hungarian media market. These two companies own 40% of the outstanding Opimus shares.

The suspicion is that behind Opimus is Viktor Orbán’s alter ego, the former gas-fitter now billionaire Lőrinc Mészáros, the ultimate stróman (front man). The Budapest Beacon reported that “Opimus’ new manager, Zoltán Csik, holds leading positions in a number of Mészáros’ business ventures.” Orbán’s dirty tricks are hard to unravel, but I’m sure that investigative journalists will do their best to do just that in the coming days.

October 25, 2016
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webber
Guest

Fidesz-controlled companies have started buying Hungarian-language websites and newspapers outside Hungary which have been critical of the regime in Hungary. The news came up a couple of days ago that they have taken over a paper in Vojvodina/Vajdaság, Serbia.

webber
Guest

Opimus group gets massive injections of money from the Hungarian state, and its shares go up 70%… I wonder who buys those shares?… I also wonder which intl. organizations investigate insider trading?

It doesn’t matter one bit that a stock is priced in pennies. An investor can purchase $1m worth of a 10 cent share just as easily as $1 m worth of a $100 share. If the price of the cheaper share rises by 70%, the investor has made $700,000, and if the price of the more expensive share rises by 70% the investor has made the same amount of money.

hukkle
Guest

You may wonder but nothing will happen. The National Bank will obviously not find anything suspicious. Orban is marching on and the leftists are not resisting at all, they themselves are selling their own media. I’ve never heard such idiocy. This will not end well for the leftists. They will be wiped out but they can only blame themselves. Voters don’t want to vote for weak politicians who obviously won’ be able to resist the EU, the Americans, the multinationals when necessary. They want politicians who are strong and showed the willingness and ability that they can resist. Believe me Nepszsbadsag and the provincial dailies are just the beginning. Orban wants all and he will have all. This is how the world works.

webber
Guest
Very poor analysis. So poor that I’d say you are lying. Fidesz has lost nearly every by-election since 2014, and that’s how Fidesz lost its 2/3 majority. Hungarian voters obviously don’t want to vote for a strongman. Now please don’t bother to repeat the Fidesz lies that the country is in good economic shape. Already Eurostat says Hungarian economic data is false and untrustworthy. Fidesz will bankrupt Hungary, and then leading Fideszniks will try to leave the country to enjoy the money they’ve hidden offshore and in Switzerland. That’s the way the world works. If Hungary works well after 2018, a lot of Fidesz people will be facing prosecution for corruption. If you think that is unlikely or impossible, just look at what’s been happening in Romania. I am sure there is plenty of information about Orban and crew to send them all to prison, possibly including Orban’s son-in-law. And I bet Western intelligence agencies might be willing to share some information about all that with a prosecutor. You see, Orban has been acting as Russia’s agent in the EU and NATO. His time is coming to an end. And do you think Russia will give a damn about a… Read more »
webber
Guest

Oh, and if Hungary follows the Romanian model of prosecuting corruption, property will be taken from Fideszniks found guilty of corruption. Orban could lose all the property he amassed after 2010. The same goes for his father. The same goes for his wife. The same goes for his daughter and her husband. The same goes for Matolcsy and his family, Rogan and his family, and all the rest. Unless they can show that they earned the money legally, all those palaces and all that property can be confiscated by the state. Not to mention the cars, paintings, and whatever cash they have been foolish enough to leave in Hungary.
Look what happened to Lagzi Lajcsi. His homes were confiscated, and all his property. So, Hungarian law, as it is, allows the confiscation of ill-gotten gains.
All you need is a prosecutor willing to go after corruption. Romania got one. I hope Hungary will too, after Orban falls.

Rivarol
Guest

Notonly that. Fidesz is wildly anti-Semitic.

Guest

Leftists Leftists Leftists

Yader, yader, yader

Presumably all those against Viktor DiktatOrban are leftists? Communists?

You say nothing with this crass comment – you just indicate you have the brain the size of a pea.

Plenty of those in Hungary, sharing just one brain cell.

Guest

This is how the world works.?

You don’t have a clue.

Guest

This is how corruption works:

President Viktor Yanukovych = ‘President’ Viktor Orban

= Dictator Viktor Orban Kovach.

Yes very left.

As in – there’s not much left in Hungary.

Guest

Dictator Viktor Orbankovych

Guest

So to the right of you is only the wall – then everybody else must appear as a leftist to you.

How nice!
resist the EU, the Americans, the multinationals when necessary.
You’re funny!

What about resisting the Russians? In your eyes that’s not necessary, you probably totally agree with Putin – take Hungary into the Eurasian Union?

Good riddance!

Guest

At this point I don’t think I can ever erase from my mind Prof’s pointed observation and I paraphrase here ‘they can do anything’ and I’ll add anywhere and anytime. This a reality that will never be dismissed except perhaps with a ‘cleanout’ of the Fideszian pipes. What a bunch.

Right now media freedom is as illusory as humans eating lunch on Mars two years from now. Anything in the ‘bizness’ of media now will always have the taint of being in cahoots with some government scheme behind the lines.

And where are those ‘media watchdogs’ by the way? Those ‘protectors’ of the airwaves and presses? They surely must be stuffed with the free ‘lunches’ they get or they must be hog-tied up in some room blindly rubber -stamping anything which comes to their desks.

And point to ponder in context of that great big land to the East leaning on VO’s land:

‘When the lion fawns upon the lamb
The lamb will never cease to follow him’
Henry IV

Guest

It’s not hard to figure out who is buying out the whole country. I bet Népszabadság will resume with a whole new FIDESZ a**’ licking editorial staff? The only question is: will the readership keep buying/reading?

webber
Guest

Hopefully the readership will switch to Nepszava, which needs and deserves Nepszabadsag’s subscribers – and needs capital from other sources too. If Nepszava is supported through subscriptions and in other ways, it might hire some of Nepszabadsag’s best investigative reporters.
An example of why Nepszava is deserving. Today the front page of Nepszava has a nice little story about Orban’s plan to build a stadium in Kosovo, using Hungarian investment funds and, naturally, a Hungarian construction company. So, Hungarian taxpayers will underwrite the construction of a sports stadium for Kosovar Albanians. How very generous…. That’s just what Hungarians want to do! They don’t want to fix their rotting schools or hospitals, they want to build a brand new stadium in Kosovo! Wonderful!

Ferenc
Guest

But in whose hands is Nepszava now really? Marquard denies to be involved, and a Lichtenstein company seems to be, but not clear at all who are behind that company.
So keep fingers crossed for Nepszava, or for who prefers make a prayer for them.

Guest

Re: ‘fingers crossed’

Good idea on Nepszava picking up the folded journalists. I’d hope they’d think long and hard on it. If they do it then I’d suggest anything less than printing the truth or striving for it will present difficulties. Nepszava always had ‘journalistic’ responsibilities. Now it looks it has gone higher.

Member

Orban wants to buy the remaining two regional dailies, giving him an almost 100% lock on the voters outside Budapest.

He was also angered that the tabloid “Bors” wrote about Rogan’s referendum day helicopter extravaganza at the same time as Nepszabadsag. So he also wants to “buy” Bors. Orban’s representatives have already left for London.

http://magyarnarancs.hu/belpol/eladtak-a-mediaworksot-avagy-a-nepszabadsag-bezarasa-101335

http://www.lapcom.hu/

Member

Lapcom owns Kisalföld (Győr-Sopron county), Délmagyar (Csongrád county, which includes the last Socialist bastion Szeged) and tabloid Bors.

Guest

Do you mean they are coming here – to London – to ‘persuade’?

Georgi Makov was exterminated in London with a poison-tipped umbrella – on behalf of Bulgaria. The Bulgarians ‘done him away’ because they didn’t like what he was broadcasting. It’s still an unsolved crime.

Alexander Valterovich Litvinenko was an ex-KBG agent ‘done away with’ by Putin – who didn’t like what he was saying in London. His agent contaminated tea with Polonium and the radioactive trail left an indelible path all over London leading back to war-criminal Putin.

I wonder what method Orban has told them to use?

I’m working on the idea of marketing a toy version of Orban’s Choo Choo train in time for Christmas – you know, when little Jesus delivers all those presents?

Orban could build in a poison dart in to the Choo Choo that fires only when one of those target journalists winds it up in the presence of the alcohol vapour from palinka. You know what journalists are like.

Or similar in the crusty edge of Lángos?

Any ideas?

Guest

What about a Christmas gift pack of Paprika?

Plenty of scope for staining poison the same colour?

Or a gift basket of mushrooms?

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2224168/My-Horse-Whisperer-husband-accidentally-poisoned-brother-deadly-mushrooms-ALL-new-kidneys.html

Member

The National Bank just gave 13 million forints to the sculptor of the Nazi turul in district 12, which was set up illegally in 2005.

The Kúria (Supreme Court) ordered the demolition of the sculpture finally, after seven years of legal struggle in 2012, but it was never carried out.

http://444.hu/2016/10/26/13-millio-forinttal-tamogatja-a-jegybank-a-hegyvideki-turul-szobraszat
http://hvg.hu/itthon/20120509_kuria_turulszobor_bontas

SS PanzerKorpsViktorOrban
Guest
SS PanzerKorpsViktorOrban

How is the Turul a nazi symbol, stinking jewish crap?

webber
Guest

The Turul is an ancient Hungarian symbol.

But SSPanzKorps is the name you voluntarily chose for yourself???
How is that not a Nazi name?
And why do you assume tappanch is Jewish?
And if you are working in Germany, London or the US, what do you think your employers would say if they saw you were posting things like this under that name?

SS PanzerKorpsViktorOrban
Guest
SS PanzerKorpsViktorOrban

If he is not Jewish, why did the call the Turul a nazi symbol?

webber
Guest

Your logic escapes me.
Do only Jews make mistakes, in your universe?

webber
Guest

You still have not answered my question – if you are not a neo-Nazi, why did you take that disgusting name? The SS took Hungarian German-speaking citizens to serve in their ranks, you know. The SS kidnapped Horthy and paved the way to the German occupation of Hungary. And you like that? Hazaárulás a legmagasabb fokon.

Guest

Really nice description of the Hungarian prime minister …

Member
Dear {Da’esh-SS, Orban-Viktor, ornitologist-shaman}, your note revealed that you know the answer. For the unsuspecting foreign and young Hungarian readers: Why is “turul” a Nazi symbol ? short answer: Because it was a Nazi, to be precise a Hungarian Fascist symbol in the 1919-1945 period. long answer: In Turkish mythology, Kongrul and Toğrul were twin phoenix-like birds. The Turkic root of the word Toğrul means something like ‘to slash’. In The 13th century Latin Gesta Hungarorum an “astur”= hawk impregnated Emese in her dream, and their son was “Almus”. Álmos was Árpád’s father and the Árpád dynasty ruled Hungary between 972 and 1301. (The chronicle of Κωνσταντίνος Ζ΄ Πορφυρογέννητος called “Álmos” Αλμουτζ by the way) There was no turul cult in Hungary until the late 19th century. The Hungarian government set up the first 3 turul sculptures in 1896, in Nyitra (now Slovakia), Zimony (now Serbia) and Munkács (now Ukraine) The birds were facing out, as if protecting the borders of Greater Hungary, where half of the population were not ethnic Hungarians. The birds did not help when Hungary lost ww1 and 2/3 of its territory with it. The “Turul Szövetség” was founded on August 3, 1919, two days after… Read more »
Member

Hungarian National Socialist badges. Notice that the 1931 & 1933 logos contain the turul with the sword.

comment image

webber
Guest
One of the (very few, and therefore rare) confirmed pieces of ancient Hungarian tribal art is a round bit of silver that once was worn in a woman’s hair, and which is decorated with a bird that has been described as a turul (the Rakamazi Turul). Whether that is a turul, or a depiction of some other bird, I leave to others. That it is a turul is popularly supposed. There are a few other ancient Hungarian objects with similar birds on them. One, found near Komárom, was combined with a cross. I see nothing at all objectionable with turuls, as such. Yes, the Turul Szövetség was nasty. That is unfortunate. But one can be interested in ancient Hungarian art, and one can “like” the turul without being a fascist (obviously SS above IS a neo-Nazi – hence his chosen name). Just as many of the the English are interested in ancient Anglo-Saxon art objects, so Hungarians might be interested in ancient Hungarian symbols. Making an issue of that is to make a fool of yourself. So – the Sutton Hoo helmet (above) will be instantly recognizable to many English people. Interest in this sort of thing is perfectly natural… Read more »
Member

“The Turul is an ancient Hungarian symbol.”

The swastika is also an ancient Aryan symbol, isn’t it?

Until the late19th century, the turul was not a “Hungarian” symbol, but the totem bird of the clan ruling Hungary until 1301.

webber
Guest

The swastika meant practically nothing to Germans until the Nazis started using it. That is not true about the turul.
The turul meant something to Hungarians before fascism was even dreamt of. The late 19th century is when all European nations were coming up with their national symbols, and for the Hungarians the turul became one. That Hungarian Nazis took it is unfortunate. I am certain that British Nazis simply adored the Sutton Hoo burial goods.
And you know perfectly well that Mussolini adored ancient Roman symbols. Does that mean that they are all befouled, today, that Italians should not be interested in ancient Rome? Of course not.
It will not do to say that the Turul only means nazism in Hungary. It does not. It predates nazism.
No doubt, neo-nazis love it. But others who are not nazis are interested in it too.

webber
Guest

Think of the St. George Cross, in England – on so many flags. Yes, it can be a symbol of something awful. But it can also simply be a symbol of England.

Guest

Really? webber.

I’ve never heard of a connection between Sutton Hoo treasure and Nazis.

I saw the exhibition at the British Museum which was utterly fascinating – without any link in the narrative to Nazism, or indeed with the many visitors who were there. Not a skinhead or BNP type there at all.

What is your evidence, please?

webber
Guest

Charlie – I just say, no doubt the Black Shirts in their day loved that stuff. It’s what fascists do – they go for their supposed Aryan ancestry in a big way.
So, the League of St George – one of England’s Neo-Nazi organizations – likes the old anglo-saxon letter “thorn,” and (interestingly) goes for the arrow-cross, AND the Celtic cross.
Website here: http://www.leaguestgeorge.com/sentinel.htm

webber
Guest

And then there’s this – as foul a use of the St. George Cross as ever I’ve seen:
http://www.bpp.org.uk/

Guest

The celtic cross is a combination of the christian cross and the sun cross which decorates many bronze age objects.

The sun cross was adopted by the nazi (Quisling) government in Norway during WWII.

Guest

“That Hungarian Nazis took it is unfortunate.”

It is also unfortunate that German Nazis took the swastica.

Whatever its origin the turul is tainted like the swastica.

webber
Guest

I disagree.

Member

The 12th district turul memorial was originally designed in 2005 to the Hungarian soldiers & Nyilas fallen in the defense of the district between December 24, 1944 and February 13, 1945. What did they defend? The Nazi & Nyilas rule against the Soviets and the Hungarian regiment fighting on the side of the Soviets (Budai Önkéntes Ezred).

webber
Guest

You’re right.

bimbi
Guest

@Tappanch, 8:24 am

Thank you for reminding us of this. This ugly memorial which looks rather like a tank-trap was erected under the aegis of the previous (MIÉP) mayor and was done in a “Nacht und Nebel” operation without a building permit. Since then, the “good” mayor of the XIIth district Pokorni Zoltán has consistently refused to obey the legal order for the tank trap to be dismantled on the basis that “there are other memorials in Budapest that I don’t like and they have not been removed”. So much for Fidesz respect for the law and the courts, ugye Zoli?

Guest

“Nacht und Nebel”

What a strange coincidence – or did you read my comment at 12.30, bimbi, before you wrote this?

bimbi
Guest

No I did not. “Nacht und Nebel” is well embedded into English these days.

olga
Guest

The Turul is not a Nazi symbol but should you wish to see Nazi stinking crap, I highly recommend you look into the mirror.

Observer
Guest

Guys,
You’ve given this dumb troll a banquet.
Just smack him off.

Member

As an eyewitness, I wrote in this blog on May 7, 2013:
Landscape from tramway #6 along the main boulevard.

tall, big man,
camouflaged military sack on his back,
black shirt with map of greater Hungary,
turul-like ugly animal and “rovas” script on it,
belt with a long knife openly dangling.

webber
Guest

Yes, I know the type. Generally they have very little hair, and a very large belly.

Guest

Magyar Guarda! Or Kövér or Áder on a day off?

Ferenc
Guest

VCP/Pecina used as MTI as source for their news item and “heartily thank all of the most professional staff members of Mediaworks which have achieved great things in an outstanding and loyal manner”.
Yeah sure, he let himself and them be used as the donkeys in order to OV through his ‘Strohmanner’ get what he wants. And they donkeys stay quiet from now on as they got enough compensation to not needing to move anymore in their lives.
Still wondering why not any former/ill/present MediaWorker openly has said anything about this whole dirty business, come on you Hungarian reporters GET AFTER THEM!!!

Ferenc
Guest

And even their statement “out of various possibilities Opimus Press Zrt. was selected as purchaser, having made an offer after the temporary suspension of Népszabadság”, could be (half) correct, as the suspension might be THE condition from Opimus to reveal the price they were willing to pay…………….

webber
Guest

why speculate on that?

Ferenc
Guest

Why not?
This way the whole thing makes most sense to me.
Nobody wants really to lie, so Fidisz/OV/&Co have to twist/pervert the truth in all things they can not stay quiet about.
By trying to “understand” them, getting in their “minds”, you might discover things, which can be used against them.
I suspect this Nepszabadsag case far from over and from Fidesz/OV side, the worst might still be to come.

Guest

So it seems that soon all Hungarian media will be in the hands of Strohmen and/or off shore companies which belong to other off shore companies …

Does anyone remember how some years ago this was one of Fidesz’ attack lines:

Usage of off shore companies by some people especially politicians for tax reasons?
They went crazy on that – now they’re doing it themselves to a much higher degree.

Oh the joys of unfettered Capitalism!

Guest

O/T

Here is a version of what happened in the ’56 uprising that informed my understanding when I compared it with some of the similarities in how the civil war in Syria started.

As ever it’s what the BBC does best.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p004t1hd

Guest

And some fascinating ‘Witness’ episodes together in one place on the theme of WW2.

You get a special award if you listen to them all.

(Raoul Wallenberg is featured, as is the Kinder transport and Hitler’s Jewish neighbour.)

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p0104jps

webber
Guest

In my view, the best film on the Holocaust is the documentary, Shoah, which includes interviews with former German officials, Polish citizens, and survivors of the camps. It is extremely long, but impossible to stop watching.
You can watch part 2 here:

webber
Guest

I see now the above is mostly in German, without subtitles. You can get the interview with subtitles here:

petofi
Guest

@ webber

re: Shoah film

I don’t agree. It is a horrendous film with the director prodding the memories of surviving jews to remember and talk about things they had long strained to forget. I couldn’t watch more than 1/2 of one of the 12 video tapes. I’m not at all sure that the director’s purposes
were sufficient to justify the pain he had put those survivors through
for the sake of his film.

For future reference, people wanting to avail themselves of the information that survivors talked about would best be served by a written format rather than film.

bimbi
Guest

@ Webber, 8:32 am

“Shoah” is a film that had to be made. We should be grateful to Claude Lanzmann that he had the perseverance to finish it. It is a visual and sound record of what the Holocaust was about and all 10 hours of it are available on You Tube. Take time, sit quietly and watch it all. Watch it all. You will not forget.

Guest

Click on ‘World War 2 Episodes’ – there are more than 50 episodes of about 15 minutes each.

Guest

You know Mr. Lanzmann’s roughly 8 hour epic speaks to the late Elie Wiesel’ s comment that :

‘Without memory there is no culture. Without memory there would be no civilization, no society, no future’

And that is why what we are seeing where the re-writing and perversion of historical interpretation is such an insidious strike on the quest for truth and is probably one of the foremost problems the world will face in the 21st. At this point Shoah hasnt been banned from the airwaves. It is available and free to view. If by chance it is consigned to oblivion then we will know civilization will have received a grave wound so that she may never ever recover from it. Oh brave new world.

Guest

This discussion reminds me of a film that I’ll never forget.

It was shown to us pupils at school, in the protestant “religion lesson” and was a real shock (we were about 15 or 16 years old then) and showed us the reality of the Nazi regime:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Night_and_Fog_(1956_film)

Nacht und Nebel has become a standard expression in German for the horrible activities of the Nazis.

Btw the music for the film was written by Hanns Eisler, coworker of Bertold Brecht, another famous emigrant who wrote the music score for many famous Hollywood films during WW2 but had to leave the USA after the war:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hanns_Eisler
Eisler was one of the victims of MvCarthy : He was accused of being “the Karl Marx of music” and the chief Soviet agent in Hollywood!

Totally OT:

I just was accused of being a Communist on a German forum that concerns holidays and life in the USA – because my favourite bar in my German home town that I’ve been visiting for more than forty years has a picture of Karl Marx on the wall …

When I told the customers and the proprietor (whose name is also Marx – but no relation) about this the bar almost exploded from laughing!

Istvan
Guest

Utimately Fidesz’s attempt to control the media and independent news will fail. New forms of internet based media will replace the old. It will take time, but it will happen. Even China’s internet firewalls fail and news gets through, the same is true even in Iran. ( which is why the Iranian fundamentalists are putting bloggers away for ten and twenty years right now- but that won’t work either ) Really the only way to block out all of this is the North Korean route and that drastically impedes economic development.

Print media is collapsing in the USA and websites linked to historic newspapers are everyday facing competition from specialized internet based publications like http://www.politico.com/ which has a Europe edition. It goes on and on, covering the ideological spectrum. Fidesz has entered a strategy in the long run it can’t win, in the short run it will be miserable.

webber
Guest

Not only will it fail, it is one more thing sucking up their money which will certainly bankrupt the country in the end.
Every time they take over some news site, t.v. or radio station, newspaper or journal, people stop consuming it. The public turns away in droves (witness viewership for Echo t.v. and all Hungarian state t.v. stations – witness Origo before the Fidesz takeover, and now). So they try to get control of popular opposition news sources, they fill them with propaganda thinking they have a captive audience, and people stop watching. It happens again, and again and again.
Such a waste of money!

Guest

But isn’t that what George Orwell alluded too – when you’ve captured all the media – you’ve captured all their minds?

But only when you have it all.

Or as another Charlie said:

“It always looks darkest just before it gets totally black.”

webber
Guest

But Orwell was wrong. If that was all it took, then communism would never have fallen anywhere. The communists had ALL the media. There wasn’t even internet when communism went belly up.

Guest

“The masses never revolt of their own accord, and they never revolt merely because they are oppressed. Indeed, so long as they are not permitted to have standards of comparison, they never even become aware that they are oppressed.”
― George Orwell, 1984

webber
Guest

“The masses are revolting!”
Orbán’s response, here:

Guest

Very good!

Sorry I can’t resist with the following. It could be the comedic anarchist look at the Magyarorszag of today ..;-)….

http://youtu.be/uSsUoxlSADk

Guest

Re: ‘the communists had ALL the media’

For sure. But in a way it didn’t matter because if things weren’t going their way they had no compunction of knocking people upside their heads anyway to get their ‘message’ across. So today as the Internet becomes somewhat of a thorn in the side of those who think the state should speak with only one voice it should be said that these new illiberalists do seem to show a streak where if things don’t go their way they show an indelicacy in manners of not keeping their hands and heads to themselves. That’s the why those types of guys operate. They seem to can’t help it.

pappp
Guest
Istvan, I am afraid this is a total misunderstanding. Firstly, Iran, China, Russia control their media very effectively – in fact they are using the internet as a very effective new tool in controlling the people, a tool that didn’t even exist before. So dictatorships are happy. Secondly, the Hungarian media scene is very different from the US scene. In Hungary relatively few people outside Budapest and over 50 use the internet, but even when they use they try to find sites which cater to their existing world views, prejudices and biases. A Fidesz-leaning person will thus read only Fidesznik sites and so on. They will never be exposed to the other side of the story even if technically they could reach those sites. This is why once middle of the road publication like origo.hu and index.hu are important to fidesz – these are the few sites which can reach undecided voters and exposing them to the Fidesz spin (planting seeds of doubt about opposition politicians, making up stories etc.) is the most importan thing. And Orban is executing his plan. Moreover, the way people consume media, ie. these days mostly via Facebook makes it very difficult to get rid… Read more »
Istvan
Guest

Those of us over 50 will be dead soon enough, on a world scale a generation using only internet based news sources will rule. Time is on the side of open media in my opinion.

webber
Guest

Istvan, you are absolutely right.
Pappp is just playing the defeatist again.
I know some people over 50 living in villages who use internet. And all kids in villages know it and want it (if they don’t have it at home yet – a lot do).
The poor, of course, have no internet access. But even they would like it.

Guest

Re: ‘Those of us over 50 will be dead soon enough….’

Hehe .. Today was my birthday as I read that. So I’ am glad to hold off the ‘grim reaper’ as I wait in what they call the ‘departure lounge’…;-)….Got a good lift from a card which said that I reminded them of a great Chinese scholar. His name? Well of course he was ‘Yung No Mo!’….-)…

Just a little vicc just to take off the edge of disappointments when I come in to read about the goings on in the mother country. Never thought in all my days it would be tanking to the extent it has. What a kick in you know where.

pappp
Guest
This is not defeatism, you haven’t been given much thought about the internet, media, and the like. For starters I suggest reading Evgeny Morozov’s two books The Net Dilusion and To save everything, click here. The unfortunately unquestioned and extremely simplistic Silicon Valley bullshit narrative is that you will have facebook, twitter, google and democracy will arrive. Guess what, it didn’t turn out that way. if anything control is much stronger (and more sophisticated) in those states which care to control the internet. This is a way too complex issue and apparently you guys haven’t done your homework. Try to understand that people just consume the internet based media differently from traditional media. It turns out most people actively seek to live in an echo chamber so they will never be exposed to contrarian ideas. It’s not like that now I have access I will check different media to get a thorough picture. Exactly the opposite. Even the idea of a fact is now seriously questioned. I do want the facts – as long as they confirm to my views. Once they sign up for kuruc.info they will get those feeds essentially for ever. At least if there is diversity… Read more »
Member

Andy Vajna originally received only one Budapest frequency to broadcast pro-government news. Today, he suddenly received 6 other frequencies to cover half of the country. (For foreign readers: this is on top of the state radio channels)

http://hvg.hu/gazdasag/20161026_Egyszeriben_a_fel_orszagot_megkapta_Andy_Vajna_radioja

Istvan
Guest

Orban makes the cover of Foreign Policy and not for good reasons either https://www.foreignaffairs.com/articles/europe/2016-10-17/europe-s-populist-surge

Member

Long interview with Orban’s second favorite “journalist” Bencsik.

He served the Communists faithfully in the 1980s, as he now serves Orban .

He loves the fact that Nepszabadsag was closed down.

https://www.mediapiac.com/mediapiac/Bencsik-Andras-Habony-a-nemzet-lelkiseget-gyogyitotta-meg/112825/

Guest

Wow!
Keno Verseck has done it again – his scathing article in the German SPIEGEL describes in clear words the “Gleichschaltung” of the media in Hungary (That word was used for the Nazi media policy starting in 1933 …)!

He not only describes in clear words the Nepszabadsag case but also the RTL tax affair, the sale of TV2 to Vajna, the sale of Origo by Telekom to get lucrative projects etc etc …
Putting the media on a chain …
Of course for readers of Eva’s blog this is nothing new – but to see it presented to the German public …

Well done, Herr Verseck!
http://www.spiegel.de/politik/ausland/ungarn-viktor-orban-legt-die-medien-an-die-kette-a-1118474.html

Giuseppe Riccardi
Guest

Dear Giancarlo
Between Extreme right propaganda and wild economic exploitation of the immigrant situation there are different steps.
Italy is the only country where not only everybody can enter without papers but is promised unlimited help.
Italy is not respecting european laws in order to finance strange coops and borderline situations .
All european countries have closed thir borders to italy.
Why ?

An Aussie W.
Guest

Breaking News: Index?

http://hvg.hu/kkv/20161028_Mi_keszul_Mi_lesz_az_Indexhuval_Itt_van_Speder_uj_vagyonkezeloje

So what do we have left:

1. HVG
2. ATV
3. 168ora
4. 444
5. Blogs
6. …
7. …

RTL Club should start a game-show called “Wheel of Freedom of Press?”.

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