Boycotting the media is counterproductive

Until now it was only certain high-level Fidesz party and government officials who refused to give interviews to certain left-of-center newspapers, radio, and television stations. Then, two years ago, after the breakup of the long-lasting and financially fruitful friendship between Viktor Orbán and his old friend-turned-oligarch Lajos Simicska, the boycott was extended to Simicska’s newspaper, television, and radio outlets as well. Simicska’s media holdings include a weekly, Heti Válasz, which initially refused the follow the road his daily, Magyar Nemzet, chose. It remained surprisingly loyal to Viktor Orbán. One reason for this loyalty might have been the person of the weekly’s editor-in-chief, Gábor Borókai, who, after all, was the spokesman for the first Orbán government. Unlike the others since 2010, he served throughout the entire 1998-2002 period. Moreover, it is likely that the two men already knew each other while they were law students. In 2013 Viktor Orbán made sure that Borókai received a high decoration (Magyar Érdemrend tisztikeresztje).

Lately, however, even Borókai has become quite critical of the government. In November 2016 he warned that all the lying and misinformation disseminated by the government will lead to its downfall if Fidesz politicians don’t wake up. Last month Borókai wrote a critical editorial about the government’s handling of the Central European University case and even complained about the state of democracy and freedom in Hungary. The old friendship between Orbán and Borókai was coming to an end.

András Lánczi, Orbán’s favorite philosopher and president of Corvinus University, had written regularly in Heti Válasz for ten years, but when Borókai’s weekly published an interview with Ron Werber, who devised the strategy that assured MSZP’s victory in 2002, he decided to make a clean break with the publication. As he told 888.hu, he had indicated to Borókai earlier that he didn’t approve of “the new direction,” but that interview was the last straw.

Meanwhile, the output of government-paid journalists is of such low quality that serious journalists no longer consider them colleagues. Indeed, most of the young people who staff internet propaganda tabloids like 888.hu and ripost.hu don’t deserve to be called reporters, journalists, or media workers. Even so, I’m not convinced that MSZP’s decision to boycott Echo TV, M1, TV2, Origo, Pestisrácok.hu, 888.hu, Magyar Idők, Lokál, Ripost, and Magyar Hírlap is a good idea. The party’s rationale, according to party spokesman István Nyakó, is that these publications distort the opposition politicians’ answers to their questions. Moreover, these media outlets describe a nonexistent world. “We are not going to assist them in creating manipulated material.” Nyakó told the reporter of Echo TV who happened to be at the press conference that he doesn’t consider him a journalist but a paid spokesman of Fidesz. This may all be true, but I’m not sure how these politicians’ boycott will change the editorial policies of the client media of Fidesz.

MSZP’s decision to boycott Fidesz media is most likely the result of an encounter László Botka, the party’s candidate for the premiership and mayor of Szeged, had with the staff of a weekly program on Echo TV called “Informátor.” According to Botka, the Echo TV people arrived unannounced, cameras in hand, wanting to have an interview with him. Botka already had a scheduled conference, but the Echo TV staff refused to budge, and they even wanted to enter Botka’s room by force. Or at least this is what Botka claims. Apparently, at that point Botka called the police. Of course, Echo TV’s story of the encounter sounds very different from Botka’s version. In any case, Botka seems to be convinced that “the government falsification factory is trying to provoke him.” In his opinion, the journalists who work for government outlets are simple provocateurs. He knows that the goal was not to conduct an interview but to create a scandal. I fully agree with Botka, but then why did he fall for the provocation? Because by calling the police on them Botka managed to fulfill the goal of Echo TV. It might have been better to give them a short dignified interview. If their sole objective was to create a scandal, they would have traveled 300 some kilometers for nothing.

Mutual boycotting will lead nowhere, although I sympathize with those who find the output of the government propaganda close to unreadable and disgusting. Moreover, I can’t believe that such obvious propaganda, rivaling the output of the Rákosi regime, can possibly be effective from the point of view of the government. Just as eight solid years of communist propaganda between 1948 and 1956 failed to convince people that they lived in a socialist paradise, Fidesz propaganda will not achieve its aims either. In fact, it might turn people off.

In a similar vein, the latest “national consultation” seems to be a flop. Of the 8.5 million people who received questionnaires, only 1.3 million have returned them thus far. Kósa is already “asking the government” to extend the deadline from May 20 to May 31 because the post office was late in delivering some of them. Of course, the post office story is bogus. The real explanation is the stupid questions posed and the even stupider answers provided.

It’s time for Viktor Orbán to rethink his communication strategy. His massive pro-government media network may not be the panacea he anticipated.

May 16, 2017
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Member

How To Dump Orbump

I don’t think Orbump should rethink his communication strategy! I think he should keep it up. But I agree that it’s counterproductive for MSzP to boycott his troll media: They should play with them, the way the Kétfarku crew do. Tell them nonsense, in fact tantalizing nonsense, designed to embarass them in the end no matter how they report it. (What the opposition lacks is imagination. But then Orbumps don’t come along every decade so the opposition can learn the tricks…)

Member

At Long Last the EU Starts to Act

Resolution adopted by 393 votes to 221 with 64 abstentions

Now a means has to be found to overcome the veto of Poland, which also needs Article 7 to be invoked against it. Otherwise a pair of rogue nations are empowered to exempt one another’s transgressions from consequences, thereby holding the EU hostage to their depredations.
http://www.europarl.europa.eu/news/en/news-room/20170511IPR74350/fundamental-rights-in-hungary-meps-call-for-triggering-article-7
comment image

Member

I agree, but MSZP doesn’t have the capability to that. They don’t even have the guts to understand a police joke.

vomart huli
Guest

It is very good to boycott the Soros-hater antisemites. It was correct on the part of the MSZP government to boycott HirTV and the rest at that time. We, philosemites, will never be in power again, but should continue with the boycott.

Member

To be honest in terms of winning votes, whether or not you talk to the fascist media doesnt matter.

Once respected organs such as origo.hu have become laughable neo- nazi versions of the UKs Sunday Sport (“Soros ate my hamster”, “Three-headed muslim alien runs rampage in Bekescsaba”) and are only believed by the true fascist Fidesz believers or the brain-dead (which in most cases are one and the same people anyway.)

Thnking on how more effectively to get the message across to those still left in Hungary with a brain cell would be a better use of time. hate to say it, but one of the best attacks on the regime has been the Jobbik “They steal, you work!” campaign- but it is proof the fascists can be damaged in other ways rather than prostituting yourself to their lapdogs in the media.

Ferenc
Guest
As written here before, since the start of the demonstrations I started regularly watching M1 News (especially the 23hr version, as that’s only 15min). During this I noticed one repeating method, how for items the “voice of opposition is presented” (so that they can not be blamed for one-sided reporting?) It goes as follows: 1.a long introduction of the item at hand, in which only the Fidesz/government point of view is used. 2.short presentation of other points of view, mostly quotes, sometimes RTV recordings, typical is that they most questionable parts are shown 3.longer presentation of Fidesz/gov. representative refuting/attacking the oppositions view. So, I haven’t seen once that the point of view of the opposition is fairly, nor fully presented. In such a situation I can fully understand boycotting such media. I mean, what else can you do? Take them to court? Seems a waste of time in most cases, and the “damage” is done already anyway. If a boycott is counterproductive, I don’t know, we’ll see what the outcome will be. But trying to ‘normal’ cooperate with the current KÖZ- & KOSZ*-media in Hungary, only leads to undermining your own point of view and suggests they are something (real… Read more »
Observer
Guest

Ferenc

These simplistic tricks “so that they can not be blamed for one-sided reporting” are just that – any normal court of law will find for the real situation beneath the flimsy label. Yes, thousands of the minions are guilty of offences under the regime’s own laws, and should be charged.

Ferenc
Guest

Regarding the “National Consultation”, the public/state news media report that it’s the most successful consultation so far, he most returns of forms ever.
And representatives of Fidesz and the government are touring the country in promotion of the NC, the flashes I’ve seen from those in the news reports, show rooms with mostly elderly people listening to a Minister presenting Mr.Soros as the evil of all evils (in slides/videos/quotes/etc.).
Yesterday I watched Rogan at an interview afterwards, in which he stated:
“the government will try to stay within the original EU treaty“ and
“the government has a definite opinion about the issues, nevertheless asks the people their opinion and even support”.
I think that says all about the state of Hungarian democracy at this moment, and that directly from the mouth of the ‘propaganda minister’, the 2nd man in the government…

PS: ‘Brussels’ has moved, today’s EU voting about ‘situation of fundamental rights in Hungary’ will be in Strasbourg, some 350km closer to Hungary…

Ferenc
Guest

And here you can watch the “hunt” by index.hu team for some words from Rogan himself after yesterday’s NC promotion!
Yes, one thing very peculiar, R. didn’t say even once Soros in the video… guess what he used mostly instead…
http://index.hu/video/2017/05/17/rogan_antal_index_interju_bohozat/

Ferenc
Guest

BREAKING – EU
EU parliament just voted “Fundamental rights in Hungary: MEPs call for triggering Article 7”
Voting results: for = 346 / against = 311 / not voted = 29
Main actions coming out of this:
1.launching of Article 7(1)
2.Hungarian Government to repeal controversial laws
3.EU funds for Hungary under surveillance

Press release about details of the by voting adopted resolution:
http://www.europarl.europa.eu/news/en/news-room/20170511IPR74350/fundamental-rights-in-hungary-meps-call-for-triggering-article-7

Ferenc
Guest

Strange I took the EU voting results from the live video, now other figures appear in the press (even more in favour of and less against the resolution).
Can’t find the video now on demand, whatever, resolution adopted!!

Member

In case anyone wants to see the roll call vote on Hungary from today, it’s item #12 on page 26 (12. B8-0295/2017 – Résolution).

Looks like 67 members of the EPP, or 31 percent of total delegation, voted in favor of the resolution.

http://www.europarl.europa.eu/sides/getDoc.do?pubRef=-%2f%2fEP%2f%2fNONSGML%2bPV%2b20170517%2bRES-RCV%2bDOC%2bPDF%2bV0%2f%2fEN&language=EN

Ferenc
Guest

Thanks!
Seems I didn’t look good and took the results from the voting just before it.

Havelaar
Guest

It seems politics.hu is dead and gone.
But anyway:
http://www.express.co.uk/news/world/805486/Orban-Hungary-George-Soros-Central-European-University-European-Parliament
Europe’s parliamentarians from all areas of the political spectrum are coming together to call for a resolution at a meeting of the European Parliament on Wednesday, where they intend to urge the European Union (EU) to trigger Article 7.

Ferenc
Guest

ref: politics.hu
Their twitter account is still active (last tweet about an hour ago), just the urls mentioned there are going to that same blank page.
Personally haven’t got a twitter account. If someone here has one, and can ask through it what’s up with their website, that would clarify things.
Twitter link: https://twitter.com/politicshu

PS: EU parliament just voted for a.o.Art.7 against Hungary!!

Havelaar
Guest

As far as I know the article 7 procedure will need the support of ALL EU leaders. Including the Polish PM. But from the moment the Polish government is accused by the EU commission, of the same kind of disrespect for democratic rules, their vote will be irrelevant.

Guest

Re politics.hu:
There have been several tweets already on the server “error” – but no reaction! Strange …
Still hoping for the best.
The Voting of the European Parliament against the Fidesz government is a really important step! The reactions probably will be “funny” and interesting.

vomart huli
Guest

Antisemitic.

Member

I spoke with Erik D’Amato, the owner yesterday. He was surprised to hear that it was down. I don’t know anything beyond that – if he’s trying to get it fixed, etc.

wrfree
Guest

Re: ‘It’s time for Viktor Orbán to rethink his communication strategy. His massive pro-government media network may not be the panacea he anticipated’

For sure. It’s nice to have a surfeit of media at Fideszian beck and call and relegating its antagonists to virtually reaching a relative few when it comes to the most important questions of the day.

On the other hand all that power perhaps exacerbates one thing.. the consistency of lies and lying in its messages by spokespersons. And to lie no doubt requires prodigious ‘remembering’. Eventually though the ‘stories’ then are harder and harder to keep straight. Would be interesting to see what the scores are now for veracity of government communications. And who believes what anymore.

Communications in the country could be going in a ‘wear-out’ phase considering the attitudes shown to the question aires. Perhaps the country is open to some new messages…if they can find a bunch a wires to put together and get it out. Pens though can do the job too.

bimbi
Guest

ORBAN VIKTOR: UNFIT TO GOVERN!

vomart huli
Guest

Yes! And an antisemie!!!!!!¡¡!!!!¡!!!¡!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Jogfosztott
Guest

Éva you are such a pathetic ulta-leftlib faschistoid dictator who is unable to practice what you preach; free speech and freedom of expression and free flow of idea’s. You are a little-hitler, little-stalin, little-rakosi and a major soros crony that is a political prostitute. I demand that you delete your ban list and restore everybody’s free commenting right. Should you not do it your side does not deserved to be on-line. You got 48 hours to act.

Ferenc
Guest

Jogicske,
You take ALL your disrepectful words BACK, you know yourself the ones!
And come back with just one real argument, before anything can be discussed with you.

Blocked
Guest

I cannot because Eva exercising fascist censorship method locked me (and many other commenters who do not push her agenda) from commenting in a civilized manner. Ferenc and others please advise her to stop employing such unfair practices. I always commented in a nice but debating way. She doesn’t like it because she wants everybody to agree with her point of view. She is suppressing every argument to fully satisfy her the anti-Jewish, anti-Christian and anti-everything that carries cultural and human value puppet master.

vomart huli
Guest

Yes. She is antisemitic. We will be taken to Dachau.

Blocked
Guest

Free your hostages Eva. Stop blocking access to this block by opposing opinion commenters. Censorship is not comparable with democracy. It only acceptable and being employed by far left ultra liberal dictators and soros paid political prostitutes. Wake up Eva before too late. 48 hours and counting down!

Chameleon
Guest

Éva! Ismered Korda Gyuri “Visszatérek én hiába üzöl el … ” dalát?
Nem szabadulsz meg tőlem ameddig megfosztod az ellenvéleményen levőket a hozzászólás lehetöségétöl!

Eva do you know George Korda’s “I will return regardless of you chasing me away …”. You will not get rid of me while you deny free commenting to all not only the ones agree with your opinion.

Ferenc
Guest

first reaction of HU-government on the EU voting, Petike stated: “Hungary is facing a new attack by the George Soros’ network”
…flabbergasted…speechless…but what else to expect from that bunch of buttheads…

pappp
Guest

OT: re the Budapest-Belgrade railway project to be financed from a Chinese loan.

Great article about Chinese-financed projects and Chinese influence in Africa.

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/05/02/magazine/is-china-the-worlds-new-colonial-power.html?&_r=1

tappanch
Guest

Fresh data from the National Bank (MNB).

Hungarian debt, after 7 years of Orbandom and 10 trillion forints of EU support,

2017-03-31 vs 2010-03-31

Gross liabilities of the central government:
34.5098 vs 21.8766 trillion, up by 57.75%

Net liabilities of the total government (central+local+soc sec):
22.6649 vs 16.0852 trillion, up by 40.91%

Member

Fresh data from the National Bank, MNB.

Hungarian debt, after 7 years of Orbandom and 10 trillion forints of EU support,

2017-03-31 vs 2010-03-31

Gross liabilities of the central government:
34.5098 vs 21.8766 trillion, up by 57.75%

Net liabilities of the total government (central+local+soc sec):
22.6649 vs 16.0852 trillion, up by 40.91%

Member

International reserves, 2017-03-31 vs 2010-03-31

24.398 vs 33.852 billion euros, down 27.93%

Ferenc
Guest

Thanks tappanch
The figures your comment here look always interesting, but many times it’s not really clear to me what they’re about.
Is it possible for you to explain in a few simple words, what they mean?

Member

The share of the national debt of every adult Hungarian is about 4.3 million forints.

Member

Here is the text of the “European Parliament resolution of 17 May 2017 on the situation in Hungary ”

http://www.europarl.europa.eu/sides/getDoc.do?pubRef=-//EP//NONSGML+TA+P8-TA-2017-0216+0+DOC+PDF+V0//EN

Member

“whereas the Charter provides that the arts and scientific research shall be free of constraint and that academic freedom shall be
respected;
whereas it also guarantees the freedom to found educational establishments with due respect for democratic principles;”

“whereas the freedom of association should be protected, and whereas a vibrant civil society sector plays a vital role in promoting public participation in the democratic process and the accountability of governments towards their legal obligations, including the protection of fundamental rights, the environment and anti-corruption; “

Member

“whereas 91,54 % of asylum applications in 2016 were rejected; whereas since 2015 new laws and procedures adopted in Hungary in the field of asylum have forced all asylum seekers to enter Hungary through a transit zone on Hungarian territory that allows access
to a limited number of people per day, e.g. 10 at the moment; whereas NGOs have repeatedly reported that migrants at Hungary’s borders are being summarily forced back to Serbia, in some cases with cruel and violent treatment, without consideration of their claims for protection; whereas the Hungarian Government has failed to fulfil its
obligations to relocate asylum seekers in accordance with EU law”

Member

“whereas since the adoption of its resolution of 16 December 2015, concerns have been raised about a number of issues, namely the use of public spending, attacks against civil society organisations and human rights defenders, the rights of asylum seekers, mass surveillance of citizens, freedom of association, freedom of expression, media pluralism
and the closure of the newspaper Népszabadság, Roma rights, including the eviction of Roma in Miskolc and segregation of Roma children in education, LGBTI rights, women’s rights, the judiciary system, including the possibility to hand down a sentence of life imprisonment without parole, the forced eviction of Hungarian NGOs Roma Parliament and Phralipe Independent Gypsy Organisation from their headquarters, and
the risk of closure of the Lukács Archives”

Member

The EU Parliament “Calls on the Hungarian Government in the meantime to repeal

the act amending certain acts related to increasing the strictness of procedures carried out in the areas of border management and asylum and

the act amending the National Higher Education Act, and

to withdraw the proposed Act on the Transparency of Organisations Receiving Support from Abroad “

Member

Remaining independent Hungarian journalists, attention !
This is the Hungarian text of the resolution to put into your newspapers tonight:

http://www.europarl.europa.eu/sides/getDoc.do?pubRef=-//EP//NONSGML+TA+P8-TA-2017-0216+0+DOC+PDF+V0//HU

wrfree
Guest

Thanks for proceedings. We all will see how VO et will hem, haw and manuever to free themselves of the EU thickets that they have managed to walk into. It will be uncomfortable to deal with the lions, tigers and bears now on their heels. We will see how its guardians at the gate will go about ‘protecting’ the nation in a ficticious and set-up war of its own making.

Member
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