U.S. State Department comes to the aid of the beleaguered regional press in Hungary

On November 9 a highly unusual announcement appeared on the website of the U.S. State Department. The Department’s Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor (DRL) announced a “funding opportunity” for the support of “objective media in Hungary.” DRL supports “those persons who long to live in freedom and under democratic governments that protect universally accepted human rights.” DRL is normally not involved with European countries, especially those that are members of the European Union and are supposedly developed countries with the necessary set of democratic institutions.

DRL’s goal in this case is to support media outlets operating outside the capital of Hungary “to produce fact-based reporting and increase their audience and economic sustainability…. The program should improve the quality of local traditional and online media and increase the public’s access to reliable and unbiased information. Projects should aim to have impact that leads to democratic reforms.”

This was such stunning news that even the Hungarian ministry of foreign affairs and trade was unable to respond. The grant of 200 million forints or $700,000 means that the United States no longer considers Hungary a democratic country where the free flow of information can be taken for granted. Earlier, when U.S. Chargé d’Affaires David J. Kostelancik delivered a tough speech at the headquarters of the National Association of Hungarian Journalists, both Tamás Menczer, foreign ministry spokesman, and Levente Magyar, its undersecretary, were outraged and complained about interference in Hungary’s domestic affairs. But when 444.hu, the internet news site that discovered the item on the website of the State Department, asked the foreign ministry for its reaction, it got the following brief answer: “Unusual step; we are studying its aim and goal; for the time being we have no comment.”

The fact that the grant specifically targets the countryside means that the Americans are well informed on the state of the Hungarian media. While the print editions of the two independent countrywide daily newspapers, Népszava and Magyar Nemzet, reach very few people, the regional local papers are quite popular. People want to know what’s happening in their towns. But all 19 regional papers were gobbled up recently by Lőrinc Mészáros and Andy Vajna, the alter-egos of Viktor Orbán. The sections of these local papers that deal with national and foreign news are written centrally and distributed to all 19 local papers. State television, which can be seen without a cable hookup, broadcasts unadulterated propaganda. TV2, the other television station that can be seen everywhere in the country, was acquired lately by Andy Vajna. Thus, people living in the countryside have access only to a one-sided and highly distorted view of reality. The 200 million forints, of course, will not alter that situation substantially, but it is a warning to the Orbán government that it went far too far in creating practically a one-party state with an omnipresent propaganda machine.

A good example of the marketplace of free ideas. The front page of a few of the 19 regional papers

Népszava called attention in its front-page article to the fact that “it is unparalleled in diplomatic practice for the United States to support independent media in a European country which is considered to be developed.” It also reminded the readers that as early as 2012 Mark Palmer, former ambassador to Hungary, Charles Gati, professor of political science, and Miklós Haraszti, former OSCE representative on freedom of the media, wrote an article in The Washington Post in which they called attention to the problem and suggested the revival of Radio Free Europe’s Hungarian language radio station.

The so-called diplomats of Viktor Orbán’s ministry of foreign affairs might be too stunned to say anything, but at least two pro-government papers have an opinion on the matter. According to Magyar Idők, by giving this fairly modest grant “the United States is building a client media in the countryside.” The paper is certain that not just one group of journalists will be the beneficiaries. The United States will give grants to “minimally four or five organizations,” which might cost the U.S. about 2 million dollars. The paper sarcastically adds that for the United States this amount of money is insignificant, just as it wouldn’t be big money for China or Russia if they wanted to give money to the United States or Germany “for the support of ‘more’ objective information, leading to democratic reforms. But what would Donald Trump or Angela Merkel say to that?”

Mária Schmidt’s Figyelő, in an article titled “The temporary American chargé is planning to create an anti-media,” goes into a complicated explanation for the reasons for this grant. The real aim is “not raising the quality of Hungarian journalism;  the real goal is a change of government.” The article admits that the money will be distributed only after the national election, but what the Americans want to achieve with this move is to influence the results of the 2019 municipal elections. They gave up on the “democrats of the capital,” whom they are leaving to George Soros’s generosity, and are concentrating instead on the countryside, which is bright orange (i.e., solidly Fidesz) now. The article is full of complaints about “these temporary chargés” who are still hanging around. “Who is this Kostelancik?” He was foreign policy adviser to the Helsinki Commission, and “we are only too familiar with the Helsinki Commission.” He worked in Moscow as an adviser to the ambassador, and “we know from spy movies that these are always disagreeable fellows.” But when the ambassador appointed by Donald Trump comes, “he will get rid of Mr. Kostelancik.”

As is evident from the Figyelő article, Hungarian right-wing journalists, and to some extent even the politicians, hope that the lack of improvement in U.S.-Hungarian relations is due to the fact that the old-timers are still hanging around. Donald Trump didn’t have time yet to get rid of them. But, as Népszava rightly points out, giving this grant to the independent media of a so-called democratic country is no trifling matter. It may even have been cleared by the White House.

The Hungarian right-wing media has a friend in the United States, Daniel McAdams, executive director of the Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity, who wrote an article after the announcement of the grant titled “Manipulation: The US State Department’s New Program to Take on Hungarian Media.” Only recently the U.S. Justice Department demanded that the Russian-backed RT America network register as a foreign propaganda entity or face arrest. And now DRL is launching a program to “massively interfere in NATO-partner Hungary’s internal media.” Hungary is “a full democracy where the will of the people is regularly expressed at the ballot box and there the media competes freely in the marketplace of ideas.” This intervention must feel “like a stab in the back to Orbán and his government” because while “Brussels saw Trump as a gauche loudmouth, Orbán openly admired the soon-to-be-president’s position on immigration.” In this article McAdams comes to the same conclusion as the journalist of Figyelő when he asks: “What would you do if China sent in a few million dollars to prop up US publications who agreed to push the Beijing line?” He warns: “Hands off Hungary!”

I think one should explain to Daniel McAdams that he is comparing apples to oranges. Russia Today is a Russian state-financed television network broadcasting Russian propaganda all over the world. DRL’s modest grant is designed to open a small door to those who are exposed exclusively to government propaganda. The amount of money the Orbán government spends on “communication” is staggering, and talking about competition “in the marketplace of free ideas” is a brazen lie when 19 regional papers are effectively in the hands of one man, the prime minister of the country.

November 11, 2017
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Observer
Guest

The pic is worth a thousand words. Is this D.McAdams ignoramus looking?
I start to believe there is a clandestine power which may take over the world – it is stupidity, which is waging a war on truth, and on reason too.
And
Thanks State!

Farkas
Guest

With virtually limitless economic resources at their disposal, Americans can afford to be infinitely stoopid, abysmally ignorant, make a lot of unforced errors, and even have a paralytic federal system of governance. Life goes on undisturbed and placid at state and local levels, apart from the odd mindless massacre here and there, regardless of any Washington antics. Hungarians on the other hand can only survive by smarts (which they lack, sadly), and cannot afford to be infinitely stoopid, abysmally ignorant, make a lot of unforced errors, or have a Balkans-style mafia in charge of governance. As the old adage would have it, “Quod licet Iovi, non licet bovi.”

Sackhoes Contributor
Guest

It seems like, based on your post, Americans are not the only ones infinitely stoopid, abysmally ignorant and make a lot of unforced errors.

Observer
Guest

Farkas
?!?
This action of State, incl. the Kostelancik speech shows that the Americans are not stupid, very well informed and were not mistaken by the local Potyomkin fronts ans all pervasive propaganda.

Farkas
Guest

Observer
November 13, 2017 6:33 am

My post above was not supposed to be a response to yours.

It was to be an OT post, venting a bit about my respective frustrations re both Americans and Hungarians. I entered the post under yours by mistake. Unfortunately as a guest I do not have access to editing, so it had to stay where I accidentally put it.

As to the point you make in your post immediately above, yes of course, there are always exceptions, and the actions of State and Kostelancik are highly commendable. However, they are too little, too late to make any difference.

Anyway, that is my take on their actions.

exTor
Guest

I for one enjoy many RT videos available on YouTube. I find those videos a welcome antidote to the American centrism of the likes of CNN and MSNBC, which is mocked (in the States) as MSDNC, in other words a mouthpiece for the Democrats. Further along is Fox, which each morning gives Trump his daily marching orders via the Three Amigos [Fox & Friends], one of whom is Steve Douchebag, a Gorka suckhole. Speaking of Dr. Wound [Seb], he’s been picked up by Fox as a “national security strategist”. Wont that be fun?

comment image

Who cares that the Russians bankroll RT. Where else can I watch solid left programing featuring the likes of Abby Martin and Chris Hedges. They are excellent counters to the centrism and the rightwing crap on mainstream American television.

https://www.youtube.com/user/RTAmerica/videos

Those interested in menuing some of the available RT videos, give the link a looksee. There’s some good watching. And it aint Russkie propaganda. It’s alternative information. Of course, there are many left-of-center sites that are American: Young Turks, Real News, Majority Report, etcetera.

MAGYARKOZÓ

Guest

I haven’t seen much of RT’s reporting/commenting on the USA but from experience I can talk about their reporting on Europe, especially Germany:
It’s pure propaganda and often stupid lies – as bad as what I read on snopes.com about the fake right wing news in the USA!

Totally invented stuff sometimes like the story of the German/Russian girl being abducted in Berlin – actually she spent the weekend with her “friends” but was afraid to tell her parents.
And other stories too – so if RT tells me that 2 plus 2 equals 4 I’ll check first …

And the really interesting thing is that many of these fake stories are reported on RT and on breitfart (couldn’t resist that joke …)!
That can’t be coincidence …

exTor
Guest

Cant speak to what RT does in Germany, wolfi. The US version of RT has offered half-hour slots to native Americans. Accordingly, people like Abby Martin and Chris Hedges, both very leftwing, are able to make their voices heard. Each is highly critical of what passes (or passed) for governance in the US. Those who host within the RT framework are independent of RT.

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCG29FnXZm4F5U8xpqs1cs1Q/videos

Abby Martin resigned from RT because she objected to what Russia had done in Crimea. She now hosts Empire Files on teleSUR, a South American multistate-supported television network. I like Abby Martin’s mindset.

Chris Hedges is a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist. He can be found variously on YouTube. Well worth listening to his talks.

As for RT ‘fake news’ in Germany, I highly doubt that RT would be the source of bogus stories. More likely it was taken in by certain news items, such as the supposedly abducted Russian/German fräulein. So-called legit news purveyors have also been hoaxed. Wouldn’t be the first time.

MAGYARKOZÓ

Guest

I highly doubt that RT would be the source of bogus stories.
Extor, here you’re totally wrong!
RT has been using the ugliest lies in its propaganda in Germany for years, if you can read German:
http://www.zeit.de/politik/ausland/2017-02/falschmeldungen-fake-news-russland-propaganda-putin-donald-trump
This has been going on for years – it’s just what Goebbels did.

exTor
Guest

I’m not convinced that I’m wrong. Read my response to (coincidentally named) Farkas [immediately following] for elaboration, wolfi. I cant read German, so I will have to wade through your link using Google. Perhaps you can help me out by pointing to salient paragraphs that back your POV.

MAGYARKOZÓ

Guest

The “news” on Ukraine in RT is simiarly full of lies – CIA or EU or … organised the resistance against the Russian liberation or something like that …
There is a lot of info on RT and its German branch promoting the German extreme right wing (dare I say Fascists/Neonazis?):
http://www.akweb.de/ak_s/ak630/09.htm
I’m sure you can find similar info in English.

exTor
Guest

I gave your ‘infokrieg’-link article a read, wolfi.
I make a distinction between the programs that
RT allows outsiders [eg: Abby Martin and Chris
Hedges] to produce and the blatant propaganda
that exists, which I have never seen. My exposure
to RT comes about from its videos on YouTube.

MAGYARKOZÓ

Farkas
Guest

@exTor
November 11, 2017 10:14 pm

You are of course perfectly entitled to watch RT, if that is the way you are politically inclined. Just remember that RT is not a charitable institution that the Russian government maintains out of the goodness of its heart. It is one of the disinformation and misinformation arms of the Russian state. Its aim is not telecasting objective, non-fake information, but to telecast whatever information, misinformation or disinformation is available to subtly or overtly weaken Europe and America, and materially aid the long term objective of restoring Russia’s borders to its one-time Soviet glory. And remember, Russia today is a crony-capitalist country par excellence, run by an iron-fisted mafia of oligarchs. It is a country where Orbán & Co go to school to, to learn the tricks of the trade. I would therefore be extremely careful of taking at face value anything that RT dishes up.

exTor
Guest
Thanx for the permission to watch RT, Farkas. I sometimes even watch Fox News, which now employs Seb Gorka, a rightwing Brit whose parents were Hungarian. As Fox does for the US, RT does for Russia. I get it, but so what! I agree with your characterization of Russia, which was raided by well-placed party members after the Soviet Union fell apart. Putin parlayed his KGB background into political advantage that led to his now presidency. My watching people like Abby Martin and Chris Hedges, whose very leftwing views I support (in the main), is not a reflection of my acceptance of RT in whatever manner that you may believe that it acts. As for fake news, both bonafide and putative, my point was that perhaps RT does not create bogus news items, but is itself a victim of such items. It’s not logical that RT itself would produce fake items. More likely it would be the unwitting conduit of such (Russian-produced ???) ‘news’ items. Think about the CIA plan to discredit Cuba by planting bombs in Florida in the early 1960s. If the three main American news networks [ABC, CBS, NBC] then in existence had carried news items of… Read more »
Farkas
Guest

@exTor
November 13, 2017 1:40 pm

Understood and agreed. :-))

Sackhoes Contributor
Guest

RT is the propaganda arm of Putin and the Russian government. They acknowledge it freely.

Jean P
Guest

It will be interesting to see how Fidesz will manage to include this in the “Soros Plan”. They will have to defend their fiction that Soros is behind everything bad for Hungary.

Ferenc
Guest

Re: Soros is behind everything bad…
…even the win by Luxembourg over the national football team…

Guest

Meanwhile in Poland:
https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/nov/12/white-europe-60000-nationalists-march-on-polands-independence-day
One of the “White Christians” in the march said:
I’d say some people here do have extreme views, maybe even 30 per cent of those marching, but 70 per cent are simply walking peacefully, without shouting any fascist slogans.
Could that also be a description of Fidesz/Jobbik?

Ferenc
Guest
For the country-side it’s not only the regional papers (from MediaWorks), but also the local weeklies and freebies. More than a month ago I commented about the line “Tématámogatás. Készült Magyarország Kormánya támogatásával.” (“Topic support. Made with support of the Hungarian Government.”) appearing in the month of September in regional (MediaWorks/Pannonlap) papers and all ‘official’ OV mouthpieces (888, figyelo, magyaridiotak, etc). Recently googled the quote again, and found that it’s since Oct.04 not appearing anymore on HU online media, but results showed use of the quote also in many local weeklies/freebies. Where found it was all on one page with ‘articles’ all stated “Forrás: MW”, meaning “Source: MW (=MediaWorks)”. Checking other months for some of the local papers showed, in earlier months they had adverts for the spring consultation (“Stop Brussels – Soros Laugh”) and currently for the autumn one (“anti-Soros-Terv”). So One-Sided State Propaganda Virus has been settled in even the “smallest media veins” all over Hungary!! Don’t think the US grant will heal all of it, but at least tries for ‘virus-free’ local media!! Example of a 2017.Sep local paper with the “Tématámogatás” quote on page 2 – http://dunakanyarregio.hu/download_lapjaink/Regio%202017%20-%2019-es%20szam%20web.pdf PS1: wolfi mentioned recently having got some in the… Read more »
Ferenc
Guest

The regional papers are clearly becoming One State Paper (directed by MediaWorks) issued in various regional disguises and then some parts copied by the local freebies.
Got me thinking about non-mouthpiece media (e.g.Nepszava, Magyar Nemzett, HVG, 168ora, etc) outside of the capital and/or major cities. Is there anywhere data available about location (e.g.Bp and counties, villages against cities, etc) of subscribers and sold pieces of really independent daily newspapers and weeklies?
If nowhere available, I think it’s something to get open on the table(by e.g.MUOSZ or the independent media together)!!

exTor
Guest

comment image

Just received the most recent [November 9] Csepel edition of Lokál and, as always, the first half dozen or so pages are jammed with proFidesz items.

It’s hard to say, Ferenc, whether the recipients buy into the Fidesz shite, as Brits are wont to say. There is, I’m sure, a lot of public cynicism, however the relentlessness of the propaganda will likely work on many people.

My hope is that an antiFidesz surprise (contrary to the current proFidesz poll numbers) will occur in April 2018, just as the November 2016 result confounded the proClinton poll numbers.

MAGYARKOZÓ

Ferenc
Guest

Info about of regional newspapers (status 2016.Nov) can be found in http://index.hu/kultur/2016/11/21/megyei_lapok_videki_lappiac_atalakulasa/
Summary: MediaWorks (8 + 4 = 12 counties) / RussMedia (3 counties) / Lapcom (2 counties) / Nograd (1 county) / note: no regional paper in Pest County
What has changed since then:
*RussMedia papers taken over by Inform Média Lapkiadó Kft., which is connected to the Austrian ‘strohman’ Pecina (2017.Jul); it’s 3 regional papers feature full page “anti-Soros-Terv” in current issue
*Lapcom is taken over by ‘strohman’ Vajna (TV2) (official since 2017.Oct); it’s 2 regional papers feature “anti-Soros-Terv” adverts on website (print version unknown to me)
*Nógrád Megyei Hírlap seems officially independent, BUT has featured articles copied from MediaWorks including the quote “Tématámogatás. Készült Magyarország Kormánya támogatásával.” (all dated 2017.Sep.28/29)

Conclusion 2017.Nov: number of independent regional daily newspapers in Hungary is ZERO

Observer
Guest

ADVERTISING is probably the main tool of media control here, where the gov is the largest spender on the market. Suffice to take a look at any of the gov friendly publication; I’m sorry I couldn’t find the articles, studies with specific figures. Some of the ads can probably qualify as misappropriation by these state control companies, e.g. the Paks Nuclear Power utility or MVM (Hungarian Power Plants national utility) who have no conceivable interest/reason to spend on ads in political or consumer publications.

Observer
Guest

ADVERTISING cont.

Just after my post there was a nice example in the news:

Web based Ätlátszo had to sue MVM (the national power utility) which refused to disclose a supposedly public information about their 500 million Ft ($1.8 mil) grant to CÖF. The latter is the largest GONGO (gov “NGO”) comprising the outright fascists like Bayer, Bencsik, Széles, Lomnici Jr. etc. and it never published detailed accounts of the hundreds of millions it spends in support of Orban.

MVM attempted the lame Matolcsy trick, claiming that the sum was not public money, hence not publicly accountable. However, among the materials they submitted to the court there’s a document referring to the approval of the Communications Office (of the PM Office), which clearly indicated that everyone was fully aware these were public funds, meaning that the MVM statements and submission to the court were false, a bunch of lies.

Yes, there’s enough material to run CNC (Corrupition News Channel) 24/7 here.

The Ätlátszo journalist also mentioned that she looked at a gov friendly publication and out of 12 ads 11 were gov ones.

bimbi
Guest
Thank you Prof. Balogh for this post and especially the graphic illustration which reveals how completely the Orban/Fidesz propaganda octopus has engulfed the rural printed news media. Horrifying yes, but since daily issues are rarely compared many in rural Hungary must still be unaware of what has happened. Predictably the chorus of whines has started, putatively protesting “interference”, including that from Maria, the Court “historian”. Of course from April 2010 (and indeed 1998 – 2002) the Orban objective was CONTROL, control over society as a whole and the take-over of the rural press exemplifies how completely that object has been achieved. It is depressing indeed that the banalities and lies that daily appear in the Budapest “Lokal” are now distributed nationwide. CONTROL, control for the maintenance of a corrupt and thieving government. Does Viktor Orbán really believe that his rule can be maintained forever? Hungarian collective patience may be long but so is the collective Hungarian memory… Congratulations to the USA for not having forgotten the plight of Hungary under this government. The money may not (yet) be able to achieve much of a change, but the Orbán Mafiosi have been sent a loud $700,000 message. Perhaps Viktor would be… Read more »
exTor
Guest

My bad, bimbi. I should have placed
the above Lokál post with your post.

MAGYARKOZÓ

Istvan
Guest
Really Eva how can it be denied that the State Department Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor (DRL) is effectively a renegade operation being run by career diplomats in opposition to the thrust of the Trump agenda. There is no evidence for Népszava arguing that the promotion of more open media in Hungary may have been cleared by the White House. To be blunt Trump gives a shit about Hungary and the promotion of democracy in Hungary, he does want a strategic deal with Putin and is more than willing to cede most of the Ukraine in order to achieve that. I believe the DRL was projected to be largely eliminated in the proposed budget by Sec Tillerson. Tillerson backed President Trump’s proposal to cut State’s budget from about $55 billion to about $39 billion. Tillerson told a Senate committee in June that he aimed to cut about 1,300 jobs — 327 foreign service officers and about 1,000 civil service employees some of those will come from DRL. Congress will not approve those cuts, fortunately. Since so many of your readers Eva are not indigenous to the USA it is important to contextualize the DRL within the world of… Read more »
exTor
Guest
István, you probably meant to write that “… Trump [doesn’t give] a shit about Hungary …”, although I think that your words said the same thing. Your post is well-argued. It’s hard to say how much the US knows (or cares) about Hungary. Likely the readership of Hungarian Spectrum includes (or has the ears of) some highly placed members of the US government. You make a good argument that the DRL action was effected behind the Trump admin’s back. Given that Seb Gorka was formerly a part of Trump’s inner circle, given that Gorka (supposedly still) has the ear of Trump, given that Gorka had had a rightwing foray into Magyar politics during his Hungary stay in the 2000s, was Gorka an influence on DRL? If Gorka did in fact have something to do with the proposed DRL action, then that would imply direct Trump-admin involvement. Additionally, it would suggest that Gorka is fundamentally antiFidesz. Do you know, Éva? https://xtools.wmflabs.org/articleinfo/en.wikipedia.org/Sebastian_Gorka By the way, there are now 1350 edits done by 400 editors on the Sebastian Gorka Wikiarticle. Evidently many wanted to straighten the SG record. The recently released Climate Science Special Report contradicts Trump’s claim that global warming cannot be… Read more »
J Simon
Guest

Where was D.J. Kostelanick, and where were you Eva Balogh, when Pierce Morgan, Phil Donahue and Bill Maher got banished from the US media. They asked too many questions disturbing the CNN style entertainment news. On the whole, Hungary has a critical news media unknown in the USA or even Canada, only TV Ontario and PBS come close.

Ferenc
Guest

“Hungary has a critical news media unknown”……. to 18 counties in Hungary

Guest

It’s time for show and tell, Joe!
Which media are ever critical of Fidesz?
Shouldn’t be too difficult to name them …

Observer
Guest

Fidesznik Joe Simon

Bold faced lies again.

How many gov critical mass media outlets in Hun can u name?

I bet u EUR 100 there are less than 10 in the whole country (internet excluded).

Zoli
Guest

I wonder if the US would feel grateful for China, Russia or even Germany doing the same for the poorly informed US citizens?

Knarf
Guest

Zoli, the American media situation is totally different from that of Hungary. Apples and oranges basically. Fidesz’ lock on the channels of media is unbelievable especially outside of Budapest. The US does not need that kind of support. I’m not saying that the media situation there is great but in Hungary it’s terrible.

RTL Klub may already have been promised to Fidesz pending the elections which Fidesz will of course win. And that’s only for starters.

That said Andy Vajna who is a key player in Fidesz’ media strategy is a US citizen so if US law enforcement would be a little more diligent things could also improve in Hungary. Alas Vajna is apparently being protected by some influential people in the US government otherwise there’s no way he could get away with what he has been doing here even if he has smart lawyers. Some people in the US government clearly enable Vajna and co. and thus Orban.

Jean P
Guest

“I wonder if the US would feel grateful for China, Russia or even Germany doing the same …”

I don’t think that the US would object if it was done openly like the US does it in Hungary.

Ferenc
Guest

OT – breaking
Today OV was unanimously re-elected at the Fid-Party “tisztújító” Congress. Well what can one say, strange cleaning/clearing…
In each and every real democratic party at such a congress the whole Fid-bunch would be swept out of the building.

wrfree
Guest

Re: Daniel McAdams

Frankly and unfortunately another ‘useful idiot’ in disseminating a picture at odds with realities. But this is common with those who simply aren’t too up on ‘Eastern European’ things. And where a city like Budapest is only a place to go shopping on Vaci and maybe get a good palacsinta or hot bath.

Mr. McAdams comment as the country being a ‘full democracy’ sounds as if he’s had coffee with Mr. Kovacs. They both are like minded in so deftly manipulating the viewing of what political life in the country really is.

Member

Folks – Daniel McAdams is a personal friend of mine and a good man. I have known him since 1994.

He and I agree on many issues. We do not agree on the great majority of things when it comes to Hungary.

I assure you, his approach is principled, even if I do not agree with his interpretation of facts. As far as the free press in Hungary goes, I cannot defend his position. But he would be happy to do so.

exTor
Guest

Perhaps you might consider emailing your friend the link to this article, Alex Kuli. Upon reading it, Daniel McAdams might reconsider his “diverse media environment” characterization of Hungary, after which he could proffer his ‘mea gulpa’ [sic] to Éva.

comment image

I’m sure that McAdams is a nice guy. I’m certain that Éva did not imply otherwise. As the head of the Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity, he is to the right of most Republicans. Not sure that his presence at an interview aired on RT constitutes some form of irony, Alex Kuli.

Know how I spell Right Libertarian? G·R·E·E·D·Y

MAGYARKOZÓ

Guest

Again an example that shows the US extreme right and Russia working together – like Putin and Jobbik, AfD, FPÖ, Front National etc in Europe …

Many years ago I read/heard aboiut Ron Paul (the father) and was horrified by his ideas!

Observer
Guest

Alex
McAdams’ personality has little bearing on the pretty fictitious, ignorant article, although the latter reveals grave professional issues and undermines his trustworthiness, (and I’m being generous not suspecting professional corruption here).
I have sent materials to A.Applebaum to set her presentation/interpretations straight, but I wouldn’t bother with MacAdams, he’s far out. Tip him to read HS or Kim Schappelle’s analyses before righting another piece on Hun.

tappanch
Guest

Today was the Fidesz party congress. Napoleon was re-elected.
A photo of the leadership:

comment image

Michael Kaplan
Guest

Great job Eva. Not a word about this welcome news in USA media. Just goes to show how resilient some parts of US democracy are in spite of Trump (for example some career diplomats). Also-
this is a wake up call for Orban as to how unimportant he is in world e.g. an ignorant Trump does not care about, let alone know any thing about Orban and/or Hungary.

Member

This is the usual callous and shameful slander against pigs, who are bleeding Victims, not bloody Viktors.
comment image

Farkas
Guest

Pity this sounds like the last hurrah of a dying branch of State. Anyway, US$700K is a drop in the ocean as to what would really be required to set up a country-wide provincial print media network in Hungary that would be capable of out-competing the existing government propaganda outlets. Too little, too late by the Yanks. Should have thought of taking effective action immediately after the constitutional putsch by Orbán back in 2011. The time that effective American action could have made a difference is unfortunately long past, and with Trump in the White House it is delusional even to dream about it. That particular train has left the station six years ago, and all is more the pity.

Farkas
Guest
OT Delayed response to a point raised by Wolfi in relation to Eva’s post on Medgyessy’s reflections on the current political situation. @Wolfi November 11, 2017 7:13 am “Why was there no lustration in Hungary?” In Hungary, the Communist era nomenclatura split into a nationalist right-wing and an internationalist left-wing upon the regime change in 1989, which then took turns in government in the years that followed. The membership of both were deeply involved in the crimes of the Communist era, except perhaps for those few on the left who were part of the samizdat underground in the eighties, and those few on the right who were suppressed by the Kádár regime. As a result, neither side is interested in the slightest in a lustration process. Both have “plenty of butter” on their heads [as they say in Hungarian], and “those who have butter on their heads, shouldn’t go out to be under the sun.” The equivalent phrase in English would be the adage that “people who live in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones.” So I don’t think it would be fair to blame Fidesz as the sole responsible party for Hungary not having undertaken a thorough lustration process after… Read more »
Observer
Guest

Fidesznik Joe Simon

I’m still waiting for you to name the gov critical media outlets in Hun.

Can you list more than 10 in the whole country ?

Observer
Guest

Mr McAdams should read how one of the most subservient toads in this mafia, the handsome Amdràs Tàllai (the one who presented Orban with the super kitschy painting of Orban with Piskaa), “negotiated” with MOL to drop the prices of fuel in his electoral district.

Yes folks, I’m not joking, it happened. In Orbanistan

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