János Háry in the country tavern

According to supporters of the Orbán government in the journalistic world, today is another milestone in the history of Fidesz propaganda. It was almost three years ago, in February 2015, that Magyar Nemzet, HírTV, and Lánchíd Rádió, in other words Lajos Simicska’s media empire, ceased to serve Viktor Orbán’s political interests. Simicska, the old friend and financial maverick behind Fidesz as a business venture, was no longer ready to follow Viktor Orbán on his march toward Vladimir Putin’s Kremlin. Viktor Orbán and his government were left high and dry without the all-important instruments of propaganda.

Admittedly, both Magyar Televízió and Magyar Rádió had by then become propaganda machines of the government, but Orbán wanted to replace all three Simicska news outlets. The first order of business was a pro-government newspaper. By September 1, 2015, Magyar Idők was ready to be launched. By January 2016, a radio station, Karc FM, was acquired and staffed largely by people who had left Lánchíd Rádió either for higher pay or for ideological reasons. A few months ago Lőrinc Mészáros purchased the little-watched Echo TV with the intention of making a second HírTV out of it. It was this revamped Echo TV that broadcast its first program today.

We are only too familiar with the quality of Magyar Idők. It is too early to tell whether the revamped Echo TV will attract a larger audience, but I doubt it because some of the most objectionable programs and anchors remain.

Karc FM has been on the air for almost two years. At the time of its launch Ottó Gajdics, who is the editor-in-chief of both Magyar Idők and Karc FM, believed that the radio station, which serves the pro-government audience of Budapest and environs, would need a bit of time for the Fidesz loyalists to find it and become faithful listeners. Just like the liberal Klub Rádió, it has a call-in show, “Paláver,” which offers a platform for right-wingers. “Paláver” is broadcast at exactly the same time as György Bolgár’s call-in show “Megbeszéljük” (Let’s talk it over) on Klub Rádió. Gajdics made no secret of his plans to establish a radio station that “first and foremost broadcasts programs for Fidesz voters.” Gajdics, in fact, succeeded in making Karc FM a vehicle for unabashed propaganda, with an audience that was described as “horrible” in the sense that “if there is the slightest move on the part of the anchor away from the party line, the callers label him a communist.”

About half a year after Karc FM was established, a journalist from Magyar Narancs decided to listen to “Paláver.” He found that at that time at least the favorite topics were migrants, gays, and Jews. The host of the call-in show barely ever contradicts the callers, no matter what outrageous stories they come up with. The general impression was one of “solid hatred oozing out of the mouths of the Fidesz loyalists.” Perhaps not getting involved in conversations with callers is wise. Zsolt Bayer, one of the people in charge of “Paláver,” got into trouble when Bernadett Szél reported him to the Médiatanács (Media Council) for threatening anti-government activists who dared demonstrate in front of the parliament building. In his usual manner, he promised to smash their faces and to drag them in their snot and blood if they ever show up again. Karc FM got off easy. It only had to pay a 200,000 Ft fine.

A few days ago Karc FM “Paláver” was in the headlines again. Index’s Comment.blog noticed that an older woman caller came up with an incredible story about George Soros’s Mein Plan, according to which the evil billionaire wants to abolish sexes; intends to make homosexuality compulsory; plans to get rid of borders; wants to import migrants into Hungary and to transfer Hungarians into migrant countries (those who refuse to move will be dispossessed and will have to live under the bridge, but only after they change religion); envisions foreigners buying up Hungary with the money landing in Soros’s hands. In fact, Soros has already made $200,000 billion on the deal. Finally, he promised to make drug use compulsory; to encourage pedophilia; and to revive SZDSZ, which should form a government but only if Ferenc Gyurcsány is willing to become prime minister. The woman swore that she read that on the Internet and naturally was shocked, but then she talked to three other Karc FM listeners who assured her that it was true.

Well yes, all that was on the Internet all right, but on the site of Hírcsárda (News Tavern), the Hungarian equivalent of The Onion. The journalist who was listening to all that nonsense was becoming a bit suspicious, but when she was told that the caller’s friends are also convinced that this is all true, she simply responded with “this is shocking.” After the final story, about the revival of SZDSZ, the anchor screwed up her courage and informed the woman that she “didn’t know this particular book of Soros” and/or that she is “not familiar with this translation.” Once that was over with, she proceeded to read all seven theses of the Soros Plan, according to the summary that appears on the questionnaire of the latest national consultation. The exchange can be heard on the November 29 program of “Paláver” after 5:10.

Of course, general hilarity followed reports on the story, but Válasz, a right-of-center news site, didn’t think it was laughable, especially in light of the fact that the elderly woman’s friends also believed the story. There is nothing new about panic and false alarms spreading as a result of a newspaper article, but politicians shouldn’t take advantage of the phenomenon, the article said. That’s all very well and good, but we know that the Orbán government fuels uneducated people’s fear of “fake news.”

News Tavern Fake News Site! / Established in 1351

The anchor in question, Kata Jurák, is up in arms and calls the articles that appeared in the opposition media “a cocktail of lies.” Jurák also writes editorials in Magyar Idők, where her “refutation” appeared. In the article she insists that she “refuted the caller’s allegations and tried to convince the lady that what she was reciting was not written by Soros.” At the end, she “cut her off and read those ideas that were actually written by Soros.” It is true that she read the “seven theses” of Soros as summarized in the national consultation on the Soros Plan, but she didn’t refute anything. I have the feeling that these journalistic hacks are afraid to correct even the most obvious lies that their listeners come up with because otherwise they will be accused of standing on the side of the migrants and Soros and not defending the nation against all the perils of the world.

December 4, 2017
Sort by:   newest | oldest | most voted
Guest

What a crazy story! It kind of proves my wife right (wrote about this on another thread):
My wife who’s Hungarian thinks otherwise – she say that at least 70% of her “compatriots” are “bunko paraszt” – uneducated (not all their own fault) living in a glorious past.
A bit OT:
Many years ago I found The Onion (still on paper) on one of my shopping trips (SF books …) at the Forbidden Planet in New York City and became an avid reader …

It’s a sign of the times that many people not only in Hungary cannot differentiate between real news, fake news and satire.
I look up snopes.com almost very day – sometimes the debunked stories are funny but sometimes I could cry …

1956
Guest

Propaganda could and will mobilize massive populations.
It can corrupt educated and uneducated people.
The tools of the Kremlin’s Active Measures remain in today’s Hungary surprisingly effective.
Just as in the past when they fooled many during the Rakosi socialism.
1956 was a short lived liberation.
I hope its spirit will reappear soon.

The reality
Guest

The true János Háry with English subtitles.

wrfree
Guest

May I add another? Quite a different musical ‘atmosphere’.
The listener can take from it what he/she feels in viewing a Magyarorszag of shaky change.

https://youtu.be/hvTktySrJh0

Ferenc
Guest

Text (Dec.06) from the video’s youtube page:
“This video is no longer available due to a copyright claim by a Médiaszolgáltatás-támogató és Vagyonkezelő Alap (MTVA).”
Youtube: “Sorry about that.”

I remember from watching it yesterday, that it had been uploaded on youtube quite some years ago (though don’t remember which year; a quick google search revealed 2014.Feb, by ‘Nervous Gentleman’).
Conclusion: people in or connected to MTVA are closely following the blog…

Ferenc
Guest

The title of the post is spot on!
I didn’t know “János Háry”, like so many other Hungarian or not Hungarian things, so searched it, direct result:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/H%C3%A1ry_J%C3%A1nos
Reading all mainly made me smile and laugh, except one line by Kodaly, the author of the piece:
“though superficially he [János Háry] appears to be merely a braggart, essentially he is a natural visionary and poet. That his stories are not true is irrelevant, for they are the fruit of a lively imagination, seeking to create, for himself and for others, a beautiful dream world.” — words for thought!

This brings me to another question: Is there good humor currently in Hungary? Comedians, parodians, whatever. Current seem the best times for humorous people to live on (or just stay alive…), but haven’t really noticed, nor heard/read about any good ones. I mean people who are really funny and in the same time give with it meaning, which shows mirrors and let you think.
Note: during my stay in Hungary in the 2000s, I found good humor missing also. There were some funny people around, but all lacked real teeth (for my taste).

Guest

There is a lot of Hungarian humour/satire on the Internet, especially on tumblr – I used to follow it for a while but too much of it was “gallows humour”, frustrating in the long run …

Here’s an example:
http://munchausenparokaja.tumblr.com/post/157408031551

Ferenc
Guest

I have seen also a lot of funny things made by Hungarian people, but almost all of them I can’t remember one week or even one day later, so only funny on the surface without any real depth in it.
The only one I can name to be hitting a little bit, is the ‘dog party’, but they seem currently to be on autumn/wintersleep, haven’t seen anything from them since months…

The lack of humor to my taste, I think is caused by “Hungarians being too proud for their own good”. This proudness, combined with “do not do to others what you don’t like to be done to yourself”, hinders Hungarian people in making real hitting humor (about others and/or themselves).

Just an example: where I’m from it has happened that a comedian was able to stop an alcohol-free beer from a well-known brand, by making it so ridiculous that people stopped buying it. That’s an example of hitting humor!
Can you imagine in Hungary anybody ridiculing OV&Co (or any other political movement), so that some people would seriously think to stop supporting them? Unfortunately I can’t!

Gretchen
Guest

The Two-Tailed Dog Party appears to be alive and well on Face Book.

Guest

A sane voice in the East European wilderness?
Slovakia’s ambassador to Hungary::
the last thing we need is populism and cheap fixes associated with such ideology because those fixes don’t really exist. And populism will only unleash the devil – the devil of nationalism and xenophobia. And once it’s unleashed it’s very hard to get him back on a chain.
And he continues:
Another challenge that Europe has to face is the actions taken by Russia to create an imbalance between NATO and EU allies. “The aim of this disinformation campaign is to loosen up European integration and to create a lack of trust into the system of which it is all based.
https://bbj.hu/politics/slovak-ambassador-pans-hysteria-and-populism_142470
Fidesz might not like that …

The reality
Guest

Don’t forget, that Slovakia is widely considered as an “ethnic democracy” among the Western social scientists.

Guest

Yes: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ethnic_democracy
But what to call Hungary then?
Maybe an ethnic illiberal dictatorship?
The word “Herrenvolk” seems appropriate for Orbanistan – xenophobia first!
Sitting in a glasshouse …

The reality
Guest

You can really say many rightfully negative things about Hungary, but the “ethnic democracy” term was never true.

Guest

Ever read about “magyarisation” – little ignoramus?
Even Hungary’s most well known football player changed his name – from the German Purczeld to the Hungarian Puskas …
PS:
Of course his father did this when Ferenc P was still a child – can you imagine the reason?

The reality
Guest
You try to compare apples and oranges, the 21th century Slovakia and 19th century (!!!) Hungary. You try to compare a liberal/civic western nationalism (which existed in pre ww1 Hungary) with the racist eastern and central-European type of ethnic nationalism. The ideas of ethnic (“race and blood”) nationalism were invented and spread from Germany to the Slavic populations in the 19th century. In July 1849, the Hungarian Revolutionary Parliament proclaimed and enacted the first laws on ethnic and minority rights in the world. It gave minorities the freedom to use their mothertongue at local administration, at tribunals, in schools, in community life and even within the national guard of non-Magyar councils. However these laws were overturned after the united Russian and Austrian armies crushed the Hungarian Revolution. After the Kingdom of Hungary reached the Compromise with the Habsburg Dynasty in 1867, one of the first acts of its restored Parliament was to pass a Law on Nationalities (Act Number XLIV of1868). The situation of minorities in Hungary were muchmore better than in contemporary pre WW1 Europe. Other highlymultiethnic /multinational countries were: France Russia and UK. See the multi-national UK: The situation of Scottish Irish Welsh people in “Britain” during the… Read more »
Guest

TL-DR!
Excuses, excuses …
Just saw large pictures in Keszthely everywhere “Trianon 97” with a map of Greater Hungary – funny in a way but really stupid!
Nobody in Germany e g talks or thinks about “Versailles” – but in Hungary?

PS and not too much OT:
Hungarian xenophobia is well known – just look up the Pirez people which are hated by almost every Hungarian – though they don’t even exist.
What does that tell us about Hungarians?

The reality
Guest

Germany lost 13 percent of its territory.

Hungary lost 72%. It is not the same caliber.

The injustice of Trianon aplied to other countries:

comment image

Again, you got into fallacy. We speak about Hungary from 1789-1918, now you come up with the pirez people. Slovakia is considered ethnic democracy even in the 21th century(!!!) and don’t forget that the panslavism borrowed the racist idelology (Ethnic nationalism) from Germany.

Guest

I’m not interested in Hungary’s 19th century, I live in today’s Hungary where 70% are bunko paraszt, racist and xenophobes (says ny Hungarian wife) – just like you!

Member

Most of us will know (if not be friendly with) Fidesz voters and will not be at all surprised at the idiotic garbage which is believed by the vast majority of this moronic voter base.

Let’s face it, if the fat dictator told his people that Soros was sponsoring a Martian invasion of Mother Hungary a large proportion of the Magyar zombie nation would believe him and I challenge anyone who personally knows an Orban loyalist or voter to deny this fact.

On one perverse level it is incredibly funny that the nation which produced such intellects as Neumann, Semmelweis etc, etc is now producing this kind of state-sponsored discourse.

However, it has had serious effects with for example a pension owner being threatened with de-capitation if he gives women and kids a free weekend break and a blind pensioner being beaten up by Fidesz activists on his own doorstep for speaking up against state racism and anti-semitism.

wrfree
Guest

Re: the ‘Martian invasion’

“For that moment I touched an emotion beyond the common range of men, yet one the poor brutes we dominate know only too well. I felt as a rabbit might feel returning to his burrow, and suddenly confronted by the work of a dozen busy navvies digging the foundations of a house. I felt the first inkling of a thing that presently grew quite clear in my mind, that oppressed me for many days, a sense of dethronement, a persuasion that I was no longer master, but an animal among animals; under the Martian heel.”
― H.G. Wells, The War of the Worlds

Mars… The ‘Red’ Planet…..Wells noted the inhabitants were of ‘keen intelligence….cool and unsympathetic’. Like something from dreaded dream they now seem to roam the Magyar cities and countrysides in the early 21st. Indeed an ‘invasion’ is on.

Marty
Guest
Martin Scorsese long ago told actors to avoid doing irony or sarcasm when doing TV interviews. People (at least many people) don’t get it and it’s not good if 30-50% misunderstand what you say and many may get it but simply won’t find it funny. Sarcasm, irony, fantasy, source criticism are intellectual traits. Like it or nor average folks take everything at face value, they are just unable to make a difference between reality and fiction if it comes from the TV. It’s on TV, it must be true, hey, it’s printed on paper and got published, it must be true – this is how many people think. Little factoid. In the 1980’s there was a Brazilian period (1860’s) telenovela titled Escrava Isaura (Isaura, the slave) shown on Hungarian TV. Since at that time there were only two TV stations millions watched the show every Tuesday evening (Tuesday was traditionally the day when foreign TV series were aired in Hungary). The soap opera was so successful that in rural Hungary people started to collect money to send it Brzail to buy the freedom of lovely Isaura oppressed by the vile plantation owner Leoncio. Many Hungarian literally thought that the show… Read more »
Observer
Guest

Ferenc, 7Democrat

While Kodály thought of “the fruit of a lively imagination, seeking to create, for himself and for others, a beautiful dream world.” the orban regime has been whipping up hatred for a decade and now the mob of the somewhat demented faithfuls is oozing venom and vile on every turn.
And why is this? They are “the winners” with the 2/3 supermajority, lead by the “clever, brave, beloved” leader of the “transformed (after) the polling booth revolution ..better performing.. proud ..big, strong, historical.. Christian” Hungary. Why don’t they celebrate their “beautiful dream world”? Instead we see a never ending struggle (küzdelem) against an ever changing assortment of “enemies” and the spiraling hatred, antagonism and aggression which get ever more exaggerated and grotesque, fictitious and absurd.
This is the road along which common language disappears, discussion and debate become impossible and row force and violence become the tools of power.
Prepare for the New Order, again!

Ferenc
Guest

Observer, fully agree with you.
The quote from Kodaly “though superficially …. dream world.” stopped me smilling, because he doesn’t state what’s really the case.
In my view János Háry may be a natural visionary and poet also, BUT he remains first of all a braggart!
So Kodaly is avoiding/not accepting the truth itself, about which I now start to wonder if that can be considered typical Hungarian…

Member

Quite a disgusting radio program, I hope I never have to listen to it again. Jurak is also interviewing a guest who discusses the political strategist for LMP, Ron Weber: “we are supposed to believe that this Israeli advisor works for free.” And they chuckle. (What is funny: Jews would never work for free, right?)

wrfree
Guest

RE: the ‘march to Vladimir Putin’s Kremlin

Come to think of it I’d hope all Magyars keep track of all the notes in Berlioz’s ‘Marche Hongroise’.
Under the conductor they got he’s liable to stick in some Russian bars
there. That guy seems to have an ear worm for Russian ditties.😎

bimbi
Guest

The lies and fake news from the Orbán government and its sponsored “news” sources come so thick and fast these days! Difficult to keep ahead of the electioneering rubbish.
One of the oft-repeated lies is, of course, how well the Hungarian economy is doing. A graph appeared in Népszava on 2 December showing Hungarian GDP growth from a basis of 1995 and projected through to 2022, compared with that for Latvia, Estonia, Lithuania, Poland and Slovakia. Up to 2016 the total growth in GDP for Hungary was less than ONE HALF of these countries.
Tiborcz, Mészaros and their friends are doing great – just leaving everyone else dragging along in the dust. Orbán thinks that “economic growth” means sucking on the EU Cohesion Funds teat.

Ferenc
Guest

OT
Interesting article by Peter Kreko and Lorant Gyori (both from Political Capital) about EU far-right, EU far-left and the Kremlin – http://visegradinsight.eu/a-house-undivided/
PS: I think they are wrong about the Far-Left in western Europe justifying the Crimean annexation.