The Orbán government is contemplating restrictions on media freedom

The latest nefarious plan of the Orbán government came to light yesterday. Népszava learned that the government has been considering the establishment of a chamber of journalists (sajtókamara). Apparently, the government was originally planning to introduce the idea a year ago, but in view of the upheaval surrounding the shuttering of Népszabadság, they tabled it.

The government, which is surely the instigator of this plan, is remaining in the background and letting its obsequious supporters in the profession do the dirty work. The leaders of the Association of Hungarian Catholic Journalists, the Association of Protestant Journalists, and the Association of Hungarian Sportswriters have been meeting over the past few months to come up with a chamber of journalists that would suit the Orbán government’s ideal of an obedient press. The largest interest group of journalists in Hungary is the Magyar Újságírók Országos Szövetsége (MÚOSZ), with a membership of 3,000, but MÚOSZ was left out of these behind-the-scenes negotiations.

Membership, unlike in the case of the Orbán-government-created chambers of teachers, doctors, and healthcare workers, wouldn’t be compulsory for everyone, but the benefits of membership would encourage publishers of newspapers and magazines to join. Publishers with membership in the chamber would receive a substantial reduction in their tax obligations. Some publishers would have no choice but to join. For example, publications with a nationwide distribution could lose their status if they didn’t become members.

Publishers who join the chamber would have to fulfill certain obligations. For example, they would be required to sign an ethical code. They would be able to hire only journalists who are also members of the chamber, and journalists’ membership might be restricted by such criteria as educational attainment or journalism school attendance. As far as internet publications are concerned, it looks as if the publishers of “larger ones,” I guess like 444, Index, and HVG, would have to be members, but smaller ones and bloggers could escape membership and, with it, restrictions on their activities or their privileges to access of information.

The man who is behind the idea of setting up a chamber of journalists is György Szöllősi, formerly the communication director of the Puskás Academy in Felcsút. It is pretty easy to figure out that he is just a conduit for the plans and desires of Viktor Orbán. Szöllősi is a much favored character in the Orbán orbit. As soon as Nemzeti Sport, Orbán’s favorite newspaper, was taken over by Mediaworks, Szöllősi was made the daily paper’s editor-in-chief. He was also named a roving ambassador, whose sole job is to promote the fame of Ferenc Puskás, the idol of Viktor Orbán.

Tamás Szele, who writes for huppa.hu, outlined in an opinion piece some of the dire consequences of this latest scheme of Viktor Orbán. In the last eight years independent journalists buried the Hungarian media several times, but “this is the moment when the pall is already prepared; they are nailing the coffin, and the day of the burial is fixed.” In his analysis of the information Népszava obtained, Szele posits several possible consequences of having a chamber of journalists. First and foremost, there would be a stark distinction drawn between those who were allowed to join and those who for one reason or another were barred from the organization. For example, a “registered” journalist of Magyar Hírlap would have extra privileges, although the readership of this right-wing, pro-government paper is smaller than some of the so-called “small” internet publications. The government could, for example, restrict the attendance of non-chamber members at press conferences. László Kövér, president of the parliament who has often resorted to excluding journalists from independent media outlets in the past, after the establishment of such a chamber could simply announce that only members of the chamber could enter the parliament building. Marianna Biró of 168 Óra is equally pessimistic. “The autonomy morsels of the media might be at stake in the election on April 8,” she writes. “If Fidesz again receives two-thirds of the parliamentary seats, we are finished.”

Pass it on. Without freedom of the media there is no democracy

In 2010 the Center for International Media Assistance, a project of the National Endowment for Democracy, published a study in 2010 by Steven Strasser titled “Registering Reporters: How Licensing of Journalists Threatens Independent News Media.” Licensing and registering journalists is one of the ways by which “governments control the press.” Such licensing practices are especially prevalent “in the developing world, where governments feel they must control the power of the press as an element of their countries’ domestic and national security.” Strasser also notes that “the echoes [of licensing or registering] still help shape media policies in some of the remains of the communist world.” So, Orbán can choose into which group he would like to place his country: the developing nations or the former member states of the Soviet Union, like Belarus, Azerbaijan, or Kazakhstan.

Almost all commentators call attention to the fact that Hungary once had a chamber of journalists. It was in 1938 during the Imrédy government. The chamber was the brainstorm of “Christian” right-wing journalists who set up membership requirements on the basis of race and ideology. When it was established, almost two thousand Jewish and left-wing journalists didn’t receive admission to the chamber. Initially, membership of Jewish journalists was limited to 20%. A year later the share of Jewish members was further restricted to 6%.

Some people might consider the comparison between the chamber of journalists in 1938 and the Orbán government’s “sajtókamara” in 2018 far-fetched, but there are haunting similarities. The proponents of the present chamber of journalists come from groups who identify themselves as Catholics or Protestants, which in Hungary means not Jewish. Could it happen that journalists who are not members of either the Catholic or Protestant association of journalists and who are critical of the present government would find themselves outside the favored group of chamber members? Either by choice or by design? I would say yes, easily.

January 28, 2018
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Michael Kaplan
Guest

Thank you Professor Balogh. A very disturbing summary.The comparison with the 1938 “Chamber of Journalists” is-sadly- relevant as per your last comments. I just returned from my favorite sport, skiing-in this case- on Mt. Hood in Oregon.I went from a peak spiritual experience to the grinding
reality of the current regimes in both Hungary and the USA. Still, I remain hopeful. We are not at the beginning of the end, but we clearly are at the beginning of the beginning of the end of these regimes. Your daily attention to these maters is of great inspiration.

Member

With due respect, I must ask – what makes you hopeful? Why are we clearly at the beginning of the end? All empirical data shows that the Orban administration is going great guns at the moment. Some ex-Fideszers in Budapest are sick of him, but the countryside fairly swoons over Orban’s manly ways.

Michael Kaplan
Guest

Professor Balogh and readers such as your self are our source of hope. Change will take a long time, but it will happen. No odious regime lasts forever as you/we all know.

Marty
Guest

Why do people think that after an odious regime comes necessarily a better (democratic) one?

Isn’t it more probable than another odious regime will follow – only with a different strongmen at the helm. Or we’ll have a democratic one for a few years but it will self-destruct in the hands of a bickering rainbow coalition and then another strongman will take over. Aren’t corrupt strongmen inherently more adept at holding on to power?

The fundamental questions is how can democracy (with all its features like separation of powers, transparency etc.) entrench itself and defend itself against new Orbans? Note though that Orban can easily last 30 more years.

With people like Zoltán Pogátsa or András Fekete-Győr or Zsolt Molnár or Ferenc Gyurcsany or TGM?

The problem is much bigger than just electing another, less corrupt and oppressive government.

Farkas
Guest

Yes, the fundamental issue is one of mentality and political traditions.

Liberal democracy could most certainly have a solid future in Hungary, if the mentality and political traditions of the electorate would be like the respective mentalities and political traditions of the electorates in countries like Switzerland or Norway, or perhaps even in Czechia.

But the mentality and political traditions in Hungary are not at all like those of Switzerland, Norway or even of Czechia, therefore what you envision is far more likely to actually happen in Hungary than what well-intentioned, but thoroughly impotent left-liberals would prefer to envision for the future of Hungary.

Member

In other words, liberal democracy could most certainly have a solid future in Hungary, if only it could have a solid future in Hungary.

dos929
Guest
Dear readers, I must call your attention to the Orban regime’s ‘Media Law’ back in 2010… Initially there were strong responses by the EU and by its various Commissions such as: https://www.hrw.org/news/2011/01/07/hungary-media-law-endangers-press-freedom: January 7, 2011 “The EU’s credibility as a reliable and forceful advocate for human rights around the world depends on its willingness to hold its member states to account for their own abuse,” Leicht said. “For that reason, it’s vital for the Commission and other EU member states to press Hungary to repeal the media law and improve its wider record in accordance with its international and regional legal human rights obligations.” Unfortunately, the very same bodies have fallen asleep since, and in-spite the continuous infringements on the freedom of the media by the regime nothing tangible has been coming from the EU in order to arrest and turn back this relentless march against the destruction of the media freedom in Hungary. As a result, the regime has direct and indirect ownership and control of the media in such a scale and manner that rivals the ‘Orwellian Control’. The bottom line is that Orban realised early enough in his 1st term (1998-2002) in office that until he hasn’t… Read more »
Melanie Zuben
Guest

How can they control information in the age of the Internet?
Journalist jobs are slowly disappearing and many of them are angry. Rightfully so. We are facing massive job losses in many other professions also.

The world is changing fast.
Just “Google” and you shall find.
(another talent of mine I’ve just accidentally discovered 😜)

Farkas
Guest

@Melanie Zuben
January 29, 2018 2:26 am

Most Hungarians live in the provinces. In the provinces most people still get their news and news commentaries from local papers, and certainly not from the internet. The local papers are owned by Fidesz party stalwarts, push the Fidesz party line and are in fact a crucially important arm of Fidesz agitprop. Hungarians in the provinces firmly believe, and are therefore strongly influenced by, the messages put out by these local Fidesz organs. That then influences their electoral choices, and since they constitute the overwhelming majority of the Hungarian electorate, that then also determines who gets parliamentary majority or super-majority, and who doesn’t. It is that simple.

The Fidesz-controlled local radio stations also of course play the same role. And the internet also has a minor subsidiary role, when the Fidesz-controlled local media recommends some link to look up on Hungarian-language internet.

Melanie Zuben
Guest

Farkas,
I visited a few Hungarian country towns/villages last year. (I’m not exactly from the Castle District ) and believe me, every single person I had met was on the Internet. The villagers are well-informed, they get their news from the net, even the 55 age group is computer savy in the villages. They have emails and they are on Facebook. They understand the importance of “Google” etc. Also, believe it or not, most villages have Yoga classes during the winter months , etc. Now, this even impressed me.
Times are changing! ( I cross my fingers)

Observer
Guest

Farkas
If you believe that “most villages have Yoga classes” you may just as well try the village wellness spas or try flying with the Hungarian pigs. Just let me know where are these villages, in Austria or in Switzerland.
Re the “well informed”: a study was reported yesterday, it found that 2/3 of the interviewed believe that the SGP – Soros Gy Party is taking part of the elections… (Just as the Piresian case)

Melanie Zuben
Guest

Observer,
Yes, the villagers spend their weekends at wellness spas at Kiskőrös or Harkanyfůrdő etc. Or at the Danube maybe at Szelidi Tò.
You guys are so preoccupied with Fidesz bashing that you have lost touch with reality.

Guest

And your friends also drive shiny new BMWs?
I also know some Fidesz honchos who do …
Mészáros is not the only one and anyway he just upgraded to using a chartered plane – ain’t that nice?

Melanie Zuben
Guest

Wolfi,
No, they don’t drive “shiny BMWs”.

Farkas
Guest

Wolfi, I would not necessarily dismiss out of hand that there are indeed some regular users of Hungarian-language internet sites among provincial Hungarians. In fact, I would be surprised if that wasn’t so.

The question is what proportion of Hungarians in the provinces actually belong to this cohort. And the other, and even more important question is what proportion of provincial internet users get all or most of their news from government controlled websites, and what proportion from opposition-oriented websites like Index, 444, 24.hu, Magyar Narancs, Élet és Irodalom, Népszava and so on.

I would be quite prepared to bet London to a brick that those who would regularly seek their political information from opposition-oriented sources could just about be counted on the fingers of one hand. And that is the whole point.

Guest

Farka, of course!
My wife belongs to that group which reads 444 and index and others – but obviously she’s part of that “kleine radikale Minderheit” as we used to chant in the early 60s when West Germany also was ruled by reactionary “Christian Democrats” which had no problem using Hitler’s laws against minorities …

Farkas
Guest

Don’t fret, I was just being polite to MZ . . . . :-)))

Farkas
Guest

That is good news indeed, and If so, I stand corrected. Thanks for the info.

At the same time however, the fact still remains that the provincial press, radio and TV are overwhelmingly owned, directed and dominated by Fidesz or interests close to Fidesz, and that this would have a very great direct bearing on political opinion and voter intentions in the provinces.

Guest

My own experiences in the village where we live are totally different:
Only a few oldsters like my wife and her sister, as well as other people who were teachers or lawyers or doctors use the internet …
Most older people depend on the written news and mainly (!) on the tv news and these are totally in the hand of Fidesz.
PS:
Don’t believe anything that Melanie writes without checking – remember she wrote once that two thirds of Hungarians voted for Orbán!

Melanie Zuben
Guest

Observer/Wolfi,
I corrected it later. Re: 2/3 majority. 😜

The villages around Kalocsa are living in the 21st Century. They are on Skype & Facebook and my friends and relatives or their neighbors are in the 55 plus age group. Some of the people are Skype-ing with their children some with their grandchildren on a daily bases. Not to mention the ones who go online, (after working on the field all day),looking for buyers for their produce. Most of them are well informed.

Guest

Just like you?
If well-informed means believing all they get from the Fidesz media …
There aren’t that many Hungarian language sites independent from Fidesz – could you name any btw to show how well-informed you are?
PS:
Next time you come to visit aks them what they think of the Pirez and the Soros party!

Farkas
Guest

. . . . local radio and TV stations . . . .

Marty
Guest
Melanie, the internet far from being a tool for democrats (as Silicon Valley liked to claim until a few years ago) became a perfect tool for surveillance and control – just look at the situation in Russia, China, Turkey, Iran etc. Orban would legally force Hungarian internet service providers to make Hungarian sites unavailable if such media sites don’t comply with restrictive Hungarian media laws. Legally to draft such laws would take half an hour for a mid-level legal associate and believe me Hungarian Telco companies will comply (btw such laws already exist: Uber and internet betting sites are actually or legally unavailable in Hungary). And do you know how many people can and do read English news sites? And how many are willing to circumvent internet laws? That 5-10% of the people who speak English and are internet, IT savvy will indeed be able to read free news, yes. But the rest (90%) will be entirely shut into a government-controlled world. They already are (especially uneducated, rural folks), but Orban wants even more control. Orban – just like any tyrant – is never satisfied with control and power, he always wants more. This is because his desire cannot ever… Read more »
Melanie Zuben
Guest

Marty,
Re: Orban could be shutting down service providers, etc.

Hungarians (just like other countries) are addicted to Facebook, Twitter, Instagram etc. I cannot see your reasoning. Not to mention auto-translations etc.
As far as shutting down online betting is concerned: Well done! 😇
In my experience: I have some Hungarian friends who send me anti-Orban posts on Facebook, however most of them still support him on a number of issues.

adél
Guest

You obviously have no idea about the Hungarian media situation.

Ferenc
Guest

IGNORE

exTor
Guest

Well-addressed, Marty. As you pointed out, all restrictions can be circumvented, however shutting down access to websites openly critical of Fidesz and Viktor Orbán will chill democracy in Hungary.

MAGYARKOZÓ

Ferenc
Guest

IGNORE MZ

Observer
Guest

Ferenc
Don’t worry about the MZ likes, who just discovered that the world is changing and that the Internet has information to offer. They offer some fun from time to time, but if become silly and obnoxious give them a slap and move on.

Observer
Guest

MZ
I wrote something on alchemy, but nobody seems to appreciate it. They will be green with envy when I start to make all this gold.

Melanie Zuben
Guest

Observer,
My latest book is about cybercrime. 😜

exTor
Guest

Listen Ferenc, I understand your general annoyance with Melanie Zuben, however (on this occasion) she posed a valid consideration. The way to deal with MZ is to address (in this case) her query/concern forthrightly, as Marty did. One should not, as I have sometimes done, adhom [ad hominem] her by (for example) calling into question her intellectual capacity, which is just plain wrong. My bad for that.

MAGYARKOZÓ

exTor
Guest

comment image

Listen Melanie, looze the selfdeprecation.
It looks bad, whether real or ironic.
Get smart and stay smart.

MAGYARKOZÓ

Melanie Zuben
Guest

ExTor,
I’ve been accused with obsessive self-preservation many times but never self deprecation. 😂 An average women would’ve cut her wrists by now, taking all the venom you and your mates dished out here over the years. I’m still here, providing a case study on cyber bullying. Bullying of the most vicious, damaging kind.
I’m holding my cross as I’m writing this post. So what does this make me? UNTOUCHABLE!

Melanie Zuben
Guest

ExTor,
Re: Your kind post questioning my intellect.

Just for the record: I’ve never ever claimed to be an intellectual heavyweight.
Also, I’m commenting on this blog in my capacity as a “genetically inferior moron” a “useless peasant scumbag”, etc. etc.
No worries mate, I understand my place in society. Thank you for inspiring me to become an expert in turning your generous “compliments” to my advantage!

Ferenc
Guest

May be you missed why I ask all to IGNORE MZ, find it here
http://hungarianspectrum.org/2018/01/20/who-poses-a-danger-to-hungarys-national-security-anyone-who-lends-a-helping-hand-to-a-refugee/#comment-142962
She wrote something ‘general’ which I personally DO NOT ACCEPT, not from anybody! She does not take back/apologize, so for me her letters are blank space.
So if somebody still likes to react to a comment by MZ, please do not reply to her directly, but start a new comment line.

Marty
Guest

Guys, this is just the beginning.

Orban – far from being satisfied with already available power and money – is just getting started.

If Orban get another 2/3s such laws on the media, the courts, NGOs will be pushed through on day 1. Nobody will be able to do a thing, the Basic Law will be amended accordingly – all will be legal.

And Orban gets two thirds if he receives about 39-40% of the votes cast – in a system that is completely rigged in favor of Fidesz.

Ferenc
Guest

But how on earth can there be made difference for journalists with legal means on the bases of a voluntary membership? And the differences should concern e.g.tax reduction, access to a press conference, etc.
I can not imagine that this is not against ‘OV&Co’s own’ Fundamental Law. Although it is imaginable that OV&Co have put certain things in ‘their own’ Media Law and Regulations, which would make such possible (or at least NOT impossible).
As this thing started from Catholic, Protestant and Sport journalists (which is pretty telling by itself), I think the best counter against this could come from religious and sport circles (could have more impact than when coming from other journalists). So other journalists best start asking (independent thinking) religious and sport representatives to speak out (against) this.

PS: WHAT is the official reasoning by the people who suggest(ed) this ‘chamber thing’? so WHY?

bimbi
Guest

@Ferenc, 3:51 a.m.

Why?

See below:

Ferenc
Guest

@bimbi 4:03am & 3:57am
You misunderstood / I didn’t write clear enough.
I meant the official WHY/reasoning by those who publically brought the proposal/idea.

bimbi
Guest

@Ferenc, 6:02 a.m.

My post of 4:03 a.m. still applies- all the rest is lies and rubbish

bimbi
Guest

Kontroll, Kontroll, Kontroll!

After that, everything else follows. These have been the by-words of Orbán’s governments since he first got into power twenty years ago. (Remember Kondor Katalin and the “Volt Miniszter Elnök” nonsense in every news broadcast from 2002 onwards?)

The straight-jacket restrictions of the media law were bad enough. Now comes the icing on the cake: “Listen up Magyarok, only our propaganda lies and untruth will reach you from here on out. We control what you hear, what you think, what you talk about and what you believe.

Needless to say the religious extremists of the catholic church and the protestants are in the middle of it. Over the centuries no organizations have been better at controlling the message that people receive – lies and fantasies to make you vomit!

Under Orbán the centuries slip away and Hungary is returned to a little fiefdom of the Middle Ages – and that will all be capped off by the Great Leader moving into the Castle (only to be announced after 8 April 2018) so that he can survey his benighted subjects from on high.

bimbi
Guest

I liked the cartoon included within the blog text but for today’s Hungarian media all the front pages should carry the same text and pictures, surely?

Marty
Guest

re Chambers.

Orban has a mania of setting up various chambers – but this is not a new political/control idea. It is a time-honored part of the fascist corporatist ideology.

Set up (order by law, nudge etc.) chambers which then almost always end up being controlled and coopted by the government. Chambers really are just a form of government control over professions which normally would be too dispersed or independent absent such chambers.

It’s a bit like with the national sports associations (e.g. for football, for handball, for athletes, for triathlonists, for skiers etc.), formally they are independent but in every case the members elect a leadership which is dictated by the government. (In extreme cases there may be dissent like now in the case of swimmers which elected a chairman who wasn’t the government’s preferred choice, but in 99% the formally sports free association are really run by the government.)

Istvan
Guest

I agree totally Marty. Eva was correct to bring up the analogy with Hungary’s Horthy past in relationship to the media. I do not think it’s at all far-fetched to make the comparison to the chamber of journalists in 1938. I would take it several steps further and compare it to fascist Corporatism under Mussolini and corporatism as theorized by Pope Leo XIII as you seem to Marty.

I think the Fidesz regime is evolving from a simple gangster state to something much more sinister and more like Putin’s Russia, or fascist Italy. Orban’s government is what could be called creeping fascism.

Michael Kaplan
Guest

Istvan and Marty, I think your comments on corporatism and Mussolini are valid.

Guest

I used to joke on politics.hu that Hungarian MTV was “North Korean State TV” – now reality might even make all Hungarian media into “North Korean media”.
And I also often said that Hungary is 50 years behind and Fidesz wants to take the country even more into the glorious past – that’s also becoming true.
Maybe scientists and analysts in the future will be happy to find such a good example of society going down the drain …

Ron
Guest

wolfi7777: Maybe scientists and analysts in the future will be happy to find such a good example of society going down the drain …

They may want to read Index.hu about Georgy Soros’ Party, which apparently by many, will run in the next election. https://index.hu/belfold/2018/01/29/megmertek_a_valasztok_tobbsege_azt_hiszi_soros_is_indul_a_valasztason/

My wife informed me about the aforementioned article, but when I went to Index.hu (and google translate), I was shocked about the number of articles about education and how much kids hate the school and especially the gym lessons.

The future hates school. That is the end of Hungary.

Guest

A bit OT:
Index started last years with articles in English (really good ones too!) but the latest I can find is from Nov 2017 – nothing newer. Anyone got an idea why?

And even more OT:

Just google “I’m going down” as a rock song – you’ll find many, from Jeff Beck to Bruce Springsteen!
Maybe they’ll cheer you up?

wrfree
Guest

Just had to put this one in here with lyrics.

https://youtu.be/xDGuyGPJ_JE
It comments on the times. ‘Esik az eso’. We can see a very very wet ‘Sun King’ oblivious to the clouds. Looks he won’t change his pants. And the ominous storm hangs on the horizon.

Jean P
Guest

Going down while singing the national anthem and “Nearer my God to thee” in that order.

Observer
Guest

Guys,
All the “why”-s can be answered by simply recognizing the spices of the political animal – it’s fascism folks.

Vera Jurova, EU, do you realize your ignoring of the spreading malaise will cripple or kill the union and the European democracy?

Observer
Guest

bimbi
It’s an identification, a definition – this is the most economical way to describe/communicate complex things. Pls look up fascism (I use Anatomy of fascism – Prof. R.Paxton) and check the boxes. It’s very useful since you know what to expect, before it happens, e.g. a weasel may look like a nice furry and playful animal, but we have learned not to let it close to the chicken house.

bimbi
Guest

@Observer, 6:43 a.m.

Fascism? Gotta tell ya,that is just name-calling but by this time we all are well aware of what kind of government Orban runs: fascist, fascistoid, quasi-fascist, mafioso, kleptocracy, autocracy, dictatorship – you name it, we got it! As to fascism, the beatings and the dosing with castor oil have not started yet.
Vera Jurova? Maybe she has just enough problems back home in Czechia to worry much about this little branch of the Visegrad 4. The growth of tribalism in post-Communist eastern Europe…

Observer
Guest

Vera Jurova is one of the responsible European Commissioners, her job is to prevent the kind of things happening here in Hu.

wrfree
Guest
Tidbits from the RMP Reich Minister of Propaganda. Worth a read to concentrate minds on the dangerous waters the state is sailing into. Arguably their actions and potential actions flow out of this odious man’s playbook. We can envision a scene of going back to the 30’s as well with modern political Frankensteins looking at their creation uttering ‘It’s alive! It’s alive! ‘It’s alive!’. “It would not be impossible to prove with sufficient repetition and a psychological understanding of the people concerned that a square is in fact a circle. They are mere words, and words can be molded until they clothe ideas and disguise.” Leadership appears to understand this one very well. “Think of the press as a great keyboard on which the government can play.” Who needs journalists then if they become dumb typists acting as the force of their own destruction? An insidious action. “The most brilliant propagandist technique will yield no success unless one fundamental principle is borne in mind constantly – it must confine itself to a few points and repeat them over and over.” No need to go over this one. This kind of simplicity works. “If the day should ever come when we… Read more »
bimbi
Guest

In all of these discussions and comments we avoid asking the question:
Does Viktor Orbán and his Fidesz government support the principle of free speech and a free press?
If he does, there is no need for any press association, and certainly not one under tight government control. A free press is a press that operates freely and openly.
If he does not and the government and religious fanatic-controlled journalist association goes ahead, then no, Viktor Orbán and his Fidesz government
DO NOT ACCEPT THE PRINCIPLE OF A FREE PRESS AND FREE SPEECH.
Simple. That’s what you get in an illiberal state.

Observer
Guest

Right, this is the method – you know what “you get in an illiberal state”, I just believe the situation is somewhat worse.

wrfree
Guest

I cringe at the possible creation of the contemplated monstrosity. Dangerous as all hell.

Guest

Should we laugh at this or cry?
https://twitter.com/geertwilderspvv/status/957945476548046849/photo/1
I know the link to the picture isn’t new – but if you follow it on twitter you’ll find the first positive feedback from “infowars” – the fascist site of Alex Jones, one of the most horrible haters around!