December 22nd, 2011

Hungary’s leading online news portal banned from parliament

Leading internet portal Index.hu has been banned from parliament following the publication of a video titled “Merry Christmas, Hungarian Democracy!”, which included at the ninth minute two reporters singing a mocking song about the government and parliament’s work over the previous year.

What remains unclear is if the song’s lyrics or if the behavior of the reporters (dancing around the halls of parliament) was what led to Parliamentary Speaker László Köver banning the portal from the building, for “not treating parliament with respect.” The parliament’s press office said that the portal can return once it provides guarantees to Köver that its reporters would behave in a respectful manner.

The incident occurs as the government is facing renewed scrutiny over its commitment to press freedoms, with news on Wednesday of that the Media Council had decided to reassign the frequency of Klubrádió, a radio station seen as opposition-friendly.

Daily Népszabadság tried to gain clarifications on what guarantees Index would need to provide Köver but had yet to receive a response. For its part the portal stated that they have asked to have the matter resolved as soon as possible so that they can resume their parliamentary coverage. [nol.hu/index.hu]

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  • Viking

    Belarus anyone…?

    • FriendOfHungary

      Who cares about this two pitiful clowns? No one reasonably for sure…

      This biassed coverage of “Hungarys drift into totalitarian state” is so stupid that is even funny :)

      One should rather care how media are used in other “democractic” countries for manipulation of public oppinion and influencing of election results – Is Orban balanced mediacoverage request such a big crime??

      • Viking

        FriendOfHungary says:
        December 29, 2011 at 2:33 am

        Who cares about this two pitiful clowns? No one reasonably for sure…

        I checked the video and did not find it either disturbing or especially funny, but I think you sincerly missed the plot with the 2nd sentence
        Why would Köver then ban Index, if Köver did not care?

        You keep on running your version of ‘balanced coverage’, that even was struck down by the Hungarian Constitutional Court, so one starts to wonder where your ‘balance’ is anywhere?

  • I love Hungary

    Nah, I’d prefer another Egypt.

  • I love Hungary

    ….and to think in the USA, Steven Colbert was actually invited to testify before Congress.No greater contrast could be drawn….

    But of course the USA had slaves in mid 19th Century, so they can’t “give lectures” on democracy…

    lol.

    This idiotic government is actually setting out censure humor.

    It is REALLY SAD, for people like me that had so much hope for your fledgling, vibrant and exciting democracy in the mid-1990s.

  • http://www.allhungary.hu Erik D’Amato

    Well, in Köver’s defense, I’ve been out drinking with at least one of these guys, and I can see how he might have ruffled some feathers. Still, it seems a bit strange a) to ban an organization rather than individual reporters/people, and b) that the government would not be slightly concerned that Index will now start hitting them harder.

    • Viking

      Erik D’Amato says:
      December 22, 2011 at 4:35 pm

      it seems a bit strange a) to ban an organization rather than individual reporters/people

      Fidesz just love ‘collective guilt/punishment’

    • Leto

      @Eric:
      I don’t think Kövér could ban individual people from a news portal. It’s Index who needs to sort out these issues among themselves…

      • Viking

        Köver could have resisted his Communist-training to suppress every opposing voice, but that would of course not make a proselyte as ‘leto’ any happy

        And that is exactly what this story is about, Köver the Big Communist coming out, again

  • I love Hungary

    I’m not sure one would write a prohibition of “ruffled feathers” clause into the 1st Ammendment.

    As mentioned, if there was one both Colber and Stewart would be in jail right now.

    The point is democracies don’t decide the appropriate levle of “respectfulness”.

    If I were a Humgarian TV producer, I would sincerly put together an American style “Orban Roast”.

  • I love Hungary

    Actually, we need to try to get these two guys on Colbert….. hmmmmmm…..

  • DoubleH63

    @ I love Hungary “if there was one both Colber and Stewart would be in jail right now.”

    But they are not, are they [appropriate ethnicity question inserted]? Instead we have Sheppard & Whittle in prison after denial of political asylum by Judge Rose Peters [ethnicity q. inserted] of the free & the brave.
    No problem to giving asylum [mostly in Canada] to the politically oppressed from Hungary though. What a world we live in!?

  • Steven Dedalus

    Tempest in a teapot. Try pulling this kind of crap in the US Capitol building and see how far you get. A swift tasering and a trip to the D.C. jail.

    I love how people rush to judge others when the penalties are far stronger in their own countries.

    • Leto

      “A swift tasering and a trip to the D.C. jail.”

      Exactly. And some of those who would approvingly nod in that case, well, they drool about dictatorship in Hungary’s case.

      • Viking

        So miming to a text inside the Public part of the Parliamentarian Building would render physical violence onto the perpertraitors?

        The only one that should be administratively punished are the guards that allowed this to happen
        Where were they?
        Can anyone run around and play in the Hungarian Parliament?

        Eh, stupid question, that is what the MPs do all day…

  • Bystander

    @DoubleHeilHitler who wrote “[ethnicity q. inserted]“…

    So I see your raging hard-on for the Jews continues! Well, maybe you’ll get real lucky and be reincarnated as one in your next life! Until then just continue your odd jealous fascination… as you were!

    Doesn’t it ever get OLD? I mean, seriously!

  • Bystander

    @DoubleHeilHitlr who wrote “[ethnicity q. inserted]“…

    So I see your raging hard-on for the J-ws continues! Well, maybe you’ll get real lucky and be reincarnated as one in your next life! Until then just continue your odd jealous fascination… as you were!

    Doesn’t it ever get OLD? I mean, seriously!

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