June 15th, 2012

Quotable: Viktor Orbán on press freedom and foreign ownership of the media in Hungary

“I consider it a cheap joke that a country where 80% of the media is in foreign hands should be charged with press freedom issues.”

Prime Minister Viktor Orbán, at a forum in Vienna earlier this week largely attended by foreign investors. During his presentation, Orbán called the ruling coalition "a party of freedom fighters," adding "we are not communists, which means we are not jealous types. We are happy for other people's successes." [Index.hu]
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  • Cnut

    Another classic Orbán non sequiter!

    What’s the link between ownership and government censorship?

  • Leto. مؤدّب

    @postcommie bastard:

    Care to mention any specific case for “government censorship”?

    • Cnut

      I prefer the term neo-liberal. Or apologist for foreign capital.

      I didn’t say that there was government censorship. I asked what the connection would be.

      How does the orange communist mind work? What would be the connection, Leto?

      • Leto. مؤدّب

        I prefer the more appropriate “postcommie bastard”.
        Hint: the Hungarian government is not a world government.

        • Cnut

          What about exploiter of the masses? Or counter-revolutionary? Or capitalist?

          I’m not insulted by postcommie bastard: you can keep it up. It’s just inaccurate. I hate socialism and communism in all its forms, whether the socialist system, or more recent the socialism and bloated, corrupt and incompetent government of Fidesz. The weirdest thing I find about Hungarian politics is that Fidesz the “right-wing” party are big style commies, nationalising all sorts of things on an ad hoc basis, raising taxes, fighting against entrepreneurs and foreign capital. Where as the MSZP, who have Socialist in their name, are less (not a lot, but a bit) Socialist and more (not a lot, but a bit) business friendly.

          But back to the question, was their any kind of exemption for foreign-owned media in the media laws? Did the media laws not apply to foreign-owned media?

          If the media laws did apply to foreign owned companies, then is it true to say that Orbán is talking utter horse-sh!t?

        • Cnut

          I did reply but it was held up. The gist was:

          Did the Hungarian media law apply to foreign owned companies in Hungary?

          If it did, what is Orbán talking about?

  • Paul

    So….according to mr.Orban….
    the Council of Europe, the European Parliament, the Media Representative of the OSCE, the United Nations special rapporteur on freedom of expression, and many leading press freedom and human rights organizations…
    were all having it wrong. Amazing.

    • Feher Gyorgy

      Yes, of course they are wrong! Fidesz is a very good partner and sponsor; I guess the few people complaining are just jealous that the tons of HUFs did not land it in their pocket. That ‘ll learn them next time… you’ll see, soon there will be no more lies and insults in Hungarian Media because if the good people of Fidesz notice them, they immediately stop the advertising.
      It’s so extremely smart that it’s really stupid that other countries do not follow Orban’s clever ideas. Media as CNN, FT and other rebel papers & websites would be much nicer if they were punished by their governments for rude talk and filthy lies.

      • Paul

        @ Feher Gyorgy
        “That ‘ll learn them next time… you’ll see, soon there will be no more lies and insults in Hungarian Media because if the good people of Fidesz notice them, they immediately stop the advertising.”…thanks for making my point even more clear.

    • sheesh

      yes, they are all postcommie bastards, no doubt

  • Paul

    Some context:
    On February 9, Neelie Kroes, the EU Commissioner on Digital Agenda, publicly stated that, if Hungary did not act in accordance with recommendations from the Council of Europe on the media laws, she would approach the Council of the European Union to start Article 7 proceedings against Hungary. Under Article 7 of the EU Treaty, a member state may be stripped of its voting rights if there is a clear risk of a breach of the common values of the European Union, or if a member state is in serious breach of those values.

    “Hungary had a chance to engage with the Council of Europe’s recommendations on media freedom, and it blatantly snubbed it,” Gall said. “The time has come for the EU to use its powers under Article 7 to ensure that Hungary guarantees that independent media can work freely and without restrictions.”

    Looks like this stripping of voting rights is going to happen.

    • Leto. مؤدّب

      Some more context from that web page: “This could have a direct impact on Klubradio, an independent radio station, which in 2011 won a bid to operate a frequency” :D :D :D

      Looks like you’ve been having wet wishful dreams again. :)

  • Paul

    Hi Leto,
    It isn’t a sexual thing for me. And yes…I hope they will. For the sake of democracy.

    • Leto. مؤدّب

      Hi Paul,

      “For the sake of democracy.”

      ROTFLMAO :D :D

      • Paul

        Goood to see you happy.

        • Leto. مؤدّب

          You gave me a good laugh. :)

  • Anonymous

    Interesing that this crazy racist and fidesz ass-licker Leto titles himself “polite” in arabic, while in fact his real nature would rather be more precisely discribed, by putting letters in a nick-name of the previous user “Cnut” in the correct order, or shall just say “sharmuta” ;-)

    • Leto. مؤدّب

      مؤدّب also means “educator”, “he who disciplines/teaches manners” or “chastiser” and I’m not using in the sense of “polite” or “urbane” :)

      • Pongratz

        damn, in my version of google it translates as “Dehydrated Rock Hard Stupid”. I guess my search engine is smarter than yours.

        PS: You are hypocritical, greedy, violent, malevolent, vengeful, cowardly, deadly, mendacious, meretricious, loathsome, despicable, belligerent, opportunistic, barratrous, contemptible, criminal, fascistic, bigoted, racist, sexist, avaricious, tasteless, idiotic, brain-damaged, imbecilic, insane, arrogant, deceitful, demented, lame, self-righteous, Byzantine, conspiratorial, satanic, fraudulent, libelous, bilious, splenetic, spastic, ignorant, clueless, illegitimate, harmful, destructive, dumb, evasive, double-talking, devious, revisionist, narrow, manipulative, paternalistic, fundamentalist, dogmatic, idolatrous, unethical, cultic, diseased, suppressive, controlling, restrictive, malignant, deceptive, dim, crazy, weird, dystopic, stifling, uncaring, plantigrade, grim, unsympathetic, jargon-spouting, censorious, secretive, aggressive, mind-numbing, abrasive, poisonous, flagrant, self-destructive, abusive, socially-retarded, puerile and generally clueless;

        • Cockito

          cLETOris. مؤدّب
          That sounds really good!

          Reminds me of a joke :)
          Q: What do a cLETOris, an anniversary and a toilet have in common?
          A. Men always miss them.

    • Cicero

      Hey Arab – watch your mouth!

  • Observation

    Viktor is the cheap joke.

    • Pongratz

      I agree that Orban’s a joke, but always at the expense of others – costing the country a fortune.
      This makes Viktor an expensive joke.

      • Paul

        “Central bank deputy Governor Julia Kiraly recently described the economy as “no longer being in Siberia but in the middle of the North Pole”, and analysts expect the economy to contract by nearly half a percent this year.”

        Very expensive.

        • Anonymous

          Julia Király, along with bank chairman András Simor, has a bit more than half year left to sabotage the government’s efforts at reviving the economy.

          • AnonymousToo

            Too bad that they are sabotaging the government’s huge efforts at reviving the economy. Fidesz came up with the ingenious idea to raise the VAT to a record 27% and introduced new taxes on communication and financial transactions.
            Even the smallest child knows that these are the perfect ingredients for a successful local economy and booming foreign investment.
            Damn you, Julia Király and András Simor, for destroying the Hungarian fairy tale!

          • Paul

            “Julia Király, along with bank chairman András Simor, has a bit more than half year left to sabotage the government’s efforts at reviving the economy.”…a very good way to illustrate what is so deeply wrong in Hungary these days under Fidesz rules. To proof that IMF/EU were right all the time. Thanks!!

  • Leto. مؤدّب

    “There has been an alarming rise in the number of times governments attempted to censor the internet in last six months, according to a report from Google.”

    -http://www.guardian.co.uk/technology/2012/jun/18/google-reports-alarming-rise-censorship?INTCMP=SRCH

    Hungary (in contrast with countries like Canada, Germany, France, the Netherlands, Spain, UK, USA, etc.) isn’t even in the list:

    -http://www.google.com/transparencyreport/removals/government/countries/?p=2011-12

    We all know from people like Ms. Kroes, Mr. Cohn-Bendit, etc. (and numerous similar minded posters here) that the freedom of media has ceased in Hungary. So the only explanation one can think of is that the totalitarian Hungarian government compelled Google to censor this list, too.

    • Cnut

      You didn’t answer my question earlier. This comment section is about Orbán’s quote above: “I consider it a cheap joke that a country where 80% of the media is in foreign hands should be charged with press freedom issues.”

      Did the media laws which Fidesz passed and put in the Basic Law also apply to foreign owned media in Hungary?

      • Leto. مؤدّب

        Paul (at June 15, 2012 at 3:01 pm) also thought this comment section is about media freedom in Hungary as well.

        • Cnut

          I’ll repeat the question:

          Did the media laws which Fidesz passed (and which caused concerns about press freedom issues) also apply to foreign owned media in Hungary?

          If they did, then how did what Orbán say make sense on any level?

          If you don’t answer the question, I will presume that you agree with me, and just can’t say it, that Orbán is a big fat liar.

          • Leto. مؤدّب

            @postcommie bastard:

            Since you’re so pushy about your question, I’m not going to answer it and I don’t care a whistle what you make of this, gotcha?

          • Cnut

            That Letoese for: I have no answer. Orbán was full of it.

      • Cicero

        No – YOU answer HIS point: WHAT about “media freedom” in the increasingly fascistic EU and USA?

        • Cnut

          Cicero, I know it is complicated, but this thread is about Orbán somehow linking foreign ownership to a free press in Hungary.

          Leto knows that Orbán just outright lied. Or he is incredibly stupid. He just can’t come up with any explanation.

          Leto is somehow trying to link a google (a multinational company) report on requests to take down content. In the UK the police asked google to take down terrorism related material, and in the US, local law enforcement also requested google to take down material. But this has nothing to do with the Hungarian media laws. The Hungarian media laws did not touch on this aspect.

          Always trying to change the topic just makes you look defensive and like you are trying to hide something. Can’t you man up to these things? Everything outlined here about Fidesz is always the MSZP did it first, or look, another country did it. I know you guys are insecure, but just because MSZP did it first, it doesn’t make it right. Or just because Germany or France does it, it doesn’t make it right.

          • Leto. مؤدّب

            Quote from the Guardian:

            It said Spanish regulators asked Google to remove 270 links to blogs and newspaper articles critical of public figures. It did not comply. In Poland, it was asked to remove an article critical of the Polish agency for enterprise development and eight other results that linked to the article. Again, the company did not comply.

            Google was asked by Canadian officials to remove a YouTube video of a citizen urinating on his passport and flushing it down the toilet. It refused.

            Thai authorities asked Google to remove 149 YouTube videos for allegedly insulting the monarchy, a violation of Thailand’s lèse-majesté law. The company complied with 70% of the requests.

            Pakistan asked Google to remove six YouTube videos that satirised its army and senior politicians. Google refused.

            UK police asked the company to remove five YouTube accounts for allegedly promoting terrorism. Google agreed. In the US most requests related to alleged harassment of people on YouTube. The authorities asked for 187 pieces to be removed. Google complied with 42% of them.

            In a blog post, Dorothy Chou, Google’s senior policy analyst, wrote: “Unfortunately, what we’ve seen over the past couple years has been troubling, and today is no different. When we started releasing this data, in 2010, we noticed that government agencies from different countries would sometimes ask us to remove political content that our users had posted on our services. We hoped this was an aberration. But now we know it’s not.

            “This is the fifth data set that we’ve released. Just like every other time, we’ve been asked to take down political speech. It’s alarming not only because free expression is at risk, but because some of these requests come from countries you might not suspect – western democracies not typically associated with censorship.”

          • Cnut

            There is no link between Orbán’s bald-faced lie above, or the media laws, with google’s blog post.

            Other countries asking google to remove content does not give Orbán the right to lie outright to the Hungarian nation.

  • spectator

    I consider Viktor Orban a cheap joke as a PM.

    So what?

    • Cicero

      I don’t even consider you to be a cheap joke. I consider you to be a steaming pile of dog turd.

      • Benjie

        You actually have time to post messages to dog turd? Wait till my friends hear about this.

      • spectator

        I really hope, that you consider dogs as only pure blood, 100% Hungarian with unquestionable ethnicity, do you?

        Otherwise you are in deep trouble in Orbanistan…!

        Not to mention, that there are serious health issues surfaced in your comment!
        A dog turd steaming in 38°C is a telltale sign of either:

        1 – maltreatment of the dog by feeding with Fidesz-issued National Consultation questionnaire

        2 – you’ve tried to brew your daily shot of the mandatory National Drink, and filled your pot with the matter in question by mistake

  • GoHungary

    PM Orban is absolutely right, in a contry where 80% of the media belongs to foreign investors, the government can´t possibly control the media, so it is nonsense talk about lack of freedom of press

    • Cnut

      Satire, ugye?

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