I'm on a mission to find out The Truth About Hungary

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I’m on my mission to find out The Truth About Hungary — and you can see all of my previous reports at www.TheTruthAboutHungary.com.

One thing I learned was that Hungary was carved up by great powers after the First World War, and many ethnically Hungarian enclaves exist in neighbouring countries, cut off from the main.

One of those regions is in Romania, where I came to their annual Hungarian festival, called Tusvanyos. It’s an interesting mix of food, music, culture — and politics, with dozens of panel discussions, including many featuring speakers from Hungary proper.

In fact, Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban himself is scheduled to speak tomorrow morning, which strikes me as interesting, when I try to imagine an analogy involving Canada, the U.S. or Mexico.

I was invited to be on one of those panels, along with a Hungarian MP. The panel discussion was about the media, and I knew precious little about the media in Hungary, so I stuck mainly to what I knew about Canada.

In part, I was telling the surprised Hungarians (and Hungarian-Romanians) about how Canada has infringed on civil liberties, including violating the freedom of the press. This was richly ironic, given that Trudeau holds himself out as a human rights leader to the world, while Orban is condemned.

I also gave some advice, in the form of a warning: Orban is a very winning PM; he was just reelected again, making him one of the longest-serving leaders in Europe. But he will not live forever; and his Fidesz party will not win forever. The globalists and socialists may win one day, and try to undo many of his accomplishments.

The conservative, nationalist side of the argument needs to start preparing even now for that outcome, by building grassroots media outlets, like Rebel News!

Finally, I talked about how high tech giants like Facebook and YouTube violate civil liberties of users for political reasons — and that includes playing favourites in foreign countries, too.

It’s impossible to simply “build your own Facebook”, but for reasons of national sovereignty, Hungary ought to do what it can to insulate itself from censorship from Silicon Valley, too.

But after the panel I thought: the Fidesz MP and I were in broad agreement. But what do the critics say?

I went online to find the most prestigious critic of Hungary, when it comes to freedom of the press — that is, an “expert” who might in fact prove that Orban was indeed the cartoon caricature they have claimed he is.

I found a critical report published by the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism. It did its best to list every sin committed by Hungary.

But as I read it — and I did read every word of it — I couldn’t help but think that its litany of charges against Hungary are nothing that Canada, the U.S. and the U.K. don’t do in a regular, normal basis (e.g. regulate radio licences and spend government advertising money).

In fact, the sharpest criticism of the Reuters Institute is that Hungary does not censor enough — they demand that Hungary stop TV hosts from interviewing any Russians about the war in Ukraine, which seems rather autocratic.

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