News News from Hungary For­eign jour­nal­ists paint a dis­tort­ed pic­ture of Hungary

For­eign jour­nal­ists paint a dis­tort­ed pic­ture of Hungary

For­mer Open Soci­ety Foun­da­tion direc­tor Andrej Nosko admits to an unfair, biased cam­paign against Hun­gary and Poland in a lengthy Skype inter­view leaked to Hun­gar­i­an dai­ly Mag­yar Nemzet. Accord­ing to Hun­gar­i­an dai­ly Mag­yar Nemzet, the news­pa­per has recent­ly received a trove of doc­u­ments from an uniden­ti­fi­able email address. Among these is a sev­er­al-hours-long Skype inter­view with a cer­tain Andrej Nosko. But who is this guy and why does he matter?

Andrej Nosko holds a Ph.D. in Polit­i­cal Sci­ence from George Soros’s Cen­tral Euro­pean Uni­ver­si­ty and until 2018 worked at the Open Soci­ety Foun­da­tions (OSF), serv­ing as direc­tor and then divi­sion head. He over­saw the dis­tri­b­u­tion of grants to think tanks in OSF’s Europe divi­sion and was resp­son­si­ble for a staff and, report­ed­ly, a bud­get of some $10 mil­lion per year. Nosko is cur­rent­ly Euro­pean direc­tor of PIL­net in Budapest.

In the record­ing of the inter­view obtained by Mag­yar Nemzet, Nosko had some sur­pris­ing things to say. Well, sur­pris­ing in that they sound­ed a lit­tle unusu­al com­ing from a per­son so close­ly tied into the Soros network.

Respond­ing to a ques­tion about the rea­sons behind the inter­na­tion­al media’s focus on Hun­gary and Poland, the for­mer OSF direc­tor admit­ted that most press reports paint a dis­tort­ed pic­ture of the two countries.

“I don’t think that link­ing the affairs of Hun­gary and Poland is in itself a very hon­est thing to do. The two coun­tries, like oth­er states in the region, have their own prob­lems, but they are all dif­fer­ent. If we take Poland and Hun­gary, for exam­ple, we see a com­plete­ly dif­fer­ent style of lead­er­ship, a dif­fer­ent eco­nom­ic struc­ture, and a dif­fer­ent rela­tion­ship of gov­ern­ment with civ­il soci­ety,” Nosko said.

Accord­ing to Nosko, it’s caused by a decline in the qual­i­ty of Euro­pean media. “The prob­lem can be illus­trat­ed by the fact that there are far few­er for­eign cor­re­spon­dents in the main­stream media, cov­er­ing the affairs of more coun­tries,” the for­mer OSF direc­tor said. He explained that this, in turn, has led to intel­lec­tu­al lazi­ness in the main­stream media, which has also played a cen­tral role in the devel­op­ment of the phe­nom­e­non out­lined above.

“This leads to a sit­u­a­tion where it is very easy to cas­ti­gate Poland and Hun­gary with­out any real argu­ments,” Nosko said. In oth­er words, he added, these reports are biased.

He then recalled that when he worked for Open Soci­ety Foun­da­tions, for­eign cor­re­spon­dents typ­i­cal­ly asked the orga­ni­za­tion if they could rec­om­mend some­one to talk to on a par­tic­u­lar top­ic. Those con­tact­ed, who were biased to vary­ing degrees, usu­al­ly rec­om­mend­ed their own col­leagues, that is, peo­ple with con­vic­tions sim­i­lar to their own.

“On sev­er­al occa­sions, I myself have hired jour­nal­ists to pro­mote the mate­r­i­al of think-tank fel­lows. So, the game was not very even­ly matched,” said Andrei Nosko, who believes that the lan­guage also makes it rel­a­tive­ly easy to mis­rep­re­sent what is hap­pen­ing in Hungary.

“Not many for­eign jour­nal­ists speak Hun­gar­i­an, so they can’t talk to ordi­nary peo­ple, for exam­ple, and they can’t read the local news,” Nosko explained.

“I say this from my own expe­ri­ence, as I knew sev­er­al for­mer cor­re­spon­dents who could nei­ther speak nor read Hun­gar­i­an,” Andrej Nosko said in the inter­view. There­fore, most of them can only rely on sec­ondary sources.

Nosko added that these sec­ondary sources are often high­ly biased, among oth­er things, about the legit­i­ma­cy of the Hun­gar­i­an gov­ern­ment. Accord­ing to him, for exam­ple, there is typ­i­cal­ly no men­tion of the fact that the Hun­gar­i­an cab­i­net is actu­al­ly very pop­u­lar with a large part of soci­ety. “Instead, they say that the gov­ern­ment main­tains its pow­er by restrict­ing free­dom,” Nosko concluded.

Nosko is not alone among the insid­ers of the left-lib­er­al main­stream who have recent­ly spo­ken out against the bloc’s bias against Hun­gary and Poland. Just last week, in a series of pri­vate con­ver­sa­tions, for­mer lib­er­al Span­ish MEP Car­oli­na Pun­set revealed that, in her view, the true ene­mies of free­dom of expres­sion are not Hun­gary and Poland, but the advo­cates of polit­i­cal cor­rect­ness in Brussels.

Accord­ing to Pun­set, if MEPs have tru­ly adopt­ed a prin­ci­pled posi­tion on free­dom of expres­sion, they should take a stand against the vio­lent attacks on jour­nal­ists and teach­ers, the case of Char­lie Heb­do and Samuel Paty, for exam­ple. Instead, lib­er­al MEPs are focus­ing their attacks on places like Hun­gary and Poland, where free­dom of expres­sion is still defend­ed from the shack­les of polit­i­cal correctness.

Is it me, or does this have a famil­iar ring? It’s a seri­ous day indeed when peo­ple like this start sound­ing like yours truly.

Pho­to cred­it: Face­book — Andrej Nosko

Source: abouthun​gary​.hu