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“Champions of Press Freedom,” Conservative News Portal Mocks US Embassy

Hungary Today 2023.08.02.
US Ambassador to Hungary, David Pressman, in a Facebook Post criticizing Hungary for restricting promotion of children’s books containing LGBT propaganda.

“Richard Holbrooke, the veteran US diplomat, was once given a particularly rough ride by an American chauffeur, who made plenty of maneuvers for safety reasons while traveling in a dangerous country. When Mr. Holbrooke made a remark about it, the driver waved him off, saying “I don’t work for you, sir!” This was noteworthy at the time, and a fine example of how everyone in the US apparatus appeared to know their place – the Magyar Nemzet article begins.

But now apparently, this is no longer the case, it continues.

 “In response to our article regarding US travel restrictions on Hungarian citizens, we received a letter this evening from the US Embassy in Budapest, from the headquarters of ambassador David Pressman.

In it,

they complain about Magyar Nemzet‘s use of the term “visa sanctions” in the title. The embassy, they write, “respectfully informs us” that visa sanctions is an inaccurate term to describe the ones announced on Tuesday, as the term is used for something else in US immigration law.

The creative editors at the US Embassy’s headquarters in Budapest suggest a different choice of words – for example they say that the phrase “change in eligibility for the visa waiver program,” written in consular Hungarian, would be just perfect. Cool. It’s commendable to have a diplomat who’s also a safe pair of hands as an editor!”

But there are two problems with all this, according to the conservative news outlet.

“The smaller one is content-related. On the one hand,

no newspapers are produced based on US immigration law.

And if we open a dictionary, we’ll learn that a “sanction is a legal, political, or economic measure taken by one country or organization against another, usually to pressure or punish it.”

And this is precisely what’s happening. Even the US Embassy’s own statement issued this morning says that the validity period for US travel by Hungarian passport holders is “reduced” or “limited.” The reason, they say, is because Hungary’s government has not delivered on goals set by the embassy. Once again, the terms used by the embassy are it “has decided not to address” or its “decision not to fully address…”

Sanctions are punitive measures, and Hungarians are now being punished.”

The second, more serious problem relates to the much talked about issue of press freedom, which is brought up ever more frequently by the US, the article continues.

After all, why would a foreign mission have anything to do with what appears in the headlines of a daily newspaper?

(Except, of course, in cases defined by law, for example, when there’s a clear violation of someone’s right to honor and reputation.) And in case we’re trailing the US in this department, since when is this a valid criterion in America?”

Magyar Nemzet concludes as such:

“By a few clicks and moving the mouse, our colleague could easily rephrase the headline. But he won’t. Nor will our editorial staff use the embassy’s assistance, offered rather chidingly at the end of their letter, should there be any additional issues that their fact-checkers could help us clarify. We reject the offer, ‘respectfully,’ of course.”

Opinion Bubbles Are the Biggest Threat to Press Freedom, Warns News Site Director
Opinion Bubbles Are the Biggest Threat to Press Freedom, Warns News Site Director

A problem in the media is that reality and fiction are becoming indistinguishable, with fake news appearing that even professionals cannot distinguish from the real thing.Continue reading

Featured image: Facebook/US Embassy Budapest

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