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Magyar Nemzet: Former Soros Foundation Director Admits Foreign Journalists Depict Distorted Image of Hungary

Hungary Today 2022.02.04.

Pro-government daily Magyar Nemzet has recently obtained several documents, including leaked Skype interviews. In one of them, the former director of George Soros-founded Open Society Foundations reportedly admitted that “foreign journalists depict a distorted image of Hungary.” In another conversation, the paper claims that a leftist journalist acknowledged that “most NGOs, including Amnesty International, control foreign journalists.”

“Is it me, or does this have a familiar ring? It’s a serious day indeed when people at George Soros’s Open Society start sounding like yours truly,” Zoltán Kovács wrote on Twitter.

Hungary’s state secretary for communications and international relations reacted to a recent article in pro-government daily Magyar Nemzet in which the paper claims it received proof that “even according to a former director of the Soros Foundation Open Society, foreign journalists depict a distorted image of Hungary.”

According to Magyar Nemzet, they have recently received a trove of documents from an unidentified email address. One of these is a several-hours-long Skype interview with Andrej Nosko, who was formerly a director of the Open Society Foundations, founded and chaired by George Soros.

In this conversation, Nosko essentially “admitted that most press reports paint a distorted picture of Hungary and Poland,” Magyar Nemzet noted.

According to the former director of the Open Society Foundation, Poland and Hungary “are being attacked by the mainstream media” with many unjust arguments, while the reasons for the Hungarian government’s popularity are not understood either.

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One reason for the distorted image of Hungary is a recent decline in the quality of European media. There are also far fewer foreign correspondents than before. Another major problem is that foreign correspondents are not aware of the real situation in Hungary because they do not speak the langugage and they tend to get their information from biased sources chosen by others, the paper writes.

In the article, Magyar Nemzet cited as one of the most interesting pieces of information in its possession the English-language interview with Andrei Nosko conducted by a person they could not identify.

In the interview Nosko 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, the paper wrote.

In a later article, Magyar Nemzet reported on another leaked Skype interview, this time about a former journalist of left-leaning Hungarian news portals 24.hu and Index.hu. In the conversation, according to Magyar Nemzet, the reporter said that during their work they receive thorough instructions about whom they are allowed to talk to, and also spoke about how they depend on NGOs.

“Because you never know in these cases if this is real collaboration? Is the journalist independent enough, or did he get a very good invitation into a good hotel? So how much did you offer to him to write what you want to hear back from the media,” the journalist explained. Recalling one of his personal experiences, he said: “So for example, I was invited to Brussels and Strasburg to report on individual events. Usually in these cases, journalists were really instructed where they should go, who they can talk to.” Responding to a question as to whether he has personally witnessed NGOs making foreign reporters dependent on them and effectively limiting their freedom, the journalist said, “I believe most NGOs are doing this, like Amnesty International.”

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Referring to the article, Zoltán Kovács posted on Twitter on Thursday: “Why am I not surprised? Partly because these statements are not the only ones made recently by liberals on the topic of biased reporting about Hungary. I honestly can’t wait to see what’s next.” Most NGOs, including Amnesty International and “the ones financed by George Soros, exercise huge influence over foreign reporters writing about Hungary in the international press,” Kovács said in a post on abouthungary.hu.

Meanwhile, in an interview in Friday’s Magyar Nemzet, the state secretary for communications and international relations said the “Soros network” had affected the way Hungary was being portrayed in the international media.

Hungary had been on the receiving end of such distortions since 2010, Kovács said, adding the best way to combat misinterpretation among the western public was to correct them in the international press. Nevertheless, “…it was hard to get through to them,” he added.

Kovács said hundreds and thousands were “actively involved” all over the world in peddling “distorted facts or opinions.” “We’ve seen this … for the past twelve years … ever since the media law, the fundamental law, and the cardinal laws were passed.”

In the run-up to the April 3rd general election, he added, Hungary’s electoral system would be “attacked yet again by the Soros network.”

Featured photo illustration via Pixabay

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