According to press reports, the matter has sparked a major debate among MPs.Continue reading
The US government is joining the Open Society Foundations and the Rockefeller Foundation among other mega-donors to build a new media organization called Internews in Hungary, in the latest salvo of their international information war.
Internews, a global media organization founded in the United States, is set to launch a US government-funded project which they claim will be “focused on championing a strong independent media sector” in Hungary, according to its recent job offer on LinkedIn. The project also covers Armenia, Georgia, Poland, Romania, and Ukraine. Their goal is to resist “powerful interests seeking to manipulate, isolate, or control the press.”
The list of Internews donors reveals how they relate to the US government: it includes George Soros’ Open Society Foundations (OSF), the Rockefeller Foundation, as well as the US government funded Freedom House. US-based Global tech giants such as Facebook and Google are also among donors.
This is not the first example of the US government attempting to reshape the Hungarian media scene. In 2017, the State Department launched a grant program for “independent Hungarian media in the countryside.” The Hungarian government accused the US State Department of interfering in domestic politics. The program was later de facto canceled, presumably notwithstanding the fact that although the State Department had a history of an uneasy relationship with the Hungarian government under various Democrat administrations, President Donald Trump and his White House had good relations with Hungary.
Now, however, as the White House is again under Democrat control, the Biden administration is back in democracy-export mode. The US embassy had recently published a video almost unprecedented in other democratic countries, listing Hungarian politicians and journalists by name who have allegedly made “anti-American” statements, that is, criticized the Biden administration’s policies on the Ukraine war.
In recent weeks, several senior Hungarian government figures and government-funded commentators have made harsh anti-Western and anti-American statements. Hungary and the United States are Allies. As Russian aggression threatens us all, we must stand together, not move apart. pic.twitter.com/lG1Rmi74tc
— US Embassy Budapest (@usembbudapest) October 17, 2022
In recent weeks, the former prime ministerial candidate of the Hungarian opposition, Péter Márki-Zay, has caused a major scandal by claiming that he received a substantial amount of money for his campaign from a US foundation, for which he was accused of circumventing current electoral laws.
Featured photo via Pixabay