Robert F. Kennedy Jr., a Democratic U.S. presidential candidate, had said out loud in a video what many have believed to be the case about the massive influx of U.S. investment in Central-European media outlets. In his words, the U.S. intelligence services are investing in journalism in key parts of the world in order to turn them into instruments of American propaganda.
In a podcast published by Hungarian daily Magyar Nemzet, the American politician claims that
the CIA is the biggest founder of journalism today around the world, through USAID.
“The United States funds journalism in almost every country in the world. It owns newspapers and has thousands and thousands of journalists on its payroll,” he added. They are not supposed to be doing that, but in 2016, President Obama changed the law to make it legal now for the CIA to propagandize Americans, claims the Democratic politician, who has recently generated positive headlines mostly on the conservative and Republican side in America, while being shunned by many mainstream Democrats.
As we have reported earlier, USAID had announced a multi-million program to invest in media in Hungary allegedly to strengthen press freedoms. It is highly unlikely that civil society actors, whose conservative or national ethos overlaps the Orbán government’s policies will be able to access any of these funds. Instead,
one of the most likely and immediate grantees of the USAID program in Hungary could be the Internews media company that is currently recruiting for employees in Hungary.
USAID already funds Internews in Moldova, for instance, through the Media-M project. Its topics and interpretations are broadly in sync with the Biden-administration’s cultural vision, thus it will most likely join the long line of anti-government publications in Hungary that share a similar ethos.
USAID offers a short overview of its methods and principles with regards to its work in Slovakia and Hungary on its own website. In Hungary it helped set up the Democracy Network (DemNet) foundation in the past, whose offices were raided by police in 2014, alongside that of the Ökotárs NGO that was, and still is tasked with allocating Norwegian government funds to mostly progressive causes.
Featured Image: Facebook Robert F. Kennedy Jr.