Perhaps one of the most influential people on the American Right, Tucker Carlson paid a visit to Hungary last week. Over the course of his stay the television host interviewed Prime Minister Viktor Orbán, visited the southern border wall, and spoke about freedom of speech and how he defines illiberalism at a festival hosted by the Matthias Corvinus Collegium.
Last Monday Tucker Carlson met with Prime Minister Viktor Orbán, a conversation about which few details are known, but which signaled the arrival of the Fox News host with a “Tucker Carlson Today” post on the Prime Minister’s Facebook page.
The American conservative commentator will also give a lecture at the upcoming festival of the Mathias Corvinus Collegium.Continue reading
Tucker Carlson Visits Hungary’s “Wall”
Carlson, who has covered the United States’ southern border wall debate extensively, published a segment on Thursday about the Hungarian-Serbian border fence, which he paid a visit to as well. In the video, Carlson commends Hungary’s approach to the 2015 migration crisis in comparison with the rest of the European Union, which he describes as the “German Empire.”
Carlson cited a 2017 quote from former president Donald Trump which alleged that Germany’s crime increased due to migration, despite fact checking news outlet AP discovering that the nation’s crime rate was at its lowest figure since 1992.
The Fox News host also explained that the border wall had “effectively ended illegal migration.” The same day, the Hungarian government posted that “immigrational pressure has significantly grown,” with this year’s count of 54 thousand arrests related to illegal migration far surpassing last year’s 17 thousand.
Gergely Czuczor, a deputy head of department at the national police (ORFK), said that the police had thwarted 26,600 illegal entries since the beginning of the year.Continue reading
However, without a doubt, the border fence played a pivotal role in stopping mass migration routes through Hungary.
Interview with PM Orbán
The political commentator also had Orbán on his show, which averages around 3 million viewers a night. In the interview, Orbán spoke about Hungary’s approach to the 2015 migration crisis, President Joe Biden’s description of him as a “totalitarian thug,” as well as the “national-conservative alternative” to modern liberalism.
Relations between Hungary and the United States are the best they have ever been, Foreign Minister Péter Szijjártó said on Facebook on Friday. The minister reacted to comments by US Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden, who recently categorised Poland and Hungary as “totalitarian regimes”, comparing them to Belarus. Asked about President Trump’s foreign policy, the […]Continue reading
Carlson asked Orbán why Biden had not referred to Chinese President Xi Jinping, “who has murdered many of his political opponents famously – as a totalitarian thug,” but labelled him as such. The Hungarian prime minister did not address the harsh characterization of the Chinese leader — probably due to his effort trying to maintain good relations with the leaders of the Chinese state party — but stated instead that the success of his government does not sit well with Western liberals.
Western liberals cannot accept that inside the Western civilization, there is a conservative national alternative, which is more successful at the everyday life at the level of, than the liberal ones. That’s the reason why they criticize us.”
At the conclusion of the interview, Orbán touched on what Hungary’s upcoming election means for the United States, saying that Fidesz is a better ally for Biden since “a not loved but stable partner is better than an uncertain new one.”
Bilateral ties between Hungary and the US are "basically very good", especially in defence, economy and trade, Orbán said. "So everything is fine, except politics when Liberals are in government in Washington."Continue reading
In the introduction of the interview, Carlson described Hungary’s opposition parties as “open anti-Semites” and denounced the negative statistics shown by international think tanks such as Freedom House regarding freedom under the Orbán Administration.
Carlson Denounces Illiberal Democracy at MCC Fest
Carlson was the star guest of the Mathias Corvinus Collegium’s MCC Fest in Esztergom, where he chastised the restriction of freedom and the “cancel culture” of the United States while commending Hungary’s freedom of expression.
The United States “is the greatest country in the world — I will always think that — but don’t tell me it’s freer than Hungary cause that’s a lie,” Carlson said. He argued that critics of the political mainstream in the US were subjected to physical threats and censorship.
He also condemned those that “lecture” Hungary, adding that elections had been free and fair, and that the media was more balanced than it was in the US. Carlson believes that Hungary offers an example to others in terms of cleanliness, order, its openness of society, its lack of crime and its border control.
Carlson believes the Hungarian government has good reason to be proud of its work and its citizens have every reason to be thankful.
Orbán is listed among the "new entrants," along with Brazilian president Bolsonaro and Saudi Arabian Mohammed bin Salman.Continue reading
Carlson condemned “illiberalism” to the few hundred people in his audience, saying that it is the opposite of the liberalism which follows his worldview.
This is not liberalism that is being imposed on you, (…) it is illiberalism, it is the opposite of liberalism. It is the totalitarian idea that everyone behaves the same, everyone reads from the same catechism, the same list of slogans, and that everyone obeys.”
The right-wing host seemed unaware that Orbán used the term “illiberalism” to refer to his own style of governance, since Carlson described it as a “totalitarian” ideology.
In the past years, Viktor Orbán made clear, in opposition of the modern liberal values of the West, that Hungary is an “illiberal state, a non-liberal state.” He has consistently used this expression to describe his government’s rebellious approach to politics in opposition of European and North American “liberals.”
In the featured photo, conservative televion show Fox News host Tucker Carlson speaks at the Mathias Crovinus Collegium Fest on August 7. Featured photo by Zsolt Szigetváry/MTI