Horrible Harlan’s Hungary Hit-Job – Zoltan Zaps Back!

Downright peculiar introductory paragraph, I thought, as if the rich leftist Harlan Mandel were unaware of the present, as he conjured up a future Europe where news media are controlled by cartels of governments and oligarchs.’

Oh yeah?

Mandel even used the words ‘media-grab’ in the title of his EUObs piece, immediately reminding me of the richest oligarch of all, perhaps, and his recent foray into media-grab.

Buying The Media – New Soros Threat To Poland! 

soro evil


And all those different countries’ state media, all playing variations on the left-liberal bias theme, gobbling up government subsidies while earning the tax-input by spewing out slanted sewage day after day

BBC Leftline, Lousier By The Week! 

media bias

After AfD Surge, DW’s Comrade Crane Spews Bilious Bias! 

Hell, DW even has it as part of its founding charter, a stated duty to take the liberal side, even while it takes money out of the pockets of conservative,populist and nationalist German tax-payers…



That was the first part of a lengthy counter-attack I composed after reading Mandel’s feverish rant.

I was planning to use it later this week, as there’s so much going on that even meaty stories need to be spread out.

Then today, the EUObs bulletin arrived, and they have published a first-class refutation of Mandel’s far-left flight of fantasy, a long, detailed refutation, penned by Dr. Zoltan Kovacs, who serves his country as ‘state secretary for international communication in the cabinet office of the prime minister of Hungary.’

Please take time to read it.

While perhaps not as colourful in style as my intro, above, Dr. Kovacs certainly sets the record straight.

I’ve inserted a couple of illustrations but his letter is exactly as he wrote it.


Gambar terkait


Dear Editor

According to the opinion piece published by the EUobserver June 6, the Orban government is waging a concerted effort to capture the media.

“Media capture,” claims Harlan Mandel, “is when governments and business interests collude to control and manipulate the flow of information.”

The “spiritual home” of this phenomenon is, of course, Hungary, but it’s spreading its “tentacles into new territories,” Mandel warns.

He draws a dramatic picture indeed, but it leaves out some rather important details that I would like your readers to know.

Mandel’s “media capture” nightmare is revealed in a report published by the Media Development Investment Fund, a New York-based organisation where he is the CEO. MDIF has received at least $16.5m from George Soros.



The fund’s previous directors and several of its board members over the years come from the Soros-funded Open Society circles. The MDIF is born of Soros funding and is very much part of the Soros world.

What does that mean in practical terms? In Hungary, for example, MDIF funds exclusively left-liberal media outlets. It has financed Magyar Narancs and 444.hu, both staunch critics of conservative governments and causes.

They are free to do so, of course, but let’s not pretend that the MDIF, as an investor in media, is somehow a neutral, value-free player on these media markets. The MDIF is an investor with a political agenda.

[Hungarian flag after 1989]


Any reasonable person reviewing a list of media enterprises that the MDIF has invested in would see a distinct pattern: left-liberal media that conform with the Soros, Open Society world view. Some might even argue that it’s a clear case of special interests that “collude to control and manipulate the flow of information.”



They’re not the only special interests in this media game, of course. The Bertelsmann Foundation differs from the MDIF, but the overarching goal, as Politico Europe reported in May, is similar: “message control” to the extent that the foundation, according to Politico, has the commission “tacitly allying itself with the corporate interests of the media giant that bankrolls it.”

Secondly, the Hungarian media landscape is still far more colourful than Mandel would have you believe. The MDIF CEO claims that dissenting voices are being silenced but, the biggest television audience share by far belongs to RTL Klub – and 71 percent of Hungarians get their info from television.

RTL Klub could hardly be considered a government mouthpiece, and week after week, at least four out of the top five TV programs belong to RTL Klub.

Furthermore, some 35 percent of Hungarians get their news and information from the Internet. Who has the biggest online audience? Index.hu, a news platform staunchly critical of the Orban government that is also the most popular Hungarian site on the internet.


Among the top 100 Hungarian websites, according to the DKT council that measures audience share, media that could be considered as having conservative leanings and sympathetic to the government garner approximately 1.7m pageviews daily. Online, liberal media critical of the government pull in 3.5m per day – more than double.

That’s hardly a captured media.

Thirdly, he has his facts wrong on the media law. Not long after the Orban government took office in 2010, parliament indeed passed a new media law. The law, however, has been amended several times, following negotiations with EU institutions, and is completely congruent with European norms.

But when you’re in the business of financing liberal media, as Mandel is, you’ve got to make your sales pitch, and that’s precisely what he does with this opinion piece, closing with a not-so-subtle appeal to new investors.