The leading left-wing daily devotes most of its front cover and page 3 to the case of the pugnacious pro-government columnist who received a high government award. The number of earlier recipients who have now returned their awards has now reached one hundred. A centrist author thinks Bayer’s apology has been unfairly ignored.
In its front page editorial, Népszabadság remarks that apart from upset recipients awarded by previous governments, and those of a left-liberal persuasion, the protestors include one Catholic and one Protestant bishop. What they all have in common is their aversion towards vulgar language and racist metaphors. The authors also mention Bayer’s own recent promise to stop writing inflammatory articles, as ‘possibly worth pondering’. Any potentially positive outcome of the whole affair, Népszabadság concludes, should be considered as a result of the action of the 100 protestors.
On Mandiner, rock musician and ‘public intellectual’ András Hajós deplores the outpouring of anger against Bayer, regardless of his remarkable apology. In an interview with Mandiner, Bayer said the protestors ‘are right’ and promised that he would stop writing in the same vein as before. In his own Magyar Hírlap column Bayer published a long compendium of vulgar left-wing comments from the press and blogs. He is not proud that he sometimes sank to their level, he writes. The independent liberal public intellectual suggests that it would be more important to promote fairness and understanding than to destroy one man. Therefore any apology from the culprit should be welcomed rather than ignored or rejected as a sham.