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The politics of the Olympic Games

August 9th, 2016

A left-wing commentator accuses the main public TV channel covering the Rio games of spreading the government’s anti-immigrant message. A conservative pundit thinks that the Left is using the Olympic games to criticize the government.

In Népszabadság, Péter Pető accuses public television  of using the Olympic coverage to spread the government’s anti-immigrant propaganda. The left-wing commentator contends that the one-minute news spots broadcast every 30 minutes during the sports coverage are dominated by reports related to terrorism and migration that promote the Orbán government’s anti-immigrant message and mobilize for the October 2 referendum on EU migrant distribution quotas. All this is contrary to the spirit of the Olympic games which should promote humanitarian values and social justice, Pető believes.

The success of Hungarian athletes can strengthen the feeling of national unity, Zsigmond Deák comments in Magyar Idők on the first two Hungarian gold medals. As the Hungarian teams’ performance at the EURO 2016 competition showed, sports are the most important means of strengthening positive national sentiments, the pro government columnist notes. He concludes by claiming that the Hungarian Left is trying to politicize sports so that it can reach the broadest audience in criticizing the government.