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US to relaunch Radio Free Europe in Hungarian

September 27th, 2019

A pro-government commentator thinks that the decision to relaunch RFE broadcasts in Hungarian reflects disagreements between President Trump and the ’deep state’ and will not change the political realities in Hungary.

In Magyar Hírlap, Károly Lóránt dismisses a claim by the New York Times that explains the planned relaunch of RFE as a reaction to Hungary becoming ‘less free’. He suspects that the NYT and perhaps the US Agency for Global Media which runs RFE, have based their opinion on suggestions by opposition-leaning Hungarian think-tanks. The decision to relaunch RFE in Hungarian is in sharp contrast to President Trump’s friendly attitude towards the Hungarian government,  he remarks. The reason is, he suspects,  that the ‘deep state’ in America is still full of opponents of the elected president. On the other hand, he argues, the most popular private TV station in Hungary, RTL Klub, is opposition-leaning and regularly broadcasts stories picked up by pro-opposition news outlets. He thus finds it absurd to compare today’s media landscape to that of the Communist era when RFE’s operations were fully justified. Rather than to an allegedly ‘less free’ media, the opposition’s poor performance is due to its own ineptitude, Lóránt suggests. He concludes that such woes cannot be repaired by radio broadcasts.


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