The Poor Mental State of Fidesz Media

Brussels Correspondent Dismissed for Unauthorized Question to Orbán

Actually, more than one of them.

Sometimes, when you spend too much time in a freer society, you forget that things are really that bad at home. If you really believe that your country is a normal democracy, it helps you selling it abroad. But alas, your forgetfulness may cause you lose your job when you meet the reality of home and worlds collide.

Working in Brussels is a particular occupational hazard for Fidesz loyalists. It can make even the most hardened Orbán-loyalist forget how things really are over here. They spend so much time breathing the air of relatuve freedom, they start thinking silly thoughts. Like a friendly question to their prime minister can ever be OK if it was not scripted for them. They may even think that they are actual journalists because they are actually allowed to ask politicians there and the European Parliament doesn’t banish them into a two-by-two square to stand when inside the parliament building (and never, ever leave it) – unlike the Hungarian one.

No less than the head of the Brussels office of the extremely loyal public news agency (MTI) had such a silly thought back in 2016. During an authorized interview with Orbán he asked a super friendly, byt unscripted question. The guy was promptly dismissed despite his 35-year experience at the agency (and the necessary loyalism he had to show in order to get the Brussels job). That is how we roll here. Even the “journalist” who held the microphone for Orbán’s regular radio sermons had to go when she spoke out of line. She asked a super friendly, but unscripted question along the lines of “How does it feel to be attacked despite being so great and protecting us from all those threats, Mr Prime Minister?” Obviously, she had to go.

So not only was the head of the public news agency dismissed for an unscripted question. His successor was also unlucky. (I tell you, there is something in the Brussels air.) The new guy was also dismissed yesterday without explanation – despite being the recipient of a very stately prize last year.

But the real shock was his successor, a woman with zero journalism background, a former assistant of a Fidesz MEP. She will now lead the Brussels office of the public news agency, you can only guess how she qualified. I am sure she has great professional insights and a vision of her own and it is totally not just loyalism.

At any rate, when Fidesz appoints a female into any position, it is always a prelude to destroy that particular field. It happened to the private pensions, education (both higher and primary), the court system, the rule of law, and it is also a Fidesz woman spearheading the women-for-men squad and in charge of just-protecting-families.

But it doesn’t make sense to appoint a woman to break in MTI. MTI has been broken in a long time ago, so maybe they are just running out of professionals and a little too overstocked on hungry loyalists. After all, the world’s greatest counter-selection mechanism is loyalism. That is how vile and stupid people thrive.

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