Criticism of Tucker Carlson for sucking up to Orbán has been quick and well-justified. It mostly came along the lines of Carlson sucking up to a dictator – which is correct. But here is the small print, the hilarious details of just how stupid and ignorant he was even about the most basic facts about Orbán.
Tucker Carlson stood up on the taxpayer-financed stage of a Hungarian ideological youth festival in August 2021 and gave a speech to a surprisingly small audience.
But Tucker’s audience that was either shocked by what he said – or didn’t understand English (that is a very real possibility). Because he didn’t seem to know the first thing about Orbán.
1 Carlson blasted illiberalism. Orbán openly wants it.
Carlson ranted against ‘illiberalism’ of China during his time in Budapest.
What he doesn’t know is that Orbán has proudly, loudly, openly and repeatedly envisioned ‘illiberalism’ for Hungary and the world. The word “illiberal” is the cornerstone of Orbánism, he proudly upholds it, openly embraces it – sometimes he calls it Christian democracy, when he thinks his audience is more receptive of political religionism than the word ‘illiberal’. But the two things are the same.
So when Carlson ranted against Orbán’s precious illiberalism, his audience didn’t believe their ears. (Those who understood English.)
2. Orbán never worked in the private sector, which he considers something to dominated and subdued by the state
Carlson ranted against politicians who never worked a day in their lives, referring to Barack Obama and his birthday party (that didn’t interest a single person in Hungary).
Tucker didn’t even look up that Saint Orbán himself has never been anything but a taxpayer-financed career politician. Yet, he does more than just throwing parties: he flies private jets, boards private yachts, buys manors and Croatian islands – all while being poor on paper.
When Orbán’s front has announced his wedding and the rumors about hiring Jennifer Lopez to entertain them no Hungarian was surprised – and only a few dared to even get outraged. Our outrage doesn’t stop the wasting of out tax money and we have developed an aversion of the pain of feeling helpless. So we try our best to ignore it.
But the fact is that money in Hungary is no longer made on the markets – it comes from the state, in exchange for blind and aggressive loyalism, and at the mercy of Orbán. Even your private enterprise is not safe from hostile takeovers and predatory regulators. The very thing Republicans supposedly fight against.
3. Orbán is Putin’s and Xi’s vassal
Carlson ranted against China, correctly stating that the Chinese regime has its enemies killed – but conveniently forgetting that the Chinese regime is one of Orbán’s political overlords. Next to Putin.
4. Carlson would never be allowed to do in Hungary what he does in the US
The millionaire commentator of Fox News lamented that rightwing media is so oppressed in the US – more so than independent media is in Hungary. But as Applebaum put it:
“The irony, of course, is that under Orbán, it’s impossible for a Hungarian equivalent of Carlson—a loud television pundit, critical of the government, watched by millions of people—to exist. In Hungary, the ruling party doesn’t merely influence the press. It owns the bulk of the press, and not metaphorically. This is not some subtle form of influence: A few years ago, owners, even pro-government owners, were forced to “donate” their media properties to a holding company controlled directly by people close to Orbán.”
But it gets worse. You are not allowed to exist on the media market (a tiny, tiny market to begin with that would never make you a millionaire) even if you adore Orbán in your own way. You get the texts you have to say “from above” and you are immediately punished for improvising, even if you do it to suck up to Orbán even deeper.
Not to mention, Carlson’s phone would be tapped because it is perfectly legal now – according to Orbán’s laws – to do that in Hungary, without any suspicion of wrongdoing or even a judge’s permission. Indefinitely and completely.
And it is a good thing Tucker Carlson is not gay. He would have to keep his shame to himself if he lived in his racially pure la-la land because simply letting it slip is now against the law.
5. Orbán personally extended the eviction moratorium and there is even a blanket debt moratorium until after the elections
Carlson went on a rant against the extension of the eviction moratorium in the US due to the pandemic – while conveniently forgetting that his poster boy Orbán has just extended the very same moratorium in Hungary. By decree, because he is ruling by decree these days – except when he needs to enshrine public money theft in the constitution.
There is also a blanket debt moratorium that has been in place since the beginning of the pandemic and has been extended until the elections next year to ensure Orbán’s success. How is that the conservative thing to do, Mr Carlson?
6. Not having a mask mandate is not the same as individualism, Tucker
Individualism is wildly discouraged in Orbán’s Hungary of ethnic tribalism and that is not why there is no mask mandate here.
Actually, individualism has no place in either form of collectivism, whether it is left or right. And US Republicans are slavishly collectivists in their nationalism and religious Trumpism. Why do they even think they are any better than the socialists they supposedly dislike?
And the quest for an imaginary purity that had only existed in the past is the hallmark fallacy of both left and right, it is a pretext of all kinds of oppression. So when Carlson waxed poetic about wholesome purity of Hungary, it was extraordinarily nauseating.
The purity quests is not just a standard wet dream of past-worshipping idiots left and right – it is also surprisingly far from the truth. Carlson even hallucinated clean and healthy Hungarian food – and never heard of the world class obesity rate of Hungary.
He also called this a great place to live – yet he never looked up that the vast majority of citizens are now under every kind of official poverty levels – a move that makes them more dependent on Orbán, rather than more likely to punish them at the elections. And as of safe streets and cleanliness go – have you heard of Patomkin, Mr Carlson? Of course you did. You are using Hungary as such a display upon which you can project your hallucinations in search of more influence at home.
I would be kind of sorry for American self-haters who feel the desperate need to find a better country than the US – and inevitably fail – if it wasn’t for their evil and willful efforts to destroy their country just to get to rule it.
Tucker Carlson has been wrong about Hungary. In his search for a less dumb version of Trump and in his desperation trying to show a better place than America he held up Orbán as a role model.
He probably knows that Orbán is no picnic. Or maybe not because he had enjoyed the five-start treatment in Orbánists’ five-star, taxpayer-funded hotel and accepted an Orbánist “foundation’s” money to bring the limelight to Orbán for a whole week. That kind of thing tends to cloud thinking and makes useful idiot sing the praise of their chosen dictator, left and right. Think Michael Moore and Oliver Stone. Think George Bernard Shaw. Think every single idiot who sang the praise of the Soviet Union – ignorant or neglecting of the fact that it was starving and killing its own people.
He said that talking at a festival was “the weirdest thing I’ve ever done”. We can assure him that it was the dumbest thing, too. He will be ashamed of it like Oliver Stone should be for sucking up to Putin and Michael Moore should be for sucking up to Cuba. It is one thing to criticize the American healthcare system. It is another thing to hold up the way the Cuban regime enslaves its doctors and reassigns every available resource to show off in your dumb documentary. I wonder how many Cubans went untreated while Sicko was being shot to make a dumb point for Moore. The Cuban regime certainly doesn’t care as their interest is separate from the interest of the Cuban people.
If Moore had helped the Cuban dictator by ignorantly airing his praise in the US, Carlson is doing the same in Hungary. At the expense of those whose tax money has been misspent on Orbán’s glory and Tucker’s salary – instead of their own wellbeing.
The title has promised to list 11 mistakes Tucker Carlson made about Orbán – but it ended at 6. There are plenty more to choose from, but I realized Tucker Carlson is simply not important enough to take up more of my time and yours.