Tucker Carlson soaking up public money is one thing. But Tucker Carlson pontificating against taking public money while taking public money is a new level entirely. Even for Republicans.
In the usual overnight decree flurry the Orbán-government issued a decree that Hungary is totally a democracy and everything is awesome. Next up: a decree that Hungary won the football and pigs can fly.
Doing something is unlikely to work but not doing anything definitely doesn’t work.
Orbánism – if there is such a thing – is more Putinism Light than an American-style culture war.
Orbán threw in homophobia to distract from the Pegasus-scandal – and learned two things: 1) The Pegasus scandal really hurts him (according to him). 2) The man is improvising. It may not lead to his downfall in 2022. But it is not a sign of an upward trajectory for someone like him.
Campaigning with his own opinion is deadly for a populist. It is the equivalent of an actor who suddenly stops playing his part and demands to be loved for himself. But with a lot more power.
Brace yourselves for the Hungarian government repeating on every channel that nothing illegal has happened. Not because they have not spied on journalists – but because it is legal in Hungary.
It didn’t happen But it’s legal Others are doing it, too Are you a foreign agent?
Expressing that we like something is often well meant. But it can also be an unspoken claim to be the judge of the thing we complimented. This claim is all the more poignant because it is unspoken – hence the controversy.
Orbán’s farcical efforts to prove that the media is free make him look like an out-of-touch autocrat.