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Feb 23, 2021 - Zoltán Kovács

Kulturkampf? State-funded Germany TV launches… Hungarian-language programming

Considering recent forays by another German public broadcaster into Hungary’s domestic affairs, we’re super excited about Deutsche Welle’s new, Hungarian-language programs.

Regular readers will recall the incident last May on the formerly prestigious German public TV ZDF. In a particularly offensive moment, the Friday night program Heute Show’s funny man Oliver Welke compared Prime Minister Orbán to fictional, cannibal, serial killer Hannibal Lecter, then took a step lower in November by calling the Hungarian PM an “idiot” and proposing to set up a European Union “without the stupid Hungarians and Poles.”

It’s so refreshing when people skip the niceties and say what they really think. German media elite like Welke think Hungarians and Poles are stupid.

That was a comedy show and was intended to be funny. Hilarious. But they’re not joking around anymore. Now, things are getting really serious.

In a podcast last week, Director General of the public broadcaster’s Deutsche Welle (DW) Peter Limbourg announced that DW will begin creating content for Hungarian audiences.

Why? Because “media plurality in Hungary is in danger, and independent and critical press is under pressure.”

What kind of content will Deutsche Welle produce in Hungarian?  Programs on European 20th century history, perhaps? No. A look back at the era of colonialism in Africa? No. Profiles of Marx, Engels and other modern German disruptors?

Oh, good. The German state broadcaster, in a little cross-border adventure, will bring us “real stories.” Just in time for the 2022 elections.

Nothing like a little German cultural imperialism. I mean, what could go wrong?

Photo credit: DW