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Apr 24, 2020 - Zoltán Kovács

The EUObserver published my letter…but only after they censored it

On Friday afternoon, the EUObserver published a text I wrote in response to a polemical OpEd that they published on Thursday, written by Human Rights Watch’s Kenneth Roth under the sensational title, “Stopping the authoritarian rot in Europe.” The editor finally got back to me on Monday. The explanation he gave is astonishing. But I'll get to that in a moment.

Roth’s opinion article was essentially a copy-paste adaptation of every other editorial you’ve read about Hungary over the last few weeks, regurgitating claims that the government’s extraordinary measures to fight COVID-19 amount to “dictatorship.”

So I pushed back, listing key points that these critics never mention and the outrageous claims they make and never have to back up with hard facts because they have a compliant media that will publish them. The EUObserver published my response as a letter to the editor – I didn’t get the space on the editorial page that they gave to Roth. You can read the censored version of my response here.

I wrote in my response that it’s odd to see such hysterical criticism of Hungary at a time when Europe faces the biggest public health crisis that it has seen in a hundred years. Behind that criticism are political interests, a cabal of politically motivated groups who exploit Hungary as a whipping boy to drive their agenda. Any challenge to their poorly informed arguments, however rational or fact-based the challenge may be, is dismissed or ignored.

Their arguments are an Orwellian Newspeak, and when we push back it’s a thoughtcrime, a contradiction of their orthodoxy.

Proving my point, the editors at the EUObserver censored the following lines from my text:

What we have here is a cabal of politically motivated groups – more than a few of them, like Human Rights Watch, funded by the “philanthropist” George Soros – creating a political problem. They oppose the Orbán Government because we are proponents of national sovereignty, Judeo-Christian culture and identity and a strong EU based on strong nation states, and an obstacle to their globalist agenda.

I asked the editors for an explanation. No response yet. I’ll update this post if and when they do.

UPDATE: On April 27th, nearly three days later, the editor responded with this:

"As you were warned in advance, and as we did the previous time, we will not publish your anti-semitism - overt or dog-whistle.”

Apparently, the @euobs won’t allow you to call George Soros a “philanthropist” and point out the plain fact that many of Hungary’s critics are from Soros-funded organizations.