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Oct 04, 2017 - Zoltán Kovács

The Financial Times has become completely unhinged

Over the course of the last two weeks, the Financial Times has run no fewer than four – yes, four – articles maligning the Orbán Government for our opposition to George Soros’ pro-immigration agenda and for the usual charge of undemocratic behavior. We must have got under their skin.

It began with a breathtaking denial of the existence of the Soros plan by one of their well-known columnists. “There is no such plan,” he wrote. I set him straight in a post on this blog by letting him know that, while he may have missed it, he could read the Soros plan, written by the man himself, right here. That embarrassing mistake would normally give a professional media outlet some pause but they came right back a day later with a piece about how Romania must avoid association with “Europe’s bad boys” – that is, Poland and Hungary – for our provocative behavior and undemocratic tendencies. Then just a few days later another editorial claimed the Soros plan is a “fabricated scare story.” I pushed back with a letter to the editor pointing out their clear bias and continued ignorance of the facts.

Then yesterday, we got yet another article, “Hungary steps up anti-Soros rhetoric with national consultation,” from their Budapest correspondent Andrew Byrne. That’s four pieces in about a fortnight. The Financial Times has an unhealthy obsession with Prime Minister Orbán. It seems they’ve gone off their meds.

Set aside for a moment this latest article’s exclusive reliance on Soros-affiliated sources – a Soros spokesman and a Soros-funded NGO – for the spin. The story includes some glaring examples of disinformation and the kind of myopic view that’s making so many turn away from mainstream media.

On disinformation, it’s stunning the way the FT and other mainstream outlets simply will not acknowledge that Soros stated in black and white that “the EU has to accept at least a million asylum-seekers annually for the foreseeable future.” Byrne claims that Soros said the “EU should boost its external border security and guarantee places for 300,000 refugees to discourage illegal migration,” but it doesn’t seem to bother him that that’s not exactly what Soros wrote. Nor will they acknowledge that he aggressively promotes that pro-immigration agenda through the lobbying efforts of his Open Society network and the so-called NGOs they fund.

Here’s the thing. FT, along with much of the mainstream media, is utterly incapable of reporting on George Soros as anything other than, you know, the “billionaire philanthropist” who goes about using his personal fortune to selflessly support myriad charitable causes. They will not touch the controversies behind the blatantly political causes that he supports, issues that most voters would consider far outside the mainstream. They will not ask probing questions about his meetings with the president and other members of the European Commission. They will not inquire about his lobbying activities in Brussels. They will not discuss serious allegations of his funding NGOs that have helped illegal migrants violate Europe’s immigration and asylum procedures.

Perhaps it should come as no surprise that a newspaper whose editorial offices in London fly only their own flag and that of the European Union – but not the Union Jack – that such a paper has completely forgotten how George Soros made one billion pounds off of the pound sterling’s collapse on Black Wednesday in September 1992 and has been convicted of insider trading in France.

There is indeed more than one dimension to the man, but for the Financial Times, George Soros can be none other than the benign billionaire philanthropist. For a professional media organization to turn a blind eye to that other side of the story constitutes journalistic malpractice. That’s the FT’s glass jaw.

Here’s the amusing bit, a detail in this latest article – published yesterday, mind you – that gave me a laugh. Writing about the questionnaire being used for our national consultation on the Soros plan, the journalist embellishes with this line: “A leaked version of the document seen by the Financial Times…” Dear Andrew, the questionnaire has been public – in Hungarian and in English since last week. If you’re source was “leaking” it to you yesterday, you may want to look for some new sources.

Indeed, it’s probably time for the FT to make a number of changes.