This is how it works: Political pamphleteering dressed up as authoritative think tank study

Freedom House and other like-minded NGOs have completely abandoned any pretense of objectivity and balance.


As I wrote last week, Freedom House and other like-minded NGOs have completely abandoned any pretense of objectivity and balance. “We reached a turning point with these NGOs,” I wrote. “These groups – their leadership, their financial backers and the so-called experts who write these publications – no longer even attempt to maintain the appearance of objectivity.”

And it’s not just me. The Hungarian press has also reported on the report’s problematic methodology as well as problems with objectivity of the author and FH’s research director.

As the Hungarian news portal Origo reported, readers of this year’s report will encounter the expression “hybrid regime,” a long-time favorite of left-liberal media.

One of the early proponents of this expression who happens to be the author of this year’s FH report – Gábor Filippov – published an article under the title, "The Age of the Hybrid Counter-Revolution" back in 2018, following the victory of the Fidesz-KDNP coalition in the parliamentary elections. Filippov is a PhD student at the Soros-funded Central European University.

Freedom House’s research director, who is of Hungarian origin, also clearly sympathizes with the left-liberal opposition in Hungary. It’s a closed circle.

But it’s an even bigger problem that a student’s theory has now become a judgment doled out by an international organization dressed up as a scientific study “supported by numbers.” It is already questionable when a person or organization undertakes to quantify political science phenomena. But FH takes it one step further by making it a one-man show. That’s right, the 2020 report on Hungary was written by a single person, not surprisingly, a left-wing political scientist.

And if you go back through the previous editions of Nations in Transit, you will find the same thing year after year: a single author from the liberal end of the spectrum.

That’s why Hungary’s scores, as I posted last week, consistently decline under the Orbán Governments but remain stable or even improve under Socialist-Liberal governments. 

At the end of the day, the Freedom House report is just the latest from a series of analyses – all disguised as scientific and all published by supposedly authoritative and reputable organizations.