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The Follies of Fascism
Calling Hungary's Jobbik Party 'Far-Right' Ruled Illegal

Hungary’s Jobbik Party, a party so far to the right that France’s Marine Le Pen won’t touch it with a whole bundle of rods, cannot be identified as “far-right” by Hungary’s broadcast media:

Hungary’s supreme court said that by referring to Jobbik as a “parliamentary far-right party” in a newscast in 2012, the Hungarian commercial television channel ATV breached the law because it expressed an opinion.  Jobbik said ATV violated the statutory ban on opinionated news commentary.

Hungary’s media regulatory bodies, the Media Authority and the Media Council sided with Jobbik, and ATV went to court, where it won in a lower court.

But the supreme court overturned the earlier ruling. The court said that since Jobbik does not consider itself an extreme-right party, referring to it as “far-right” expresses an opinion, and leaves a negative impression with the viewer.

In its next decision, we hear the court is expected to make it illegal to say that that ugly neo-Nazi loons are turning Hungary into a global laughingstock. Such statements would also involve “judgement”, and that is something Hungarian law courts find scary and subversive.

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  • Jacksonian_Libertarian

    LOL, Politically Correct Leftists hoisted by their own petard.

  • Boritz

    Note that if you Google “The American Interest Far Right” you get a number of hits from articles. If you substitute “Far Left” in the same phrase the results are mostly in the comments section. Not surprising that TAI is concerned about an attack on a language bias they share.

    • Enemy Leopard

      If you do a site search search for “radical left,” you get more results than you do for “radical right,” including the first sentence of a long post from yesterday. If you ask me, the phenomenon you’re describing could be as simple as this: The left has traditionally been called radical; the right reactionary. Calling someone reactionary nowadays isn’t much of a zinger, so instead people have fallen back on the generic “far right.”

  • qet

    I’m with Jacksonian_Libertarian on this one. Hungary obviously has been closely studying US political culture. Can anti-bullying legislation be far behind?

  • gabrielsyme

    Clearly the problem here is with the law, rather than the judiciary. Judicial bodies should provide some degree of deference to the findings of regulatory bodies with particular expertise, which is exactly what happened here.

    I will note that the law is not as unreasonable as this post makes it seem:

    This rule only applies to TV and radio broadcasting as they are obliged
    to provide impartial news for a certain period of airtime.

    So, it’s clearly not illegal to call Jobbik “far-right”, nor even for TV and radio stations to do so – they just can’t do so during a certain statutorily-required period of news broadcasting.

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