The U.S. State Department has courted controversy by announcing it will plough $700,000 into Hungarian media, angering the country’s anti-globalist, conservative government.
The funding was announced by U.S. Chargé d‘Affaires David Kostelancik, who has previously appeared to openly criticise the Trump administration by alluding to “apparent inconsistencies in [U.S.] foreign policy” and remarking that “not every criticism of the government is ‘fake news’.”
Breitbart London spoke to a State Department official who confirmed it supports what it calls “democracy and human rights programming” in many countries, and that its intentions in Hungary — a NATO ally — are to “support media outlets operating outside the capital … to produce fact-based reporting and increase their audience and economic sustainability”.
The State Department also echoed Kostelancik’s claim that too many Hungarian news outlets are sympathetic to Prime Minister Viktor Orbán’s popular conservative government — which has earned powerful enemies by opposing the European Union on mass migration, building a highly effective border wall, and exposing the network of European politicians deemed “reliable allies” by billionaire open borders campaigner George Soros.
The obvious subtext to all of this is that the State Department funding effort is intended to bolster anti-government and opposition media. This suggests it is still pursuing Obama era, anti-conservative policy objectives internationally in defiance of President Trump, who has praised Prime Minister Orbán — the first European leader to back him — as “strong and brave”.
The Hungarian leader has maintained a position of strong opposition to “globalist elites, the bureaucrats who serve them, the politicians in their pay, and the agents of the Soros-type networks that embody their interests” despite fierce opposition from Brussels, pro-mass immigration NGOs, and left-liberal U.S. media, believing he is standing up for a “silent majority” of hard-pressed families across the West, who wish to preserve their Christian heritage and national identity.
For its part, the Hungarian government has denounced the State Department for what it regards as blatant interference in its internal affairs ahead of national elections in Spring 2018.
“What is this if not an intervention in the election campaign and the domestic politics of Hungary? Which Washington office can judge the applications of media organisations from a Hungarian county and what kind of balanced service they would like to offer?” asked Foreign Minister Péter Szijjártó, who said it was shocking that American taxpayers’ money was being used to — to quote the State Department — “educate journalists on how to practice their trade” in an allied democracy.
“The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade has summoned the U.S. Chargé d‘Affaires, asking for an explanation, and told him that we consider this a political intervention by the U.S. Department of State ahead of the elections,” a spokesman added.