Budapest shoots red balls at George Clooney. The hungarian government Viktor Orban did not appreciate an interview with the American actor given to GQ. George Clooney presents his new film there Midnight in the universe and during the interview, the actor denounced the anger and hatred in certain countries of the world, before citing Hungary as an example.
Since this interview in the American press, Hungarian public television is unleashed against the Hollywood star. “George Clooney is a great friend of George Soros and his son “, can we hear in the newspaper of the first channel. According to an expert, “Soros’s strategy is to use the American actor to attack Hungary, because it refuses to take in illegal migrants.” This type of accusation is a leitmotif for the Hungarian authorities: all those who criticize the country are in the pay of George Soros, this American billionaire of Hungarian origin, Jewish, who became the scapegoat of Viktor Orban. George Clooney responded after the attacks by denouncing “Orban’s propaganda machine. I only met Soros once.”
“Clooney is a good actor, but he’s not a political oracle. I’m sure he doesn’t even know where Hungary is.”, commented Tamas Menczer, State Secretary for Foreign Affairs in the Hungarian government. The actor replied in a press release: “I came to Budapest in the 2000s, when Viktor Orban was still in opposition. Hungary was a model of democracy then. I look forward to the day when it will again be.”
While public broadcasting in Hungary is under the influence of the government, the private media also adopt the same tone vis-à-vis George Clooney. These media are gradually taken over by businessmen close to Viktor Orban. The clan in power already has 500. Result: we end up hearing the same message everywhere. “There are studies that show that in Hungary there is no need for Russian disinformation campaigns, because these campaigns are carried out by the state media, deplores Attila Mong, a former journalist for Hungarian public radio and winner of the Pullitzer Prize. Almost every day there is news that shows that in France, in Sweden, in Germany, there are crimes because of the refugees. Most of the information concerns the dangers of living in Western Europe “.
While there are still a handful of independent media in the country, Hungarians have less and less access to pluralistic information. Hungary has plummeted in the world press freedom rankings from 23rd to 89th since the arrival of Viktor Orban.