As the Orbán regimes shuts down pro-democracy Klubrádió, Canada’s CBC raises awareness

It’s something of a funeral, although with certain glimmers of hope, at Budapest’s Klubrádió: the last remaining pro-democracy talk radio station in Hungary. Hungarian courts, beholden to the Fidesz party state, have decided to strip the station of its FM frequency, citing legal “infractions.” In essence, the station’s frequency license will expire at midnight on Valentine’s Day and the authorities have refused to renew it. Moving forward, the radio will aim to continue its news reporting and talk radio programmes only through live-streaming online broadcasts. With a significant proportion of the radio’s Budapest-centric listener base being an older generation of Hungarians, an online only radio may not be accessible to everyone — although in today’s age, it is likely to still reach most of the existing audience of around 200,000 people.

February 14th: The last day at Budapest’s Klubrádió, at least in its current form.klur

In an in-depth report and analysis written by CBC’s Don Murray, the Canadian public broadcaster speaks of the strategy employed by Viktor Orbán, as well as Poland’s Jaroslaw Kaczynski, often referred to as the “slow squeeze.” Fidesz party interests have gradually bought up the publishing firms and owners of nearly every previously independent, pro-democracy paper and have either shut down their publications or have tamed them. The CBC refers specifically to how Index, Hungary’s largest political online daily, was bought up and turned into a “tamed animal” over the past 12 months. Not mentioned in the CBC piece, but more scandalous, was the elimination of the country’s largest paper of record, the Népszabadság daily, in 2016. In the case of Klubrádió, the regime is using its courts, stripped of their independence, to silence the station through trumped up charges. That strategy has a longstanding history in pre-1989 communist Hungary, which was a relatively soft dictatorship. The non-profit sector and academic institutions have all experienced the same “slow squeeze” under the current regime.

Meanwhile, the European Union has not only proven itself toothless when faced with wayward Hungary and Poland — doing little more than issuing belated and mostly milquetoast verbal condemnations — but through lavish funding and subsidies of these poorer eastern states, they ultimately prop up the regimes and their oligarchic business interests financially.

The one silver lining for Hungary mentioned in the CBC article is changing public opinion. For several months, the opposition parties — committed to running jointly in the Spring 2022 national elections — are either neck-and-neck with Fidesz or are ahead. According to the latest Republikon poll, published in late January, the united opposition has the support of 35 percent of voters, while Fidesz is in second place with 30 percent. Thirty-three percent remain undecided.

Whether a peaceful change in regime in Hungary is a possibility remains to be seen.


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  3. Ah!!!! The more things change the more they stay the same. The Reds in Russia called themselves “Bolsheviks” in other words “the majority” as a tool of propaganda, even though it had most often nothing to do with actual reality. Now, the Western leftists are branding themselves as the only democratic option, with only a few acceptable alternatives, such as Marx-eulogizing conservatives such as Junker or open borders Merkel as the acceptable alternatives. So, Hungary’s leftists thus become “pro-democracy”. The irony is that an ideological camp appropriating democracy itself is as anti-democratic as can be.

    And of course, Hungary is authoritarian, while much of the Western World is “democratic”. About 95% of academia is leftist, while the 5% that is not is mostly bullied into silence. About 90% of MSM is either leftist or pretending not to be in order to create the illusion of plurality. Big tech is now well known for censoring or minimizing right=leaning news sites. They even tried to censor stories altogether. Big tech currently dominates what the overwhelming majority of us consume in terms of information, so the loss of all pretence of their impartiality is damning. Most of the corporate world is also with the Neo-Marxists, because they like the idea of no borders, weak national governments, with less and less sovereignty, because they want the whole world to be their playground. The democratic process becomes more and more irrelevant as states lose the ability to decide. They also love the Neo-Marxist disdain for distinct ethno-cultural identities, because they figure that it can be a source of mass-cohesion, thus resistance. On the other side? Just people, increasingly faced with weaponized cancel mobs that tend to go after them and their ability to earn a living, for saying anything inconvenient, which is easily spun into something that is “hateful”, “racist”, “homophobic” or outrageous for whatever reason. Is this what democracy looks like? Hungary looks far more democratic comparatively speaking!

  4. Avatar András B. Göllner says:

    The problem faced by Klub Rádio is the same as the one faced by Central European University, the University of Theatre and Cinema, and many other pre-selected targets of the neo-fascist Orbán regime that has spent the past decade destroying the last vestiges of social solidarity in Hungary, in order to castrate its opponents one at a time, without needing to worry about the outrage of the people whose lives matter: the millions of ill-informed, isolated and exploited working men and women scattered through Hungary’s towns and villages and rural communities. Klub radio attracted the attention of only 15% of the capital’s citizens, primarily those one would classify as elderly intellectuals. The station’s reach outside of the capital was virtually zero. The days of 1919, 1956 are long gone, when intellectuals, university students, artists marched arm in arm with factory workers, agricultural labourers and the poor to reclaim the center stage of their country’s polity from the 1% Waiting for the EU or a deus ex machina to put this country’s broken house in order is pie in the sky.

  5. This is a fake news,I mean,in Hungary works government with a parliament,there is no regime!The Hungarian Government has nothing to do with the Klubradio…first of all please find a truth behind it and don’t lie!!!!

  6. Avatar András B. Göllner says:

    The above is a wonderful illustration of how neutrolling operates, and what happens when it’s permitted to flood the agora. Why have a comment section if it is to be filled with garbage generated by Orbán’s bots? I’d just can it and pipe in elevator music.

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