Jobbik calls for boycott on Fidesz' fake news factories

Seeing that Fidesz refuses to cleanse the public discourse, the largest opposition force asks voters to consciously seek correct information. “Not only does the government commission the production of fake news but pays for it handsomely, too,” said Jobbik’s spokesman Péter Jakab in his Budapest press conference. He noted he had drawn this conclusion from the fact that the pro-government MPs turned down the opposition party’s proposal in the meeting of the Hungarian Parliament’s Committee on Culture, without any explanation. The bill proposes to withhold state subsidies from media outlets that are judged by final court verdicts to have spread false news regularly but at least three times per year.

Mr Jakab expressed his opinion that Fidesz had a good reason to turn down the bill as Jobbik alone had already won over 150 libel suits against Fidesz-related media outlets. He recalled that the Budapest Metropolitan Court condemned daily newspaper Ripost on 14, online news portal Origo on 9 and free daily newspaper Lokál on 8 accounts of defamation and libel against Gábor Vona in 2017 alone. The spokesman explained that government advertising run in propaganda outlets like these has allowed them to pocket HUF 51 billion last year alone, which makes up 80-90 per cent of their total advertisement revenue. According to Mr Jakab, if Jobbik’s bill had been adopted, trash media outlets like Ripost would have had only two options left: “either stop lying or go out of business”. The spokesman also cited the position of the Budapest Metropolitan Court which stated that: “there is no reason to maintain journalism that presents, spreads and distributes false, fictional statements of facts”.

Mr Jakab added that Fidesz MPs, in light of their vote, seemed to have disagreed with the court and they obviously wanted to keep wasting HUF billions on the producers and distributors of fake news. So Jobbik turns directly to the voters and asks them to implement Jobbik’s bill even without Fidesz’ support, the spokesman noted. The opposition party is going to publish the list of media outlets which would no longer be entitled to HUF billions of the taxpayers’ money if Jobbik’s bill had passed. “We are asking voters to boycott these media outlets: don’t watch, listen to or read them. As for the free publications put in your mailbox, just collect them in a pile and throw them in the selective waste bins,” Mr Jakab suggested, adding that Jobbik asked people to consciously select their information sources and resist Fidesz’ lies at all levels.


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