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Fox News Host Tucker Carlson In Hungary; Suggests Authoritarian Orban Government A Model For US Future

August 10th, 2021 18:21

UK media is report­ing that US right-wing Fox TV host Tuck­er Carl­son has spent the week host­ing his show from Budapest, where he gave what was described as a “fawn­ing inter­view” with Vik­tor Orbán, the increas­ing­ly author­i­tar­i­an prime min­is­ter of Hun­gary. Accord­ing to the Guardian report, in the inter­view, Carl­son pro­mot­ed Hun­gary under Orban as a mod­el for the future of the US:

August 7, 2021 “In the last few nights in Budapest,” mused Tuck­er Carl­son, US rightwing media star, “I’ve run into a num­ber of Amer­i­cans who have come here because they want to be around peo­ple who agree with them, who agree with you. Do you see Budapest as a kind of cap­i­tal of this kind of thinking?”Sitting in a book-lined office, Vik­tor Orbán, prime min­is­ter of Hun­gary, agreed it was “one of the cap­i­tals” pro­duc­ing “very nice ideas”. He went on to praise Don­ald Trump as “a great friend of Hun­gary” and laud the for­mer US president’s “Amer­i­ca first” for­eign pol­i­cy. The “kind of think­ing” that Carl­son and Orbán were dis­cussing in a fawn­ing TV inter­view on Thurs­day was, in their words, about fam­i­lies, bor­ders and the strug­gle of Chris­t­ian democ­ra­cy against left­ist lib­er­al­ism. But for crit­ics of both men, it was noth­ing less than an author­i­tar­i­an, eth­no-nation­al­ist blue­print for the Unit­ed States itself. Carl­son, the most watched host on Rupert Murdoch’s Fox News, spent all week host­ing his show from Budapest and pro­mot­ing Hun­gary as a mod­el for America’s future. His tar­get audi­ence was the Trump base that turned a blind eye to his four-year war on insti­tu­tions that cul­mi­nat­ed in a dead­ly insur­rec­tion at the US Capi­tol.  Just as the US left has often point­ed to Scan­di­navia as an exam­ple of social democ­ra­cy deliv­er­ing pub­lic ben­e­fits such as health­care, it seems the far right now has its own lodestar in Europe – a democ­ra­cy weak­en­ing incre­men­tal­ly but inex­orably like a slow-boil­ing frog.“Tucker is using the mas­sive plat­form that he has at his dis­pos­al, via Rupert Mur­doch, to legit­imise author­i­tar­i­an­ism,” said Kurt Bardel­la, an advis­er to the Demo­c­ra­t­ic Con­gres­sion­al Cam­paign Com­mit­tee. “It’s not spec­u­la­tion. The Repub­li­can par­ty has made it very clear that their agen­da is to insti­tute an auto­crat­ic style of gov­er­nance to the point where they are will­ing to throw out democ­ra­cy when elec­tions don’t go their way.”

Read the rest here (reg­is­tra­tion required)

On Sat­ur­day, Carl­son also spoke at the Hun­gar­i­an at MCC Fes­zt, described by The Week as follows:

…a con­fer­ence spon­sored by the Math­ias Corv­i­nus Col­legium, a think tank recent­ly grant­ed $1.7 bil­lion (about 1 per­cent of Hun­gary’s GDP) by Prime Min­is­ter Vik­tor Orban in order to help fos­ter the kind of nation­al­is­tic con­ser­vatism favored by his gov­ern­ment. That includes kick­ing Cen­tral Euro­pean Uni­ver­si­ty out of the coun­try, ban­ning the aca­d­e­m­ic study of gen­der from col­leges, allow­ing the rul­ing Fidesz Par­ty to gob­ble up 90 per­cent of media in the coun­try, and demo­niz­ing George Soros for cul­tur­al trends the prime min­is­ter’s sup­port­ers dislike.

The Hill report also not­ed that MCC Fes­zt was expect­ed to include appear­ances by US right-wing fig­ures such as Den­nis Prager and Rod Dreher, a jour­nal­ist said to be liv­ing in Hun­gary where has been ” blog­ging effu­sive­ly for The Amer­i­can Con­ser­v­a­tive about the Orban gov­ern­ment for months. ”

Accord­ing to Open Secrets inves­tiga­tive researcher Anna Mas­soglia, Hun­gary paid a D. C. lob­by­ing firm $265,000 in 2019, in part to arrange an inter­view on Carlson’s Fox News show.

For video of Carlson’s remarks at MCC Fes­zt, go here.