RussiaApril 6 2022, 14:54 pm

Tucker Carlson Cackles About Orban Reelection in Hungary

Fox News star Tuck­er Carl­son has con­tin­ued his long­stand­ing sup­port and defense of Hun­gary and Vik­tor Orban, its re-elect­ed author­i­tar­i­an prime min­is­ter. In a recent broad­cast, Carl­son attacked crit­ics of Orban’s reelec­tion by mak­ing a fatu­ous com­par­i­son with the recent con­tro­ver­sy in the US over mail-in elec­tion ballots:

April 4, 2022 How is it that an “author­i­tar­i­an” just won a land­slide in a nation­wide elec­tion? Why is Vik­tor Orban an author­i­tar­i­an and a pro­to-fas­cist and not just an unusu­al­ly pop­u­lar prime min­is­ter? So to answer that ques­tion Orban’s crit­ics have to make stuff up. Do you offi­cials are report­ed­ly upset, and this is the great­est quote ever, “Mr. Orban has used his major­i­ty in par­lia­ment to rewrite elec­tion laws, redraw vot­ing dis­tricts, and per­mit mail-in bal­lots with­out iden­ti­ty ver­i­fi­ca­tion. [Carl­son cack­les] So it turns out, if you are author­i­tar­i­an you might let peo­ple vote by mail and that can­not be allowed in Hun­gary. He’s an author­i­tar­i­an for doing that. Unbelievable.

View the rest here.

In anoth­er broad­cast, Carl­son asked:

Why are they try­ing to tell us that Hun­gary is a hellscape? Maybe because Hun­gary’s gov­ern­ment self-con­scious­ly tries to serve the needs of its own peo­ple. And if you see that here or you might ask why is my gov­ern­ment not doing that for me?

In August 2021, the Glob­al Influ­ence Oper­a­tions Report (GIOR) report­ed Carl­son had spent a week host­ing his show from Budapest, where he gave what was described as a “fawn­ing inter­view” with Vik­tor Orbán and where he pro­mot­ed Hun­gary under Orban as a mod­el for the future of the US.

Carl­son’s defense of Orban was noticed by Balázs Orbán (no rela­tion), a Hun­gar­i­an lawyer, polit­i­cal sci­en­tist, and uni­ver­si­ty lec­tur­er, who has served as Hun­gar­i­an deputy min­is­ter, and par­lia­men­tary and strate­gic state sec­re­tary since 2018. Balázs Orbán used the oppor­tu­ni­ty to tweet an attack on one of his polit­i­cal opponents,

Carl­son is not the only Amer­i­can influ­encer rejoic­ing over the Vik­tor Orban vic­to­ry. On April 4, US nation­al con­ser­v­a­tive Rod Dreher tweet­ed:

Vik­tor Orban wins crush­ing re-elec­tion vic­to­ry. Groomers hard­est hit. @GovRonDeSantis, you are onto something!

“Groomers” is like­ly a ref­er­ence to the increas­ing accu­sa­tion in US right-wing cir­cles that crit­ics of anti-gay and anti-trans leg­is­la­tion are some­how sex­u­al­ly indoc­tri­nat­ing school chil­dren. As a Wash­ing­ton Post colum­nist has writ­ten:

Much of the debate revolves around a bill just signed by Flori­da Gov. Ron DeSan­tis ® meant to shut down dis­cus­sions of sex­u­al ori­en­ta­tion and gen­der iden­ti­ty in schools. Dubbed by oppo­nents the “Don’t Say Gay” bill, the prac­ti­cal impli­ca­tions of its vague­ly word­ed pro­vi­sions are less than clear. But its inten­tions are not: DeSan­tis is at the van­guard of a right-wing move­ment to cre­ate a new moral pan­ic around schools, to con­vince par­ents that their chil­dren are being indoc­tri­nat­ed with bizarre and threat­en­ing ideas.

In June 2021, Hun­gary’s par­lia­ment passed a law ban­ning gay peo­ple from fea­tur­ing in school edu­ca­tion­al mate­ri­als or TV shows for under-18s in what was described as an inten­si­fied cam­paign by Orban’s rul­ing par­ty against LGBT rights.

Both Carl­son and Dreher have fig­ured promi­nent­ly in a new and devel­op­ing alliance between US con­ser­v­a­tives and Euro­pean nation­al­ists, a poten­tial means for Rus­sia to exert covert influ­ence in Europe and the US, using Hun­gary as a plat­form. GIOR recent­ly pub­lished a report on this alliance titled “The Nation­al Con­ser­vatism Alliance: An Oppor­tu­ni­ty for Russ­ian Influ­ence?” The GIOR report details the role that Vik­tor Orban and the Hun­gar­i­an gov­ern­ment have been play­ing in the Nation­al Con­ser­vatism Alliance.

The full report can be down­loaded here.

Ear­li­er this week, we report­ed on the reelec­tion of Vik­tor Orban, described as “the Russ­ian Pres­i­den­t’s clos­est friend inside the EU and NATO.”


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