Peter Klein, the host of an Austrian talk show called Gute Nacht Österreich, basically called out Viktor Orbán for 16 minutes straight on Thursday. He touched upon topics like how he built his media empire and created the infamous illiberal democracy.
The talk show caught the attention of Átlátszó.
Talk show host Peter Klein criticised almost the same things Átlátszó and other government-critical media outlets have for years. For example, how the Prime Minister used planes owned by the Defense Forces regularly for private trips to Israel, Montenegro, Moscow, and Salzburg. He also used military Airbus 604 to fly to Kyrgyzstan, Prague, Zagreb, and Milan. All flights have been deleted from the records, of course.
Klein also talked about how the independent government-critical platforms (mostly online) are the only ones reporting such news to the Hungarian people as all major broadcast companies became government-owned in the last 10 years. This is one of the things that enabled Orbán to create an illiberal democracy in Hungary. Even though politics has lurked into almost all areas of life, including education, research, and art, it still has the greatest effect on media.
Klein makes a bit about The Handbook of Illiberal Democracy and discusses a “chapter in it” which he calls: “Media Monitoring in Three Steps”. It is funny but also incredibly unfunny because it is the truth. He lists three crucial steps that Orbán and his government actually made to control the media in the whole country.
The three steps of Media Monitoring are:
- Withdraw the independent press (like how all major media outlets in Hungary are government-controlled)
- Build your own media empire (with the help of some good friends like Lőrinc Mészáros)
- Silence critical media (personally attack government-critical journalists for their liberal views and make them look like traitors of the nation)
This is not the first time that Orbán’s pro-government media empire has caught the attention of international media.
Finally, Klein cannot resist revisiting the infamous incident when the President of the European Commission, Jean-Claude Juncker, slapped Orbán Viktor after greeting him as “dictator” and shaking his hand at an EU summit in Riga back in 2015.