Tucker Carlson Takes His Show to Hungary to Salute His Favorite Neo-Fascist Leader
America's new right-wing darling, Tucker Carlson, has taken his popular Fox News talk show to Hungary this week to showcase that nation's neo-fascist leader, Prime Minister Viktor Orban. Apparently Carlson is pleased with how Orban has dismantled Hungary's once vibrant democracy, replacing it with a corrupt autocracy. Orban has achieved what Donald Trump could only have hoped for during a second term.
NY Mag.:" Orban’s corruption of a former democracy occurred step by step. He gerrymandered the electoral map to give his supporters an overwhelming advantage, stacked the judiciary with supporters, leveraged state power to force large businesses to support his party, and installed supporters in charge of the country’s largest media organs."
Business Insider: "Last year, the watchdog Freedom House in its annual Nations in Transit report said Hungary no longer qualified as a democracy, citing "a stunning democratic breakdown" in the country. Freedom House in its 2021 report continued to criticize Hungary for its "unparalleled democratic deterioration over the past decade."
Orban's pitch has been that he would save Hungary from the Muslims, gays, Jews, journalists, atheists, and the well educated. Sound familiar? Carlson and Trump, of course, would add all those pesky Mexicans and blacks, but the strategy is the same. Right-wing populism has always depended on finding minority groups to stigmatize and blame for the country's ills, whatever they might be.
The Atlantic, Anne Applebaum: "The aggrieved Americans who now find their way to Orbán ... ... dislike their own country, albeit for different reasons. They cannot abide its racial diversity, its modern culture, its free press. Those who dream of a white-tribalist alternative—one that also puts pressure on gay people and uses anti-Semitic tropes in its propaganda—believe they have found this nirvana at dinners and think-tank events in Budapest."
Orban's most recent attacks have been against the LGBT community as we recently noted.
Illuminate: "Orban and his Fidesz Party, which promotes "Christian nationalism," passed legislation last week that bans the dissemination of content in schools deemed to promote or support the LGBT community. The idea seems to be that if gay folks can't read books about other gay individuals, they won't be gay anymore."
Orban's most effective tactic, however, has been to destroy Hungary's free press while rewarding acolytes. Carlson, who spends each day criticizing the Biden administration should be the first to realize how that undermines democratic values.
The Atlantic, Anne Applebaum: "The irony, of course, is that under Orbán, it’s impossible for a Hungarian equivalent of Carlson—a loud television pundit, critical of the government, watched by millions of people—to exist. In Hungary, the ruling party doesn’t merely influence the press. It owns the bulk of the press, and not metaphorically. This is not some subtle form of influence: A few years ago, owners, even pro-government owners, were forced to “donate” their media properties to a holding company controlled directly by people close to Orbán. Many independent radio networks and newspapers have been forced off the air and out of business through overt and covert intervention in the advertising market. The token independent outlets, mostly websites, that have been allowed to remain are subject to stringent government surveillance. The Hungarian government has gone so far as to use Pegasus spyware from the Israeli company NSO Group to track journalists, following their conversations, messages, and movements."
So, if you want to know what Carlson stands for, what he envisages for America, you don't have to guess. His trip to Hungary this week says volumes. And, that's disappointing. Carlson is smart enough to realize that history is replete with autocrats who destroyed democratic guideposts in the name of "saving" the nation and it rarely ended well.
By: Don Lam & Curated Content