Fidesz style: Ulrike Lunacek versus Zsolt Bayer

I hope you have already discovered the link on Hungarian Spectrum to a well known German-language blog on Hungary, Pusztaranger. How aptly named. A ranger is a person whose job it is to patrol a certain area. Puszta is the flat lowland where not much grows. Puszta also means “waste.” We don’t know who Pusztaranger is, but we do know that the blogger is a keen observer of the Hungarian landscape. If you want to know more about the blog and its creator, read an interview in Tageschau, a German paper, about a month ago.

Yesterday Pusztaranger broke the news that Ulrike Lunacek, an Austrian politician, is contemplating reporting Zsolt Bayer, one of the founders of Fidesz and currently a journalist working for Magyar Hírlap and Echo TV, to the Hungarian Media Authority.

Ulrike Lunacek is a representative of the Austrian Greens in the European Parliament who has been the spokeswoman of the European Green Party ever since 2006. Otherwise, she is a journalist and a professional interpreter (English and Spanish).

At the European Parliament’s Committee of Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs hearings on “The Situation in Hungary” Ulrike Lunacek asked three times to be heard. In the course of her final remarks she said that “anti-Semitic and anti-European Union slogans could be seen on placards” carried by participants in the “Peace March” organized by some far-right journalists, among them Zsolt Bayer.

Certainly many anti-European Union slogans could be seen on the videos and, although I didn’t see any specifically anti-Semitic ones, there is no question that the people who came up with the idea for the “Peace March” are well known anti-Semites, including Zsolt Bayer.

Bayer has a program on Echo TV on Friday nights (Korrektúra). Last Friday Bayer along with two other right-wingers discussed the hearings in Brussels the day before. Our “silver-tongued” Bayer uttered the following endearing words about Ulrike Lunacek: “Then comes a half-witted [The Germans translated it as ‘brain amputeed’] impetiginous lying idiot, Ulrike Lunacek, and I expressed myself delicately … The whole rotten filthy lie from the mouth of a rotten filth bag.” In choice Hungarian: “Csak jön egy olyan agyament ótvar hazug idióta, Ulrike Lunacek, és milyen finoman fejeztem ki magam. … Az egész egy rohadt szemét hazugság egy rohadt szemét szájából.” I must admit I needed a dictionary to come up with an English equivalent for some of these words and there was at least one I couldn’t find even in the Magyar Értelmező Szótár.


Ulrike Lunacek

But it seems that Ulrike Lunacek has some friends in Hungary who happened to listen to “Korruktúra” last Friday night. Upon hearing Bayer’s description of her she wrote a letter to Echo TV in which she reminded the station of law XIV/2010 on press freedom and the fundamental rules of media content that are supposed to ensure that human dignity is respected (CIV/210 Act, §13(1)), that insist on truthful reporting §13(2), and finally §14(1) that are intended to safeguard human dignity.

In Lunacek’s opinion Bayer seriously breached these principles, and she urged Echo TV’s president to distance himself from Bayer. She expects a public apology and a written response within 48 hours. We will see what happens.

Let me add that the above sentences were not the only offensive ones uttered by Bayer during the same program. What about the following? “The Union not only has no ethos, it has nothing. The Union has Daniel Cohn-Bendit and Neelie Kroes, and that little green, one cannot even remember her name, yes, Ulrike Lunacek” (Az Uniónak nemhogy ethosza, de semmije sincsen. Az uniónak Daniel Cohn-Benditje meg Neelie Kroesa, meg hogy hívják ezt a kis zöldet, ezt meg se lehet jegyezni, ezt a nevet, Ulrike Lunacekje van). This is the kind of talk Hungarians are getting used to nowadays. With devastating results, in my opinion.

The following picture taken at one of the right-wing demonstrations is telling. Bayer is no better than the extremist brute he is standing next to.


Zsolt Bayer next to a Hungarian “patriot”

Hannes Swoboda, another Austrian politician and the leader of the Party of European Socialists and Democrats, demanded an investigation into the affair by the European Parliament. Swodoba pointed out that “such language makes inroads around here nowadays that are totally unacceptable.” Martin Schulz, the new president of the European Parliament, promised an investigation. He added that he will get in touch with José Manuel Barroso, the president of the European Commission, and will ask him to defend the good name of Neelie Kroes as well. That is about the last thing the Orbán government needed, but I must say I don’t feel sorry for them. Fidesz refuses to cut ties with the extreme right and in fact Orbán himself often encourages this kind of attitude with his double talk.Not surprisingly the Austrian press picked up the news. Both Der Standard and Kleine Zeitung reported that Ulrike Lunacek “most likely” will go to the Hungarian Media Authority and launch an official complaint. The papers emphasized that Zsolt Bayer is a close friend of Viktor Orbán. It was also mentioned that Bayer in the same program called Neelie Kroes “a miserable, pitiful idiot” (szerencsétlen, sajnálatra méltó idióta).  Der Standard even published an editorial in which Rubina Möhring called Bayer and his journalist friends “media scum.” Nice going!

Not long ago I wrote a letter to the editor-in-chief of a “moderate conservative” website complaining about the incredible comments that appear under practically every article they publish. The answer was a lecture explaining that I don’t seem to understand the concept of freedom of expression. I was told that they will not remove the objectionable comment. I decided not to leave it at that and wrote him another letter. Since the comment in question wished that someone had been killed in the Holocaust I asked what they would do if I wrote a comment saying that “I wish Viktor Orbán died a long time ago.” I used the verb “to die” that Hungarian reserves for animals (megdögölni). Would they leave such a comment on their site in the name of freedom of expression? I didn’t receive an answer but the objectionable comment was erased.


  1. Mutt Damon: it is Lunacek who is completely unaware of any breal facts. And it is independent of Bayer’s style.
    Lunacek will never have the courage to go face to face with Bayer or anyone else who knows anything about Hungary.

  2. Johnny: Right. A fifty-something veteran politician from Austria. Why would she know anything about an EU country next door? I don’t think this is an argument.
    Bayer will have intelligent people to talk to once he stops being a bumpkin and is willing to discuss details and facts instead of the “nobody understands us” cliche.

  3. Eva, referring back to my comment on “not lending credibility to the New Media Law”- a comment which you found “interesting” here’s an attack route I would REALLY recommend Lunacek pursuing:
    She should produce a show/ 30 minute panel documentary (definitely translated into Hungarian, for broadcast on a Hungarian network) discussing the three most frequently recurring personality/ life-experience traits present in men speaking the way Zsolt Bayer does in public, on a show where he “has control”- these traits are:
    1) He is uncomfortable with his own penis-size,
    2) He cannot achieve an erection, and/or maintain an erection long enough to satisfy his female partner- which subsequently leads to her abusing him verbally, and perhaps even physically. But deinitely doing mental damage.
    and/ or
    3) He is gay, and, feels socially constrained (due to his association with all those macho skin-head types) from ever realising (especially) the self-fulfilling ectasy of playing the female role in a homosexual love-in.
    It is perhaps this lack of “control”- on all three levels, that makes him really keen to unleash all that frustration on his viewers- vent all that anger- on that one slice of the world that he controlls: His Show.
    Of course no one can say exactly which, if any, of these “conditions” exactly apply to Bayer.
    But I think, if done right, it would be hard for Bayer to challenge such a show under the NML.
    Next week, they could measure Tamas Deutsch….

  4. Off topic …
    There is an interesting interview with prof. Paul Krugman in the March 2012 edition of the Playboy. Told ya! I buy it for the articles!!

  5. Mutt Damon: being fifty-something and veteran doesn’t automatically mean any qualities.
    Lunacek obviously knows nothing about Hungary, it shines through in what she said and how she said. She is on a political mission.
    Bayer apologized to her and invited her to the studio for a debate.
    You can guess if she accepts it…
    She will never say one more single word on the entire matter.

  6. I hope Ms Ulrike Lunacek will never sit down with scums like Bayer. Sitting down with Bayer would only lend credibility to such low-life publications as Magyar Hirla and such. They just stew in their own broth. hahaha

  7. Reading this utter garbage is unbelievable. Where do you people live? In bolshevik Russia? in nazi Germany? where you can spew hate speech without repercussions? Lying like an Ulrike Lunatic, Swoboda etc. in parliament? Why is she there anyway? representing whom/what? I wonder what her constituency would say that most important topic (as Europe is falling part) is the Hungarian Situation?
    You people Iive in the past and the future will sweep you away. Stay away from hate speech on Hungary – there is no anti-Semitism there only in your wishful thinking..

  8. Tom Vargoczky, the matter is absolutely clear. Representative Lunacek, an elected member of the European Parliament from Austria, stated that anti-semitic placards were displayed at the so-called “Peace March.” Bayer called her a liar for this, stating that there was no evidence for her claim and used demeaning language to describe her person on free-to-air television. The photographic evidence, widely available online, of the “Peace March” confirms Representative Lunacek’s assertion. She now has the right, if not the duty, to sue for a correction, on the basis of the principle of truthful reporting, and an apology for the characterization, under the principle of protecting human dignity, both as guaranteed under the present government’s own media law. I repeat: the present government’s own media law.

  9. @Vargoczy Go to Try to search for the word “zsidók”. About 25% would vote for the Jobbik today. If this is not anti-Semitism, then what is?

  10. Ladies, Gentlemen, thank you for the feedback. People like Red-Danny who got bored of burning cars on the streets of Paris in the 60’s – is also an elected EP member – the list could go on. They represent Europe today and it shows. Luckily I left Europe 25 years ago so do not have to put up with this placard means nothing when 400k people attended without any incident. She did lie consistently in the EP – and will be investigated and put on trial for sure – she in unfit to be an EP member representing Austria.
    Having lived in the USA for years as well as Asia – go to KKK, Jews etc websites there…do you also want to say the USA is anti-Semitic? your arguments are laughable as is the whole tone of this blog. Where were you guys when the loving Communist Government shot people eyes out in 2006?

  11. Tom Vargoczky, Are you reading enough news from right wing news portals or listening enough Morvai?
    THis whole BS about people eyes being shot out … bahahaha THe PR machine did a good job on you.
    The same time you are saying ” who got bored of burning cars on the streets of Paris in the 60’s – is also an elected EP member “. Guess what! The police was going after the people who were throwing Molotov cocktails, vandalizing and setting the MTV on fire. THat is OK I guess.
    The 2006 government was not communist government, so brush-up on your history knowledge before making very non-logical and non-factual comments. Better, maybe stick around on this blog so you can read some of the truth versus the nonsense you are glued to.

  12. Tom Vargoczky:”Having lived in the USA for years as well as Asia – go to KKK, Jews etc websites there…do you also want to say the USA is anti-Semitic?”
    There are anti-Semites everywhere. The big difference between the KKK and Jobbik is that one is just a racist US organization, the other one is represented in Hungary’s parlament and seesm to have the support of 25% of Hungary’s population. Further, Jobbik seems to enjoy FIDESZ’s tacit approval and vice-versa.

  13. @Vargoczy “Where were you guys when the loving Communist Government shot people eyes out in 2006?”
    Most of us were in the same place where you were. In the US. Now what? Why do you think you are right and we are not?
    The KKK’s Hungarian equivalent is the Magyar Garda. The JOBBIK’s equivalent in the US is … oops, nothing, Capish?
    By the way who will investigate and put Lunacek on trial? Please share bro!

  14. Hello Some1,
    Well I actually interviewed people after the Oct 26 2006 events and visited Hungary repeatedly so have a fist hand knowledge (without right wing, Morvai or left with Nepszbadsag, Klubradio BS).
    The MSZP gov which includes certified communists incl. Previous Prime Minister who was an official in the Communist Youth Organization was not a communist regime? – I’ll stick around the blog to understand your mind set that is so out of touch, hateful, above the law mentality – is scary.
    On Lunacek – neither she nor others are above the law – we are already investigating, do not worry, the legal system might be slow but will get there. btw – live in Asia again,the rotting smell in Europe and far-left ideology in the US will lead to disaster.
    While you live in the past with Garda, Jobbik etc. Asia has already taken over. I am sure the billions of Indians, Chinese will care much about your ideology 🙂

  15. @ Tom Vargoczky, It is impossible for me to follow what you are trying to say, I am sorry. Are you saying that the Fidesz government does not include “certified communists incl. Previous Prime Minister who was an official in the Communist Youth Organization”? Can I remind you that the current Prime Minister was also member and one of the local leaders of the organization you have mentioned.
    I also do not understand what does this have to do with 2006, and that the Fidesz MPs had a problem with the fact that police did not use live ammunition. Thank goodness for Gyurcsany for not allowing that. I can just imagine what would of happened if other ex-communist Orban would of been in power at the time. Wouldn’t you agree?
    I also do not understand which part of my mentality is out of touch and hateful. I would like to bring it to your attention that actually I do like inclusion, I think ALL Hungarians are Hungarians, regardless of their marital status, sexual orientation, political or religious believes. That is very much the opposite of what Fidesz or Jobbik preaches, thank goodness.
    I have no clue whatsoever about your reference regarding the Indians and Chinese who were already took over the world, and what it has to do with my ideology, but I enjoyed your post otherwise. Keep up the good work on trying.

  16. In my opinion, it is much worse declaring about 400.000 hungarians anti-semitic, only because they attended to a Peace rally to stand by the government, than declaring a person an idiot.
    Mutt Damon:
    “TV stations like the EchoTV with such quality programming survive and at the same time decent anti-government talk radios like the Klubradio are cheated out of their right to broadcast. ”
    In fact the reality is that UPC cable television service (USA owned) simply took off Echo TV from their programme list. Being the leading provider it affected most of the population.
    Klub Radio lost his right to broadcast because offered half the price as an other radio, but finally due to left wing political pressure it gained back the right. Now it seems they will get 2 frequencies which is unbelievable.
    but i guess you hear what you want to hear.

  17. To Axa,I’m afraid you are bit behind times. Read a little bit on what happened in the last couple of months. Klubrádió won twice against the Media Authority in the court of law. The frequency was given to the competitor illegally.

  18. axa: “In my opinion, it is much worse declaring about 400.000 hungarians anti-semitic, only because they attended to a Peace rally to stand by the government, than declaring a person an idiot”
    The problem is that Lunacek didn’t declared those people who attended the rally anti-Semitic. She simply noted that there were anti-Semitic posters displayed. And there were.

  19. @Axa “simply took off Echo TV from their programme list”
    As far as I know it did not. About a year ago UPC moved it into the digital package. You still can watch Echo TV.

  20. axa: “I guess you hear what you want to hear.”
    No, no axa, as facts listed above by Eva and Mutt already, we have to arrive to the conclusion that you hear and read what you want to hear and read. Let me rephrase this, you hear only what Fidesz and Jobbik wants you to hear through their well executed propaganda. Not knowing that Klubradio situations, stating that Lunacek declared “400,000 hungarian anti-semitic because they attended to a Peace rally” shows that you are either have no idea abut the facts or you are buying into false information supplied by… guess who.

  21. Terrific post but I was wondering if you could write a litte more on this
    topic? I’d be very grateful if you could elaborate a little bit more. Cheers!

  22. Quite frankly – can we have some fresh blood with fresh ideas instead of Ms Lunacek – the only purpose of her current engagement is an of comfortable, well-paid EU bureaucrat.

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