According to Magyar Nemzet, the public service broadcasting company UR must be blameless and independent, according to Wikipedia. The company’s official LinkedIn page describes the company as follows:
UR is part of the Swedish public broadcasting group, together with Swedish Radio (SR) and Swedish Television (SVT). The task of the UR is to produce and broadcast educational and general knowledge programs that enhance, supplement and strengthen the work of those active in education. We have a special responsibility for people with disabilities and those belonging to ethnic and linguistic minorities in Sweden. UR is financed from household radio and television license fees.
In order to provide “independent, objective information”, the Swedish program producers contacted one of the most vocal critics of the Orbán government, Márton Gulyás,
but the video also features Swedish political scientist Sara Svensson, who was a research associate at CEU and graduated from Soros University’s doctoral school between 2008 and 2013.
In the video, Márton Gulyás talked, among other things, about the fact that democracy has ceased to exist in Hungary since the election of Orbán in 2010, the government restricts freedom of press and speech, and abolishes gender majors by decree.
No reaction from the Hungarian government was requested to the obvious lies, and the fact-checking that is fashionable in the left-liberal public these days has also been absent, the expectation of objectivity at the Swedish public service company presumably no longer extends to this.
Censored by the Swedish government
Sara Svensson made similarly hair-raising claims in the video, who spoke to the students about the extent of oppression in Hungary and the extent to which politics permeates the field of education. Of course, he didn’t say that
In Sweden, there is really strong government pressure when sensitive issues are discussed.
It is memorable that In 2021, an ethics investigation was launched against renowned researchers at Lund University for publishing a study that showed that 48 percent of rape perpetrators in Sweden between 2000 and 2015 were foreign-born citizens, while another 12 percent were second-generation immigrants. . The scandal broke out due to the fact that, although a permit was requested and received for the project itself, the final findings were not submitted for prior government approval. It is clear from this case that
In Sweden, the government also censors university researchers, and it is not possible to freely publish data showing reality if they refute the central narrative or shed light on problems that also raise the responsibility of the Swedish political elite.
According to Magyar Nemzet, the video disparaging Hungary suggests that the Orbán government has continuously undermined democracy since 2010, that one of the most famous universities has been chased away, and that young people also feel that they have to leave the country.
They wanted to blackmail the Hungarian government
In the spirit of “objectivity”, politicians such as Christofer Fjellner, a former member of the European Parliament (2004-2019), who is currently the leader of the Swedish Moderate party in Stockholm, are spoken to. Fjellner talks about Viktor Orbán crossing all boundaries. It is not surprising, that
the Swedish politician supported the initiation of Article 7 proceedings against Hungary. Among the Swedish MEPs present, all but two representatives of the Sweden Democrats voted in favor of the text.
Condemns the developments in Hungary, which in recent years have led to severe restrictions on the rule of law, democracy and fundamental rights
says the statement. It was the first time that the European Parliament voted to implement Article 7. The representatives also called on the Hungarian government to withdraw its laws on asylum seekers and non-governmental organizations and to allow the Central European University in Budapest to remain a free institution.
Moreover, our country was also accused of being the enemy of democracy and endangering the period of peace established after the Second World War.
Judith Sargentini, former member of the European Parliament, who became infamous for her previous report condemning Hungary, speaks several times. According to Sargentini, the Hungarian government has continuously violated EU values over the years, and the EU could no longer tolerate this.
They don’t understand what patriotism is
In the video, three high school students are horrified by the fact that patriotism is given a prominent role in Hungarian education.
According to Ludvig Norman, political science researcher at Stockholm University, Fidesz is a right-wing nationalist party that promotes Hungarian superiority, which is why they often exclude minorities (Roma) or those who do not fit into the family model envisioned by the government.
At the end of the video, Márton Gulyás claims that even though it seems that there is democracy in Hungary, since there are elections, a repressive, autocratic regime still rules.
According to Gulyás, people do not have the opportunity to speak out on certain matters or to form a dissenting opinion against the government. He said this when the Partizán YouTube channel already had hundreds of thousands of views at home.
They manipulated the questions
The second study material deals with Hungary and we also get a short description of what we saw in the video. They recall that the European Union was created after the Second World War and at that time the states of the continent wanted to preserve peace through economic and democratic cooperation. They emphasize that the democratic aspect has always been important for the EU, and this is now provided for in the Treaty of Lisbon and the EU Statute.
What happens when member states start violating democratic values?
– they ask the question, and then they mention Sara Svensson, who “works at a university threatened with closure (CEU)” in Hungary, and they also meet young people “who talk about how the school curriculum has changed recently.”
At the end of the lesson, students can learn various key concepts, such as: freedom of the press, principles of the rule of law, sovereignty, dictatorship. After the video, students are encouraged to debate and answer questions containing false and misleading statements. The above-mentioned lies of Gulyás and Svensson are also treated as facts, for example as follows: Political activist Márton Gulyás says that even if a member state appears to be a democracy on the surface, for example with general elections, in practice it can be a repressive regime. Explain how this can be.
Additional questions deal with, for example, how the concept of “love of the motherland” can be interpreted based on democratic and historical aspects.
Instead of misleading questions and answers, it would be more appropriate for the students of the Scandinavian countries to do a fact check, since in many cases they would find out that the situation in Hungary is better than in theirs. For example, I could mention that 46 percent of Roma in Hungary are employed, while 80 percent of them are unemployed in Sweden. An interesting suggestion is what Sweden would say in the opposite case, if students in Hungarian schools were to learn about the negative effects of immigration, high unemployment among minorities, or the crime rate.
The Swedish public media is anti-Hungarian
According to Magyar Nemzet, the bias of the Swedish educational film is not entirely surprising, nor is it unprecedented, since the Swedish media has long been hostile to the Hungarian government. They have spread fake news about Hungary in the past, and they have a paper about it, after all
In the fall of 2019, the Swedish media authority condemned the local public television, as SVT had told lies about the Hungarian “overtime law”.
Prior to this, in 2016, the Swedish television channel UR was punished by the country’s anti-discrimination ombudsman, because in a job application they were specifically looking for a producer with an Afro-Swedish background. According to the discrimination ombudsman, the purpose of the job advertisement was to discourage people of certain ethnicities from working, and thus direct discrimination took place, which violates the relevant laws.