NEW: congressmen Paul Gosar and Barry Moore are slated to speak alongside the leader of an Austrian radical right party founded by Nazi SS officers: https://t.co/xctSYIyVpP
— Michael Edison Hayden (@MichaelEHayden) May 3, 2023
Rightwingers praise free speech at CPAC Hungary – then eject Guardian journalist
— Mike Walker (@New_Narrative) May 5, 2023
US Republicans and their European allies tore up news headlines and ejected a Guardian journalist from a conference of radical rightwing activists, on the same day that they highlighted the importance of free speech.
Speaking at the second annual meeting in Budapest of the US Conservative Political Action Coalition (CPAC), Kari Lake, a failed Republican gubernatorial candidate, said that “truth-tellers and peacemakers” were being destroyed by “fake news”.
Viktor Orban, the Hungarian prime minister, delivers the keynote speech in Budapest on Thursday.
“It’s always opposite day in the media: if they’re telling what you’re doing is bad, it’s probably good,” said Lake before tearing up a sheaf of printed articles about the conference aimed at cementing radical rightwing ties across the Atlantic…
The CPAC audience also watched a recorded message from Donald Trump in which the former president said conservatives were “fighting against barbarians” and listed freedom of speech as one of the cardinal virtues of the far right…
Enmity towards the media has been a constant theme at CPAC’s Hungarian iteration. Last year the organizers refused entry to journalists from all US media outlets, including Vice, Vox, Rolling Stone, the New Yorker and the Associated Press.
This year, most independent journalists were refused accreditation for the event, held in a country where the IPI has said media freedom “remains suffocated”…
— Jacob Heilbrunn (@JacobHeilbrunn) May 6, 2023
… I came to Hungary to witness the not new, yet still astonishing enmeshing of the populist-nationalist American right and its European counterpart, and I didn’t have to wait long. There was Orbán endorsing Donald Trump’s 2024 bid on the first day of the Conservative Political Action Conference taking place here. Some in the audience wore T-shirts depicting Orbán and Trump as “saviors of the world.”
I was supposed to be watching all this from inside the conference, within the gleaming Bálna, or whale center, along the Danube. Instead, I was livestreaming it from my hotel room — barred from entry as a member of the media.
When I tried to attend the event earlier that day, I ran into a barrier that seemed almost as formidable as the old Berlin Wall. Two security guards loomed large before a gateway arch in front of the center entrance, which was festooned with the slogan “Woke Free Zone.” More guards and metal detectors were downstairs in the registration area…
Once upon a time CPAC, which hosted its annual flagship event just outside Washington two months ago, was eager for media attention. But lately, CPAC officials have developed an aversion to the press, restricting many reporters and denouncing its critics as “fake journalists.” That seems particularly true as the MAGA movement has embraced Orbán and his agenda.
Hungary is now the global epicenter of the new right’s crusade against liberal democracy. It serves as an alluring model for many conservatives — a country that’s successfully neutered the media and the judiciary as well as passed an anti-LGBTQ law that’s supposed to protect the traditional family. And don’t forget Orbán’s reluctance to support Ukraine in its fight against Russia’s brutal invasion.
This is the second year in a row that CPAC came to Budapest, and Trump and his allies rejoiced in the blossoming relationship. In a Friday video address to the conference, Trump hailed the “freedom-loving patriots” at the conference and declared that it was imperative to “stand together to defend our borders, our Judeo-Christian values, our identity and our way of life.” …
As I livestreamed the event, it quickly became clear that the Bálna center was functioning as a kind of mega-church for the Trumpian right. There were sermons and homilies and exhortations. There were warnings about satanic forces. And there were promises of redemption and salvation. One speaker talked about being crucified for politically incorrect views; others worshipped at the altar of Orbánism, praising Hungary as an outpost of Christianity that was beating back the infidels and heretics.
“I stand in awe,” declared Heritage Foundation president Kevin Roberts. GOP Rep. Paul Gosar, who has appeared at white nationalist events in the past, agreed. “Hungary,” he said, “is a beacon.”
In fact, the MAGA faithful flocked to the event to profess their admiration for the Hungarian miracle. Former Arizona candidate for governor Kari Lake recently declared on Steve Bannon’s show that “Hungary is doing things right.” One thing Orbán is apparently doing right is cozying up to Russian President Vladimir Putin. On Friday morning, Lake announced at the conference that there was a simple solution to ending the Ukraine conflict — sellout Kyiv to the Russians. “The only way to stop this war,” she said, “is to turn off the money spigot. I say we should invest in protecting our borders, not Ukraine’s.”
In a video message presumably taped before his abrupt ouster, former Fox News host Tucker Carlson told the Americans who were in Budapest that they were “very brave” as the State Department was “keeping track, you went to a forbidden country.” Later that day Orbán hosted Lake, Gosar and more than a dozen other American conservative activists and politicians for a photo-op at his office, including the Pizzagate conspiracy theorist Jack Posobiec and former Sen. Rick Santorum. Hungary, Orbán said, has become an “incubator where the conservative policies of the future are being tested.”…
CPAC has been good for Orbán. A return by Trump would be even better. “A Republican president,” Balázs Orbán said, “is in Hungary’s interest.”
A different American newsreader, however (per the Daily Beast)…
In a pre-recorded message aired at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in Hungary on Thursday, former Fox News star Tucker Carlson told the crowd that he’d “be there with you” if “I ever got fired.”
The irony, of course, is that since Carlson recorded the video—which was filmed in his old Tucker Carlson Tonight studio—he was shockingly fired by Fox News, meaning he possibly could have made time to attend the right-wing confab…
Carlson has long been a vocal advocate of Orban and his right-wing government. The conservative host has broadcast his primetime Fox News from Hungary, given Orban sycophantic interviews, produced an antisemitic documentary targeting Orban foe George Soros, and appeared at far-right conferences tied to Orban in Budapest. He has also repeatedly implored the American government to implement Orban’s strict immigration and anti-LGBTQ policies while downplaying the Hungarian leader’s anti-democratic rhetoric…
Carlson, meanwhile, is scheduled to make his first public appearance since his Fox News ouster on Thursday, speaking at a fundraiser in Alabama.
Along with Jack Posobiec and NYYRC’s Gavin Wax, @newsweek will be represented at this event through Josh Hammer.
This is the second event he’s attended with FPÖ party members present in under six months. https://t.co/xm98qnKFpi
— Michael Edison Hayden (@MichaelEHayden) May 3, 2023
— Greg Sargent (@ThePlumLineGS) May 4, 2023
I guess Rod wants to be the successor that vanquishes the Weimar. Wonder what that was, historically? https://t.co/4GLbOOr8t3
— The Fig Economy (@figgityfigs) May 4, 2023
There is making yourself a hostage to fortune and then there is this… I won't even ask what the average American defender of Orban would say or do if Biden endorsed a candidate in a foreign country in such unambiguous terms. https://t.co/iS01VjbWW4
— Michael D. Weiss (@michaeldweiss) May 4, 2023
so i was just ranting the other day about gay sailors to the hungarians i left my family to hang out with and they all agreed i was being very normal and it's everyone else who's weird
— flglmn (@flglmn) May 5, 2023
Landlocked countries just don't get it
— Devin Shelly (@DevinShelly) May 5, 2023
rod dreher et al: look at those beautiful unwoke men in russian army ads. what must they think of our decadent weimar military
prigozhin, standing over a pile of charred wagner corpses: please help, we've been using large boulders for artillery shells https://t.co/FDaLz7G53k
— Seva (@SevaUT) May 5, 2023