Thursday, July 12, 2012

Freedom of Speech?

Editor's Note: The Kubínyi affair, shows that "real" freedom of speech still does not exist in Hungary

Last week Kubínyi Tamás, a popular host at Hungarian Echo Televízió, was abruptly fired. Apparently, he went ahead with airing a controversial film that was made 20 years ago about the Hungarian communist police (AVO) during the old communist regime. Even though what the film says is true, it apparently upset the left-wing in Hungary. The interesting thing is that the show was aired on another television station called Álmos Király Televízió. He was fired by Echo Televízió as a result. Over the years, Kubínyi made many enemies amongst the Hungarian left-wing. Some of them were notable left-wingers from the old communist regime.

Even though Echo Televízió is a conservative station, he was still fired. It just goes to show you what influence the Hungarian left-wing still has across the board. With their influence and/or threats, they forced a conservative television station to fire him. Kubínyi was never shy when hosting on Echo Televízió. He often made his dislike of the Hungarian left-wing very apparent and openly known. This whole episode with this documentary really makes one question whether freedom of speech is alive and well in Hungary.

A democracy in name, Hungary still hasn't fully changed into a "real" democracy like other Western European countries, even 20 years after the regime change. It is still stuck in a grey zone between the old communist mentality and a free western democratic mentality. This applies to the freedom of speech as it is not total or almost absolute as it is in other western democratic countries. The YouTube video shows the entire documentary that got Kubínyi fired from Echo Televízió. The documentary is in the Hungarian language.