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Hungary's television attacks journalist

Journalists ask critical questions. Regimes or people who do not like this are happy to resort to the following means: They do not answer the questions, but instead denounce the journalist with name and picture as a bad maker. This is what happened last week to profile foreign policy reporter Franziska Tschinderle, who had sent questions to the MEPs of the national conservative Hungarian ruling party Fidesz. Tschinderle researched whether Fidesz wanted to ally with other right-wing delegations from Italy and Poland to form a new EU parliamentary group.

Thereupon the Hungarian state television broadcast a report on its main news program on Wednesday in which Tschinderle was shown with a picture and screenshot of her questionnaire. The moderator tried to ridicule her ("only amateur journalists ask such questions"), portrayed her as an enemy of the state (she wanted to "discredit" the Hungarian government) and claimed that with her questions, which Fidesz ultimately did not want to answer just "provoked". The attacks on Tschinderle have diplomatic consequences. Foreign Minister Alexander Schallenberg (ÖVP) condemned them on Twitter as "unjustifiable" and protested to the Hungarian Foreign Minister.