Former American diplomat Faith Whittlesey denounced the US State Department’s 700.000 USD programme to fund “media outlets operating outside the capital in Hungary to produce fact-based reporting and increase their audience and economic sustainability.”
Whittlesey, who served twice as the United States’ ambassador to Switzerland and as a member of the White House senior staff and director of the White House office of public liaison under Ronald Reagan’s presidency, wrote for Breitbart:
“It’s a really bad idea, an egregious misuse of U.S. taxpayer dollars, and also, understandably, deeply offensive to Hungarians. Why? For starters, Hungary is both a good NATO ally and a robust democracy with free and healthy debates about policy. Hungarians are hardly shy about discussing their country’s future across all kinds of existing media channels. Is it the place of the U.S. government to intervene in the domestic affairs – the domestic politics – of another sovereign state? Today, as yet unproven allegations of that kind of aggressive diplomacy on the part of Russia have certain American elites in hysterics. Why, then, should we not expect the people of Hungary to be annoyed?”
She reminded that “the duly-elected Hungarian government, a U.S. friend, has raised sharp objections to this intrusion into Hungary’s internal affairs”.
In November, Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto called the State Department’s move “shocking and unusual”. Szijjarto said it was not normal practice for “a democratic country to start financing the media of another allied democratic country from its own budget”. “What is this if not interference in domestic affairs?”, he asked.
Source: Hungary Journal/Breitbart