The Biden administration and leftist billionaire George Soros are tied at the hip, working in cahoots to undermine Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban.
The U.S. Department of State entrusted Soros-funded Ökotárs Foundation and media watchdog Mérték Media Monitor to hand over $320,000 in taxpayer dollars to 15 media outlets critical of the pro-freedom Hungarian government, according to NGO and government documents. European Parliament elections take place from June 6 to June 9. Similarly, Hungary will hold local elections on June 9. Hungary-based political analyst András László and Rod Dreher spread the news in Jan. 27 posts on X.
László wrote that “left-wing NGOs announce which Hungarian media outlets will receive direct financing from the US Embassy. More than a DOZEN, a total of 15 media will receive US taxpayer money.” Echoing László, Dreher reacted to the news: “US taxpayers are funding anti government media in Hungary, a NATO ally.”
The Biden administration contracted Ökotárs and Mérték to identify and evaluate which Hungarian media outlets would receive the taxpayer-funded grants, a State Department document revealed. MRC Business verified the contract through information published by grants.gov, the online database of federal grants, as well as documents provided by Ökotárs and Mérték.
The disturbing bottom line is this: Foreigners are deciding what foreign entities will get American tax dollars. Under President Joe Biden, we have farmed out our foreign policy to foreigners.
A translation provided by the Ökotárs Foundation backs László’s assertions of U.S. Embassy involvement:
Following the approval of the supporting Embassy of the United States of America in Budapest, a decision was made regarding the applications received in the first call for applications operated by the Mért Media Analysis Workshop and the Ökotárs Foundation. A total of 32 applications were received by the deadline of November 15, 2023, of which 6 did not pass the formal inspection. Out of the 26 valid applications, the following 15 will now receive support, totaling HUF 115,608,880.
The release then listed the media outlets that would receive funding before making it clear that this was only the “first round” of applications and encouraged media outlets to apply for the next round on Feb. 29.
If this were not enough, a translation provided by the Mérték Media website openly admits where the funding comes from: “The Mérték Media Analysis Workshop and the Ökotárs Foundation (hereafter: Mérték and Ökotárs) are announcing a tender using the resources of the United States Embassy in Budapest to support Hungarian national and local independent media.”
In 2023, a U.S. government grant was posted titled “U.S. Ambassador’s Independent Media Support (AIMS) Fund.” This grant proposed to “provide support to Hungarian independent media outlets and civil society organizations actively advancing media freedom in Hungary.” Additionally, it searched for an “implementing partner [who] will manage funds that will be disbursed to sub-recipients.” Disturbingly, this grant had a ceiling of $500,000.
Soros has funded Both Ökotárs and Mérték. Between 2017 and 2022, Soros gave $306,147 to the Ökotárs Foundation and $88,113 to Mérték Media Monitor. According to descriptions provided by the Open Society Foundation, all three donations to Mérték Media Monitor aligned with the current goals of the State Department.
MRC Vice President Dan Schneider ripped the State Department for this contentious partnership: “It is wrong for U.S. government employees to farm out how our tax dollars are spent. It is outrageous that a lazy diplomat in our embassy relied on the Soros crew to figure out how to spend our taxpayer dollars.”
At least five of the media outlets that were awarded grant funding were funded by Soros. Soros has funded Nyugat Media for years, giving them $259,142 in five donations from 2017-2020. “Let’s make democracy together,” a $25,000 donation claimed in its description. ” A second donation referred to Nyugat Media as “the largest, independent media site in the Hungarian countryside.”
Soros gave $129,962 to the Tilos Cultural Foundation from 2016 to 2022, four grants in total. Two of the grants reference support for “independent community media in Hungary” and “alternative values.”
Soros has also given $197,478 to grant-recipient Atlatszo.hu Kozhasznu Nonprofit Kft. Two out of the four Soros grants were earmarked for “independent media,” while another donation aided collaboration with a different State Department beneficiary Magyar Hang. Soros gave $15,000 to grant-recipient Debreciner in 2019, again for “independent” media.
The leftist billionaire also gave $15,000 to the media outlet Szabad Pecs in 2020. The description given beside the donation on the Open Society Foundation website aligns closely with the purported goals of the State Department initiative: “To strengthen the sustainability of Szabad Pecs, one of the last remaining, independent, local news portal in Hungary and thereby to strengthen independent journalism and access to information in the Hungarian countryside.”
This atrocious initiative is unfortunately characteristic of the Biden administration’s behavior in Hungary. The U.S. Ambassador to Hungary Dave Pressman attends and even hosts LGBT events at which he attacks Orban and members of his political party Fidesz. The ambassador and the embassy he oversees have an antagonistic relationship with the U.S. ally they are supposed to work with.
Turns out that the State Department pours money into the coffers of anti-Orban media, while the American ambassador complains about “state media churning out propaganda.”