Political Capital, a think-tank and consultancy, is firing back at the government and pro-government media outlets for defamation. The government and numerous pro-government media outlets have recently embarked on a campaign accusing Political Capital of laundering public money for the previous Socialist government.
The Fidesz government’s campaign to tarnish the reputation of Political Capital comes after the government was ordered by Hungarian courts to turn over studies performed by the Fidesz-linked Századvég think-tank and consultancy.
The Századvég studies, it turns out, are a hodgepodge of useless information and large fonts for which the government paid billions of forints. In an effort to deflect the Századvég scandal, the government and its media outlets turned to accusing Political Capital of the very thing that Fidesz and Századvég have been accused of.
A statement released on Political Capital’s website reads:
As analysts we understand what is really behind this: the political propaganda machine is employing its well-known tactic of distracting the public. Recently, a consultancy with close ties to the government had its studies made public and these documents received serious criticism in the public — including in some pro-government media outlets. [The government] is trying to bring up old issues that have absolutely no professional or moral qualms to somehow balance the coverage of this. Political Capital does not support that the certain opposing factions in governing party are trying to use [Political Capital’s] previous work to settle internal disputes. While we understand the political goal, this is unlawful and will result in certain legal consequences.
The courts have already awarded Political Capital’s owners millions in damages for misrepresentations published in pro-government media outlets….Political Capital will use the damages it will be awarded [from this particular case] to fund a research project that explores corruption practices in illiberal regimes.