The major organs of the pro-government press barely reported on Pál Völner’s resignation as State Secretary on Tuesday, writes HVG. For the most part, they devoted just a few lines to the major story, omitting most of the details known about the case, if they even reported it at all.
The “propaganda press” preferred not to make a big deal of the news that Prosecutor General Péter Polt had initiated waiving the Parliamentary immunity of Fidesz MP Völner due to suspicions of bribery connected with the President of the Hungarian Chamber of Judicial Officers.
Although flagship news site Origo posted three news items on Völner, none of them appeared above the fold on its front page, where accusations against opposition politicians could instead be found. The site’s first article on the story was at 10:23am, simply restating a statement from the prosecutor’s office sent at 8:19am.
At 11:30am, Origo finally reported that Völner had resigned, long after independent media sources had marked it as “extraordinary” news. This story, however, only repeated the press release that had stated the facts of Völner’s resignation. Their third story at 11:50am published a short press release from the Justice Ministry, taken directly from news agency MTI’s report.
Magyar Nemzet treated the matter similarly, although it only published one article on the story. The Hungarian daily referred to the press release from the prosecutor’s office and simply stated the facts of Völner’s resignation, in an article appearing far below the fold on their site.
PestiSrácok did not even report on the story at all until 12:00pm, when the site likewise repeated the Ministry of Justice’s press release and stated that Völner had resigned, declining to delve into any of the specifics.