Pesti TV, owned by oligarch Lőrinc Mészáros and Miklós Vaszily, began a “professional cooperation” relationship last fall with a “news site” calling itself “Numbers – the antidote to left-wing fake news.”
The premise behind the station’s Sunday evening show “Facts and Figures” is to take posts from the “Numbers” site and have pro-government journalists discuss them.
“Numbers” launched in 2020, and began sharing Russian-friendly posts last spring. The majority of them featured Vladimir Putin speeches with Hungarian subtitles, highlighting details that also cheered on Viktor Orbán and his political agenda.
Over time, the false tropes of Russian war propaganda began appearing more frequently on the site, such as the claim that Ukraine is not a real state, a junta illegally gained power in the country through a coup and bloody massacres, a genocide has been taking place for years in the eastern Ukrainian counties of Luhansk and Donetsk, and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has been killing Russians with tanks.
Posts on the Facebook page for “Numbers” can get up to several hundred thousand views each, and not infrequently can also get thousands of shares per post. Most of the the sources for “Numbers” come from the YouTube channels of Sputnik and Russia Today, which have since been banned in the EU.
[Photo: Számok / Facebook]