A live television interview on the ATV Start program with Budapest District IX Mayor Krisztina Baranyi quickly turned awkward on Friday morning when Szilárd Szalai from pro-government media outlet PestiSrácok, standing alongside hosts Róbert Kárász and Emília Krug, asked the mayor a question. Baranyi gave the following repsonse:
You have put me in a bit of an uncomfortable situation, as I have been saying for a long time that I would never speak to the propaganda media, to paid propagandists, and I won’t do that now either.
Speaking directly to Szalai, Baranyi added, “I didn’t know you would be here, and if I had known, I wouldn’t have come.”
I’m surprised that this television station allows such people into this studio at all, those who have nothing to do with journalism and the profession. They lie and misstate without any inhibitions. I don’t understand what the journalist from PestiSrácok is doing here.
-the mayor of the Ferencváros neighborhood continued.
Upon hearing this, host Emília Krug quickly intervened to defend her employer by stating that “perhaps this is the only television station that truly tries to find interviewers from all sides, and welcomes politicians from all sides.”
In repsonse, Baranyi countered, “Yes, only this is not a website, not media, but a propaganda product.” Co-host Róbert Kárász then referred to the station’s “editorial freedom” and requested Baranyi to answer questions directed at her instead of qualifying them.
However, the mayor restated that she would not answer questions from PestiSrácok in any way. For the remainder of the 16-minute live interview, she would only respond to questions from Szalai if the two hosts repeated them to her.