|Photo: Chi King|
The Media Council members are appointed by the Budapest parliament and serve a nine-year term. All members of the council, which is seen as powerful, are said to be associates of Prime Minister Viktor Orban's Fidesz party. Last month the Fidesz-dominated parliament approved a controversial new media law. The OSCE has said that the law, despite some changes, was still too unspecific about the criteria for licensing broadcasters.
Pandas do nothing
The presenters at Neo FM had said that, for example, it would not matter to anybody if pandas became extinct, "because they do nothing else all day but sit on their behinds and eat". Turtles, too, came in for some sarcastic comments. "They have lived long enough anyway."
In response to the complaint, the Media Council judged that with their behavior, the station's presenters had "given a bad example to children".
The political Velemenyvezer blog, which revealed the affair on Thursday, said that it confirmed "our worst fears", as the law apparently permits the Media Council to "remodel the Hungarian media landscape after its own image". The blog criticised the unbalanced make-up of the council.