American journalists expressed their frustrations Thursday over being barred from the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in Hungary.
Journalists from Vice News, Rolling Stone, Vox Media, the New Yorker, the Guardian and Associated Press were denied entry into the conference, Vice News reported. Vice News reporter David Gilbert argued CPAC organizers have turned away “independent media,” even calling Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban an “authoritarian.”
“Matt Schlapp, the organizer of the hugely influential Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC), does not know what ‘independent media’ means,” he wrote. “The denial of access to the conference will once again raise one of the main criticisms of Hungary’s authoritarian leader, Viktor Orban, who has spent much of his 12-year reign crushing any independent media in the country.”
Journalists from the outlets hit back at the conference’s decision not to accredit them, claiming they were “denied credentials” and “forcibly removed” from the press check-in.
— David Gilbert (@daithaigilbert) May 19, 2022
I haven’t heard of any journalist that was granted accreditation to cover CPAC Hungary. The organizers either ignored messages from independent/international outlets or just denied their registration. https://t.co/QFqNXvVf6j
— Flora Garamvolgyi (@floragaramvolgy) May 19, 2022
#CPACHungary kicked off today in Budapest, organized by @alapjogokert. PM Viktor Orbán gave a keynote address. Unfortunately, after months of requests, the AP was not granted accreditation to cover the event featuring dozens from the US and EU right wing. https://t.co/YgXCqMaeg2
— Justin Spike (@jspikebudapest) May 19, 2022
Wild stuff. https://t.co/HmEpJPbe1Q
— Jonathan L. Krohn (@JonathanLKrohn) May 19, 2022
Orban described a 12-point plan for U.S. conservatives during his speech at the conference, Vice reported. One point of his plan revealed why no U.S.-based outlets were welcomed to the event. (RELATED: CNN Analyst Compares Trump’s CPAC Speech To Hitler)
“Number four, my dear friends, have your media. You can only present the stupidity of the leftist progressives if you have the media to do it,” he said. “Leftist opinion can only seem to be a majority because the media helps them to increase their voice.”
The American Conservative Union reportedly guaranteed U.S. journalists accreditation, though its executive director Dan Schneider said the conference only co-hosted the event, Vice reported. He also said a link would be provided for everyone to view the conference, but admitted journalists should have in-person access to have direct communication with speakers and attendees.
“We do these CPACs around the world and we always have partners on the ground who take the lead, and those partners are the ones who make the decisions, so those are the decisions of the Center for Fundamental Rights,” he said, according to Vice. “There is a real advantage for the press to be able to get the flavor of a story by being physically present there, and there’s a real advantage to having immediate access to attendees and ask questions.”
Schlapp doubled down on not having U.S. media present at the conference, saying all countries have their own independent policies, according to Vice.
“I know you think there should be a certain protocol to how the media is always handled,” he said. “Our view at our CPAC events is that we always try to include as much media as possible. Every CPAC in their own country has their own policies and they will follow them. As far as us coming here, we will try and answer your questions.”