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Faith Whittlesey

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Heads Up, President Trump, Secretary Tillerson: Beware ‘Project Overreach’


The State Department recently announced it was committing $700,000 to what might be called Project Overreach – an American government initiative to “help” the Hungarians get the “right” news.

Department mandarins, it seems, have determined that Hungarians need access to “objective media” about what is happening in and to their country. As Ronald Reagan once said, “there you go again.” My view: It’s a really bad idea, an egregious misuse of U.S. taxpayer dollars, and also, understandably, deeply offensive to Hungarians.

Why? For starters, Hungary is both a good NATO ally and a robust democracy with free and healthy debates about policy. Hungarians are hardly shy about discussing their country’s future across all kinds of existing media channels. Is it the place of the U.S. government to intervene in the domestic affairs – the domestic politics – of another sovereign state? Today, as yet unproven allegations of that kind of aggressive diplomacy on the part of Russia have certain American elites in hysterics. Why, then, should we not expect the people of Hungary to be annoyed?
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