The Hungarian government is going about its depressingly sub-fascist legislation as described by the BBC here.
So first let us wave the flag, the dear old red-white-and green:
Under the new legislation, Hungarian media outlets will have to fill at least half of their programming with European productions, rather than those from overseas, while radio stations will have to dedicate at least 25% of airtime to Hungarian music.
But really it is about 'balance':
There would be sanctions for unbalanced coverage or breaches of rules on coverage of sex, violence or alcohol.
The government says the law will bring about a more balanced media.
Some people have simply no idea of balance (I expect they are chiefly into sex and violence):
It would "give the new media authority absolute control" over coverage, said Endre Bojtar, editor-in-chief of liberal political weekly Magyar Narancs. (translation: Magyar Narancs= Hungarian Orange - Hungary does not grow oranges)
Which is why we should not pussy-foot about:
One proposal in the bill is to allow the Media Council - whose current members are all government nominees - to issue fines which can only be appealed against after they have been paid.
Fines which could total the equivalent of tens of thousands of dollars could make it all but impossible for some publications to remain in business.
Inevitably it is necessary to restrict freedom in order that freedom should flourish:
The aim is to "guarantee the freedom of members of the [media] branch, while protecting the interests of the community", said parliamentary deputy Erzsebet Menczer, one of the authors of the bill.
So be assured! As a leading article in the Magyar Hírlap newspaper has it:
Aki tisztességes, nincs mitől félnie
Értelmezhetetlennek nevezte L. Simon László azt a vádat, hogy az új médiatörvény felszámolja a sajtószabadságot
Translation: Decent Folk Have Nothing To Fear
L. László Simon said he simply couldn't understand why anyone should regard the new media law as a curtailment of press freedom.
It is, of course, quite right that folk who are not decent should fear the new law. That's what it's for. Some people are clearly not balanced.
I don't imagine that the question of balance will touch the far right pro-government media such as Magyar Nemzet, Magyar Hírlap, Hír TV and Inforadio. They will all be, and have always been, perfectly balanced.
Some parts of the dreaded 'left-liberal press' have appeared with blank front pages this morning. And that is more or less what Hungary is becoming: a blank page.