Friday, 22 Sep 2023

Rightwingers praise free speech at CPAC Hungary then eject Guardian journalist

Rightwingers praise free speech at CPAC Hungary then eject Guardian journalist


Rightwingers praise free speech at CPAC Hungary  then eject Guardian journalist

US Republicans and their European allies tore up news headlines and ejected a Guardian journalist from a conference of radical rightwing activists, on the same day that they highlighted the importance of free speech.

Speaking at the second annual meeting in Budapest of the US Conservative Political Action Coalition (CPAC), Kari Lake, a failed Republican gubernatorial candidate, said that "truth-tellers and peacemakers" were being destroyed by "fake news".

"It's always opposite day in the media: if they're telling what you're doing is bad, it's probably good," said Lake before tearing up a sheaf of printed articles about the conference aimed at cementing radical rightwing ties across the Atlantic.

Despite being a former TV news anchor, Lake made hostility towards the press a central theme in her unsuccessful 2022 election campaign, which included an advert in which she smashed TVs and pledged to "take a sledgehammer to the mainstream media's lies and propaganda".

Addressing CPAC, she said her childhood ambition was to be a journalist, but that during the Covid pandemic she had realized that "some of the news wasn't true".

Lake was one of the most high-profile Republicans in the midterm elections to embrace Donald Trump's lie about voter fraud. She lost her bid to become the governor of Arizona but refused to concede and continued making false claims of electoral wrongdoing.

The CPAC audience also watched a recorded message from Donald Trump in which the former president said conservatives were "fighting against barbarians" and listed freedom of speech as one of the cardinal virtues of the far right.

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