Channel 4 News anchor Krishnan-Guru Murthy blocked Breitbart London journalists after the news network reported his claim that Christianity is “not really a sort of a fundamental of Europe”.
Guru-Murthy made the comments during the following exchange with Hungary’s Secretary of State for Public Diplomacy, Dr Zoltán Kovács, after he said his government regards large-scale illegal migration as undesirable, and that world civilisations “all have their nature, their own characteristics” — including Europe.
Krishnan Guru-Murthy: Do mean Christian? Or do you mean white? What do you mean?
Zoltán Kovács: No, we mean Christianity, at the core of this phenomenon, which is not necessarily religious, but cultural.
KGM: But Europe? I mean, that’s not really a sort of a fundamental of Europe, is it?
ZK: Oh, yes it is.
KGM: Legally? Or democratically?
ZK: No, [but] take a look back even to [the beginning] of European integration; the very foundations, the very ideas for European integration are having their origins in Christianity. Trying to keep the original face, the original nature of the European continent, is essential for us.
KGM: I mean, but, by ‘face’, again, I don’t want to skirt around this, you say ‘We’re very openly anti-Muslim’ in terms of [migrants] coming into Europe — you’re talking about white people as well, aren’t you? [Note: Dr Kovács does not say “We’re very openly anti-Muslim.”]
ZK: No. But again, I mean, don’t try to make it as a racial or a religious issue. It’s Christianity, [or] if you like, the Greco-Roman, Judeo-Christian inheritance we have … It’s a cultural environment which is a guarantee for everything which is European. The form of democracy, the working of our institutions.
KGM: But how do you think Christian culture differs from Muslim culture, if you take out the religion?
ZK: Well, I think there are evident differences. And this is not about inferiority or superiority — the differences are there, and we believe that those difference are unbridgeable.
KGM: And you don’t want them.
ZK: We don’t want to face the very same problems we see many parts of Western Europe facing.
Breitbart London reported Guru-Murthy’s comments on Christianity, which Dr Kovács later described as “stunning”, under the headline Channel 4 News Presenter Tells Hungarian Minister: ‘Christianity is Not Really a Fundamental of Europe’ — triggering a furious response from the presenter on social media.
“Typical of you to miss the point, misquote and distort” he exclaimed, adding: “Put the video up to let people see for themselves.”
The presenter was informed that the full interview was linked on the top line of the second paragraph of the article, but invited to provide the raw footage and relevant permissions to Breitbart London deputy editor Oliver Lane.
The full interview is not particularly helpful to Guru-Murthy, containing fake news claims the original report did not have room to cover — for example, the statement: “Just this week, the Hungarian prime minister talked about migrants as ‘the dark side of Europe’.”
(In fact, the Hungarian prime minister had said “[we] shouldn’t underestimate the power of the dark side” with respect to globalist forces pushing his country to accept mass migration, which Breitbart London reported at the time.)
Consequently, Breitbart’s request for the video was met with silence and social media blocks for the report’s author and bureau editor-in-chief Raheem Kassam.
We said no
— Raheem (@RaheemKassam) November 4, 2017
Elsewhere, Guru-Murthy tries to claim he only said Christianity was not part of the European Union — as opposed to ‘Europe’ in the wider sense — “legally”, and that Breitbart’s report deliberately omits “a comma”.
The recording of the interview does not appear to support his version of events, and despite a Twitter following of some 500,000 the presenter was not able to muster much support for his position.
KGM: "[Christianity's] not really a sort of fundamental of Europe is it?"
ZK: "Oh, yes it is."
— Jack Montgomery ن (@JackBMontgomery) November 4, 2017
“I’ve watched. You said quite clearly Christianity is not fundamental to Europe. It’s your job to read news not make political statements,” observes one social media user.
“You’re in a biased bubble mate,” notes another. “Get out the studio once in a while.”
Another adds: “[T]he left wing media in the West may have criticised Hungary but ordinary people think it is sensible not to permit ISIS into their country”.