BUDAPEST, Hungary — Hungary’s media authority says it is investigating a radio station for playing Ice-T songs with explicit lyrics, an announcement that got an enthusiastic response from the hip-hop star and actor.
The songs “Warning” and “It’s On” played in September of last year should have been broadcast only after 9 p.m., the National Media and Infocommications Authority said in a statement posted on its Web site Saturday.
Tilos Radio argued that since the lyrics are in English and the station has very few young listeners, the songs did not have an “adverse affect on the moral development” of children under 16.
Ice-T, known for his controversial “Cop Killer” track and as a star of “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit,” welcomed the dispute, posting “I love it! The world still fears me. hahaha!” on Twitter.
The announcement comes as Hungary is under scrutiny for a contentious new media law that sparked an international outcry over press freedom, though Hungarian authorities said their investigation is based on a 1996 law regulating radio and television.
The new law, which took effect Saturday, greatly expands the state’s power to monitor and penalize private news outlets on broadly defined grounds. Media watchdogs and several European countries, including heavyweight Germany, have criticized it.
Since winning a two-thirds parliamentary majority in April elections, Prime Minister Viktor Orban’s Fidesz party has modified the Constitution several times to fit its political aims and taken numerous measures – including limiting the powers of the country’s top court and naming party loyalists to key watchdog positions for extraordinarily long terms.
All three of Hungary’s opposition parties said they would ask the Constitutional Court to review the media law.