In the classic movie Wag the dog, starring Dustin Hoffman and Robert de Niro, a PR professional tries to get a president with a bad reputation re-elected, by starting a fake-war with Albania. Why? When people are united against an enemy they know nothing about, they forget that their president is an incompetent fuck-up. Why do we tell you this? Well, we have reasons to believe Trump is starting a fake-war on Sweden to achieve the exact same goal. We let our Swedish writer Kajsa investigate Trump’s “Last night in Sweden” statement and Fox News’ news reports about this tiny European country which for some reason has attracted the conservatives’ attention.
“You look at what’s happening last night in Sweden. Sweden, who would believe this? They took in large numbers. They’re having troubles like they never thought possible.” Let’s pick this message a part. What is he implying? We took in large numbers of what? Literally, he is not saying anything. This is a trick that Trump has been pulling consequently during his presidential campaign and continues to use now when he’s addressing the public. By not specifying his statements, he’s letting the audience fill in their own meaning. Or let’s put it this way; the liberal part of the audience are scratching their heads, trying to figure out what the f*ck he’s talking about. On the other hand, the conservative part of the audience hears exactly what it wants to hear. In lack of specific meaning, they create their own. Sweden has taken in large numbers of immigrants. Last night in Sweden there was an act of terror. Trump doesn’t have to lie to the audience. He just has to be ambiguous enough, and people are going to create their own ideas to fill in the gaps. A very efficient way to please his supporters, and extremely dangerous.
Ami Horowitz is a journalist who produced a documentary about the alleged surge in violence in Sweden in relation to the many refugees Sweden has granted asylum the last couple of years. Horowitz was featured in Fox News, where segments of the documentary were showed and discussed. The segments included an interview with two policemen talking about what seems to be the rise in crime reports the last few years. However, the policemen have publicly denounced the documentary, saying that everything they said was taken out of context. They claim that they didn’t even talk about immigrants, and that their answers have been edited in a very inappropriate manner. Horowitz, however, still stands behind his documentary.
Fox News’ journalistic ethics, if they have any, didn’t stop there
Fox News’ journalistic ethics (if they have any) didn’t stop there. Apparently, Sweden had not suffered enough from vague accusations and untrue statements. No, no, let’s call in a fake-expert. Said and done, entré vous, Nils Bildt, Swedish National Security Advisor. Does this name seem familiar to you? No, not to me, not to the the Swedish ministry of foreign affairs or the government either. In fact, Nils Bildt has never worked for any government organisation. He hasn’t lived in Sweden the past 20 years. And yet, here he was, being allowed to deliver official comments on Sweden’s national security on prime-time television.
What I believe is happening, relates back to the movie described in the introduction. Just as the PR-professional that started a fake-war against Albania, I think Trump and his right-wing friends are starting a fake-war against Sweden. The Trump administration wants the Americans to forget what a historically incompetent bunch of people are ruling their country right now, by uniting against a common enemy. It’s a classic, fool-proof trick, and to be honest, we are talking about a nation of fools here.
“Oh Sweden, I love Suisse people, you make the best chocolate!” “No sweetie that’s Switzerland”. I’ve had this conversation too many times. Apparently, many Americans don’t even bother to learn where the country is. To those who are a bit more well-informed, Sweden is a communist north-pole where people pay 90% tax (it’s only 33%, give us a break). Also, Sweden has had incredibly generous refugee policies. Together with Germany, we have been part of the big players when it comes to handling the refugee crisis in the EU. Put together, we’re the perfect target, the perfect enemy. Socialist, migrant-friendly and somewhere far far away. We’re the exact opposite of what Trump wants to create in America, and the perfect example of everything that would go wrong if we do not follow his mighty leadership (it’s the best leadership in the world, really it’s great.) Only, it’s all based on lies and failed right wing media propaganda. So keep your fact checks strong and don’t forget who the real enemy is. The devil doesn’t wear Prada, but a too large suit and an ill-fitting toupee.