It is a rare thing indeed for the Murdoch goons to admit that they loused up: after all, were they to make a habit of it, they would spend more time ‘fessing up than putting their alleged journalism out there in the first place. So when Bill O’Reilly, top rated host for Fox News Channel (fair and balanced my arse) agreed with criticism of a recent guest pundit, and effectively admitted Fox was conned, people sat up and took notice.
Once again, the subject that undermined the right wing was Sweden. After Combover Crybaby Donald Trump told his followers that there was trouble in Sweden, and that all those “bad people” who just happened not to be white were the cause of it, Fox News booked a pundit called Nils Bildt on The O’Reilly Factor. Bildt described himself as a “Swedish national security advisor”. But there was a problem.
Nobody involved in Swedish Government matters had heard of him. Still, minor point, eh? The press sought to figure out who Nils Bildt really was. The Guardian told “Fox News's 'Swedish defence advisor' unknown to country's military officials … After Donald Trump’s infamous ‘what’s happening in Sweden’ comment, Nils Bildt was billed on The O’Reilly Factor as Swedish national security advisor”.
It was also established that “the Swedish defense ministry and foreign office told the newspaper Dagens Nyheter they knew nothing of Bildt”. And Slate was rather less subtle than the Guardian, asserting “Fox News Interviews Fake Expert on Sweden to Warn About Immigration Threat”. Reminding readers of the Fox Habit of pitching news and comment items to deliberately feed off one another, the article went further.
“Nils Bildt, was part of a segment on the O’Reilly Factor in which two guests debated claims about whether recent immigration had made Sweden more dangerous. This, of course, came mere days after President Donald Trump was inspired by a Fox News segment to make a reference to ‘what’s happening last night in Sweden’ during a Feb. 18 Florida rally”. Trump is fed Fake News, then Fake News reinforced by more Fake News.
And now CNN - not Trump’s favourite news outlet - has revealed “Swedish media outlets have reported that Bildt, who was born Nils Tolling, left Sweden in 1994 and emigrated to the U.S. He later changed his surname to Bildt … On Sunday, the newspaper Aftonbladet reported that Bildt had expressed interest in 2013 in running for office in Sweden with the nationalist right-wing party Sweden Democrats. His bid was not successful”.
The Sweden Democrats are an anti-immigrant party, populist and nationalist. The party had its roots in Swedish fascism and has been part of a white supremacy movement. So it should come as no surprise that someone who took an interest in running for office under their banner might pass the kind of adverse comment on refugees being admitted to his home country which would match the agenda of the Trump gang and Fox News.
In the circumstances, Bill-O had little alternative but to admit “[W]e looked into the situation and the criticism is valid”. Nils Bildt looked too good to be true for those out there on the right wanting to paint Sweden as a modern hell-hole. That was because he was too good to be true. The Murdoch goons got conned, rather than doing the conning themselves.