This is why President Trump called the media “the enemy of the American people.” They’re actively lying to the public to keep them ignorant about what is really happening. The brouhaha over Trump’s remarks about Sweden is a case in point. Practiced liar Zack Beauchamp of Vox took aim at Trump and fired with the piece below, which is as fanciful as it is dangerous.
“Trump’s invention of a Swedish terrorist attack was funny. But it likely comes from a dark place,” by Zack Beauchamp, Vox, February 19, 2017:
Saturday night, President Donald Trump held a rally in Melbourne, Florida, where he attempted to defend his controversial “Muslim ban” executive order by pointing to the consequences of migration in Europe. He focused on an unspecified event that took place “last night in Sweden:”
When you look at what’s happening in Germany, when you look at what’s happening last night in Sweden — Sweden! Who would believe this? Sweden! They took in large numbers, they’re having problems like they never thought possible.
The only problem is that nothing happened the prior night in Sweden. The Swedish daily Aftonbladet quickly compiled a list of of noteworthy things that happened on Friday; they included a drunken-driving arrest and “some technical problems” during 87-year-old crooner Owe Thörnqvist’s rehearsal prior to the Melodifestivalen song competition.
It seemed like Trump, in the grand tradition of the Bowling Green Massacre, simply invented a terrorist attack allegedly committed by immigrants out of whole cloth….
Jokes aside, though, there’s a very real question going on here: What on Earth was the president of the United States talking about? What does he think is going on in Sweden?
Our best guess: Sweden’s alleged “rape epidemic”
If you spend any time in the conservative media, particularly alt-right or anti-Islam sites, there’s a clear narrative about Sweden: Muslim migrants are raping Swedish women at unprecedented numbers.
Look, for example, at Breitbart — Trump senior strategist Steve Bannon’s old publication. It’s published an enormous number of pieces in recent years on the alleged migrant rape crisis in Sweden, focusing on cities like Malmö with large Muslim immigrant populations. Representative headlines include “Police warn of child rape epidemic in migrant-occupied Malmo” and “Migrants jailed after woman abducted at gun point, gang-raped in hookah bar basement.”
Breitbart is hardly alone. Virginia Dare, an alt-right site focusing on immigration, published a piece on “Sweden’s ‘refugee’ sexual assault disaster.” Pamela Geller, a widely-read anti-Muslim blogger who once published a piece alleging that Barack Obama was the love child of Malcolm X, wrote a piece titled “Sweden Crumbling: Demands for military intervention as thugs turn Malmo into ‘no-go zone.’”
These claims have even made it into more mainstream outlets like National Review and Fox News. Friday night, Fox’s Tucker Carlson interviewed Ami Horowitz, a journalist who said that “from the onset of the refugee crisis, there was a surge in [Swedish] gun violence and rape.” Slate’s Daniel Politi theorizes Trump watched the segment, and hence decided to say something about Sweden in his subsequent speech.
That’s hard to say for sure. But the odds are, given the consistency of the narrative about Sweden in the right-wing mediasphere, that Trump heard one of these claims about a Swedish refugee rape epidemic somewhere — and appropriated them to justify his travel ban.
The problem, though, is that this “rape epidemic” is as fake as the Bowling Green Massacre….
The vicious Beauchamp wasn’t alone. Business Insider had a story with this headline: “Trump’s baffling ‘Sweden’ comment came from a FOX News segment.” Baffling? Yes, it’s all made up by “right-wingers” like me. Right? Of course not. Here is the grim reality in Sweden to which Trump was referring:
“SWEDEN ON EDGE: Now MPs DEMAND billion pound investment into police amid growing crisis,” by Lizzie Stromme, Express, February 5, 2017:
SWEDEN’S Prime Minister was brutalised in Parliament for allowing Sweden to crumble into a lawless state.
Right-wing politicians tore into Stefan Löfven earlier this week as they said more recourse and police were needed now as officers are losing the uphill battle secure law and order across the nation.
The Sweden Democrats (SD) and Moderate Party (MP) also lambasted the Swedish PM for the crisis within the police force.
Hitting back at the criticisms, Mr Löfven said his Government wanted to invest more money into the police as well grant recourses to combat the causes of crime.
Dissatisfied with the reply, MP leader Anna Kinberg Batra demanded the billion pound investment should be included in the spring budget – adding that anything else was just empty promises.
Mattias Karlsson SD took an even harsher approach to the continued problems within the country, which as been plagued with violent crimes, sex attacks and car fires, as he also insisted Police Commissioner Dan Eliassons should step down from the top role.
He said: “Right now we have a police commissioner who expresses greater sympathy with murderers than with the murder victim.
“So I wonder: how bad results does a Social Democratic police commissioner have to deliver to lose an SD-Government’s confidence?”
Mr Eliassons sparked widespread fury last year after he went on national television and expressed sympathy for a migrant who murdered asylum worker Alexandra Mezher.
After the 22-year-old’s horrific death, the head of the Swedish police force said the arrested youth may have been traumatised by “horrors” he has witnessed.
A number of people demanded the police chief’s resignation after the TV appearance, including Kent Ekeroth, a member of parliament for the anti-immigrant Sweden Democrats, who tweeted: “This is where Dan Eliasson feels sorry for the guy who knife murdered the woman at the asylum home – resign!”…
In February 2016, the National Criminal Investigation Service was forced to admit more than 50 areas in were now labelled as “no-go zones” as sex crimes, attacks on police, drug dealing and children carrying weapons were common occurrences.
Malmo, Sweden’s third-largest city, has been so hard hit by crime and car fires, the Social Democrats demanded soldiers should be sent in to reestablish law and order.
Speaking to Expressen, Mr Olsson also said there was a great lack of police officers in Sweden, which means officers could benefit from the armed forces’ resources.
He said: “There is a great lack of police officers in Sweden and Malmö. For this reason, it is perhaps time to let the military and police to stand together to reestablish order in the country.”