Why are the citizens of Europe so angry and turning away from the established parties? It must be because of … Russia! That at least is what the New York Times is claiming in an article published August 10, with logic that bears a striking resemblance to the narrative that explains why Donald Trump won the presidency in 2016. With this kind of reality concept to navigate from, it is not surprising that the mainstream media are failing.
My newspaper Nya Tider (New Times) is mentioned three times, with my own name also featuring thrice in the New York Times’s ambitious article that sets out to explain why Europe’s 750 million citizens increasingly vote for nationalist and anti-establisment parties. Though it is flattering that our newspaper with it’s 7 000 paying subscribers is credited with such huge influence — admittedly the online version of our articles gets tens of thousands of shares — the New York Times’s narrative constitutes a very instructive example of how the establishment is grasping at straws in order to avoid accepting the harsh truth.
Already in the title, the New York Times is setting the tone: “The Global Machine Behind the Rise of Far-Right Nationalism”. The paper then explains that Sweden is used as an example warning every time someone wants to illustrate the consequences of large immigration. The New York Times calls it “dripping with schadenfreude”. The paper finds it “striking” how many people in “progressive, egalitarian, welcoming Sweden” agree with the nationalists’ view that “immigration has brought crime, chaos and a fraying of the cherished social safety net, not to mention a withering away of national culture and tradition”.
Really? I wonder what might be the reason for this, dear New York Times? The paper does not mention a word about the problems in Sweden, and blames the shift in opinion on Russia. The Swedish mainstream media, which feel threatened by competition from the alternative outlets, are happy to parrot the New York Times article. Swedish Ministers and party leaders are encouraging everyone to read the article. Dagens Nyheter, the main Swedish daily, printed the whole story in Swedish translation, which highlights the embarrassing factual inaccuracies even more. Admittedly, they have included two corrections, one being the correction the New York Times already had to publish on its own, but there are still tons of factual errors left.
Vávra Suk at Book Fair in Gothenburg 2016. Photo: Nya Tider
The fact that the mainstream media are full of fake news is nothing new, but the essence of this article is interesting. The allegations against Nya Tider and other alternative media follow the same model that the establishment lauded when Donald Trump surprisingly won the presidency in the US. The Russians are to blame! Because the voters can’t really be fed up with all the wars, see their jobs going abroad or experiencing the effect of increasing multi-culture. Or can they?
The New York Times’s “smoking gun” is that the Russian TV-channel NTV visited Sweden in February 2017, and according to witnesses, offered immigrant youth in the troubled neighbourhood of Rinkeby in northern Greater Stockholm roughly 50 dollars each for making trouble that could be filmed. I must say that I wouldn’t be surprised if this were the case, even though testimonies from those witnesses on no account constitute evidence. My experience of Russia, admittedly limited, is that this is how many things are done in Russia. The situation is steadily improving, but still the whole system promotes these “short cuts”, because official ways are often impassable.
However, this does not in any way change the Swedish reality. There are plenty of reportages from immigrant suburbs that can’t be explained away. But the New York Times prefers not to see them. The most fitting story to mention is, I think, when another TV crew visited Rinkeby; Channel Nine from Australia which was recording a documentary for the renowned “60 Minutes”. They didn’t need to pay anyone to see some action. The “youth” attacked them with punches and kicks, threw objects at them and one of the crew even got his foot run over by a car. Earlier, a TV crew from Finland was robbed by a knife-wielding immigrant who took their video camera.
Australian TV team attacked in Rinkeby. Photo: Channel Nine.
The fact that the immigrant areas are a tinderbox is not really a secret. The Police have, to the chagrin of the politicians, compiled a list of so called “alienated areas”. In its latest report, the Police listed 61 such areas and divided them into three categories; “Vulnerable”, “At Risk” and “Especially Exposed”. In the last category, Police say the situation is “acute” and is characterised by “parallel social structures, extremism such a systematic attacks on freedom of religion or strong fundamentalist influence that restricts human freedoms, individuals who travel to foreign countries to participate in armed struggle and a high concentration of criminals”. This category expanded from 15 areas in the year 2015 to 22 today. Needless to say, all these areas are immigrant areas, without exception.
But this is not really a problem, according to the New York Times. The problem is when someone reports about this. When alternative media write about news that mainstream media brush under the carpet, the New York Times calls it “injecting anti-immigrant and Islamophobic messaging into the Swedish political bloodstream”. And the newspaper complains that the readers seem to appreciate this, since there are several alternative outlets among the top ten most shared sites in Sweden.
One example that the New York Times mentions as influencing the Swedish parliamentary elections of 2018 is the article “Immigration Behind Shortage of Drinking Water in Northern Stockholm” from Nya Tider. This is another example of a lack of fact checking, since this article was published in February 2019, six months after the elections.
This is how the New York Times “dig(s) beneath the surface of what is happening in Sweden” to “uncover the workings of an international disinformation machine”.
The main opposition party, the Swedish Democrats, is mentioned no less than 24 times, but the views of the party are not explained in other ways than having ”neo-Nazi roots”, together with casual mentions of Waffen SS, White Aryan Resistance and Ku Klux Klan. The newspaper makes sure no one will miss the point.
Nya Tider is a Swedish weekly since 2012. Photo: Nya Tider
The New York Times also claims that the platform of the Swedish Democrats “included the forced repatriation of all immigrants since 1970”. This is incorrect. For many years, until the beginning of the 2000s, the party had a program that stipulated a review of all permanent residence permits awarded since 1970 and cancelling those granted on false premises.
I leave it to readers to judge this kind of description of the political situation in Sweden, whether it is a fair or a good example of “deliberately distorted or misleading” information, which is the accusation levelled by the New York Times against alternative media.
In fact, the mainstream media’s accusations against the Russian TV channel are akin to the pot calling the kettle black. I wouldn’t at all be surprised, if it actually were the other way around, that the immigrants testifying that NTV offered them money, were themselves paid off by the New York Times or some other mainstream media, or a secret service. It is an established fact that protesters at the Maidan square in Kiev – at least some of them – were paid to demonstrate for the European Union and against Russia. Before the Book Fair in Gothenburg in 2016, we prepared a special issue of Nya Tider where we exposed the fake news of the Dagens Nyheter, where the newspaper lied to readers straight in their faces.
The New York Times has been awarded Donald Trump’s “Fake News Award” twice already, and on August 15th, the President tweeted:
“Wow! The Deputy Editor of the Failing New York Times was just demoted. Should have been Fired! Totally biased and inaccurate reporting. The paper is a Fraud, Zero Credibility. Fake News takes another hit, but this time a big one!”
This was in connection with the paper’s Deputy Washington Editor, Jonathan Weisman, sending controversial tweets about Congress, that were met with furious reactions on social media and exposed his strong bias.
Concerning the situation in Sweden, the New York Times continues clutching at straws. Vávra Suk has travelled to Russia to be an observer during the presidential elections in March 2018. This has to mean something! the newspaper argues. It appears not to reflect on the fact that it is in every journalist’s interest to check whether, for example, accusations about election fraud are true or false.
Vávra Suk, Editor in Chief, and Sanna Hill, Deputy Editor, visited Syria in the summer of 2018. This picture is taken in the village of Maaloula, where the Islamic State slaughtered Christians. Photo: Nya Tider
The fact that reporters from Nya Tider visited Syria last year, as the only Swedish news media, to speak to the people and see the situation on the ground, leads the New York Times to accuse us of writing “Kremlin-friendly” articles. And it goes on and on. George Soros, who robbed Sweden of billions and exacerbated the ongoing recession in the 1990s, is called a “billionaire benefactor of liberal causes” by the New York Times and labels criticism against what he has done as “anti-Semitism”. Rinkeby is not a “no go-area”, etc. We can’t examine all the nonsense of the New York Times within the scope of this article.
Vávra Suk, Editor in Chief, as elections observer in Moscow, March 2018, (left) and in Zimbabwe, August 2018 (right). Photo: Nya Tider
So what conclusions can we draw from these disconcerted claims and pieces of reality distorted beyond recognition?
It is evident that the establishment is frustrated that they are losing their power over the electorate, when the voters increasingly see through media manipulation. But in the editorial offices of the mainstream media, they continue to fool themselves and bury their heads in the sand. In its article, the New York Times continues to claim that the presidential election of 2016 was influenced by Russia as something beyond doubt, although no evidence for such influence has emerged and most people today see it as a tall tale at best, or more likely a vicious disinformation campaign orchestrated by the Deep State.
Nonsense in the New York Times. Screenshot: NYT
The article clearly shows that the people in the offices of the New York Times and other mainstream media do not have a clue as to why Trump became President, why people prefer alternative media over the New York Times or why the old parties are rapidly losing support.
They don’t understand. They don’t want to understand. The reality is too hard, for their time has ended.
They can’t accept a reality where people want to live in a society that is different from the one these self-proclaimed saviours want to force upon us. The continue to laud explanation models that claim that the public is too ignorant and needs to be educated by journalists, that they have been deceived by the Russians, misinformed by alternative media and agitated by Trump.
We are in a raging struggle about which path Europe and the West should travel. Only the one who can make a correct analysis of the situation has a chance to win. The one who draws his map from wishful thinking and dreams is guaranteed to lose.