Sunday February 19, 2017
The Most Frightening Thing about 'Last Night in Sweden'
Last night Donald Trump held a rally in Melbourne, Florida to make himself feel better for being such a lousy president. There, he referenced what sounded like an immigration-related or refugee-related terror attack in Sweden:
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.
This led to confusion for ... everyone. Particularly those in Sweden.
Turns out he wasn't referencing a terror attack:
My statement as to what's happening in Sweden was in reference to a story that was broadcast on @FoxNews concerning immigrants & Sweden.— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 19, 2017
Brian Stelter of CNN posted the Fox segment on Twitter, so I watched it earlier today. It's interesting to watch. Host Tucker Carlson had the right-wing filmmaker Ari Horowitz on the show, and Ami talked about the rise of crime in Sweden as it relates to that country's liberal refugee policy. Horowitz says that the stats clearly indicate that violent crime, particularly rape, has been on the rise since Sweden began letting in refugees, but that the Swedish government won't acknowledge this. The people won't either. You know why? They're too politically correct. Bad things are happening, and the stats show why, but the people won't own up to it because they want to be, in Carlson's word, “virtuous.”
It's interesting because it's obvious what the segment is about. It's not about Sweden. Sweden is a stand-in for liberals and Democrats, and rape and murder is what happens to good Americans when you follow Democratic policies. So vote Republican.
It's not news, it's propaganda.
At the same time, I was curious: Is violent crime going up in Sweden?
According to this piece on The Local, a European news site, and dated in January (so before Tucker and Ari politicized everything), “the number of rapes reported in Sweden increased by 13 percent in 2016 to 6,560.” Except that number is slightly less than the number of reported rapes in 2014. In other words, the number dipped, then returned to the previous level.
The article adds this:
Seen over a ten-year period, the number of reported rapes has gone up from 4,208 in 2006, partly because of legislative changes in the previous year and in 2013 broadening the definition, according to Brå.
Reuters' article mentions this:
Sweden's crime rate has fallen since 2005, official statistics show, even as the country has taken in hundreds of thousands of immigrants from war-torn countries like Syria and Iraq.
So on a Friday night on FOX, Carlson and Horowitz act 100 percent certain of a rise in violent crime in Sweden, even though the stats are inconclusive, as a means to smear liberals, Democrats, and (let's face it) long-standing U.S. policy on immigration. Pres. Trump watches this and repeats it as if it were 100 percent true.
The most frightening thing to me? The way our president phrased his comment: “You look at what's happening last night in Sweden.” Last night? It's one thing to buy the bullshit on Fox, but surely Trump knows that, in reference to his comment, nothing happened last night in Sweden. That the only thing that happened was he watched TV. And surely he understands the difference between the two. Right? Reince? Someone? Anyone? Please tell me he knows the difference between the two.