De Vos: Fake news, then fake people, then fake elephants (column)
Remember when the President held a news conference and blocked some of the reporters from attending? The hue and cry made him quickly relent, and, as guaranteed in the Constitution, they were allowed back into White House news briefings. Now, of course, I’m talking about President Obama blocking Fox News, decrying their truthiness and cavalier take on reality.
Our Founders foresaw the importance of a free press, placing it prominently in the First Amendment, third behind the freedom of religion and speech.
Exercising that freedom, Fox News recently took a stand against the ill-informed louts who claim immigrants have not committed repeated terrorist attacks in Sweden. The President, hearing of one such attack on Fox News, used it in a tweet to make the point that if life is so dangerous in mild-mannered Sweden, only unquestioned authority can ever Make America Safe Again.
Just over a week ago, Bill O’Reilly decided to balance the issue with a fair and live interview with the Swedish National Defense Advisor, Nils Bildt. Who better to know more about Sweden than the man who whispers in the ear of Sweden’s King Carl XVI Gustaf? Most Americans know Sweden only through their gummy fish, so Nils was a good insider to get at the truth.
He reported a sad reality: Contrary to the lack of lamestream news coverage, immigrants were causing yuge problems in Sweden that were not being honestly addressed in the corrupt American press.
Take that in the eye, you ignorant Trump critics. None other than the Swedish National Defense Advisor has our President’s back. It’s true, immigrants have wrecked Sweden! Worse by far, the President correctly tweeted, news of these attacks were deliberately suppressed by Enemies of the People: lying, slime-dwelling journalists.
But now, thanks to the truthifier, Bill O’Reilly, we know what’s really going on behind the curtain.
Well, maybe not. It turns out Sweden doesn’t have a National Defense Advisor. Mr. Bildt is a consultant in the burgeoning field of kidnaps and ransom services. Doubtlessly Bildt is an interesting character, but one who has nothing at all to do with the Swedish government. And for all his railing at immigrants, it turns out Bildt himself is a US immigrant who was arrested and jailed in Virginia in June of 2014 for beating up a cop. He has no ties to Sweden at all.
Bildt says he never claimed to be a Swedish official. He says the O’Reilly Factor plucked the title from thin air, a claim buoyed by the fact that the position doesn’t really exist. When pressed why they hadn’t vetted Bildt better, the Factor Folks claimed they’d spoken to a whole bunch of unnamed sources who like totally confirmed that Bildt was a sharp dresser with cool, wrap-around shades. With such ringing endorsement, O’Reilly went with the interview. Made-up stuff plays better to the base.
Swedes responded with a puzzled look. They’ve had fewer terrorist attacks than the US and were surprised to become a shining example of why the US needed to ban Muslims from any country without a Trump Tower.
Bored with repackaging wingnut conspiracy notions into sound-bite nuggets of so-called news, Fox has suddenly raised the ante by introducing fake people, begging the inevitable question:
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