Fjordman’s latest essay at The Brussels Journal concerns an attempt by Sweden’s press Ombudsman to crack down on all those dangerous abuses of free speech to be found in blogs.
This story has been around for a few days in Swedish and Danish — Steen posted about it on Monday — but Fjordman’s article is the first account in English that I know of:
Yrsa Stenius, the Swedish press Ombudsman, wants to press charges against certain bloggers. She is worried about developments on the Internet, where anybody can just write anything they want. She says this has gone too far. She fears this trend could even spread to the mainstream media, unless something is done and a legal precedent is established to rein in unruly bloggers.
At the same time, the extreme left-wing thugs of Antifascistisk Action (AFA), who frequently physically assault critics of mass immigration, for instance members of the small party the Sweden Democrats, recently destroyed the car of a 90-year-old woman and wrote “nasse” (Nazi) on top of it. As it turned out, they picked the wrong car. Why doesn’t Ms. Stenius and the rest of the establishment worry more about the violent activities of AFA, instead of “impolite” bloggers who do nothing more than write words on their websites?
Yrsa Stenius is originally from Helsinki, Finland, from the country’s Swedish-speaking minority. She has been associated with Aftonbladet since 1979, and was even their political editor-in-chief in the mid-80s, and was a columnist for them as late as 2007.
Aftonbladet has close ideological ties to the Social Democrats, the country’s dominant party for most of the past century. According to journalist Karen Jespersen, Helle Klein, political editor-in-chief from 2001 to 2007 and a former leading member of the Social Democratic Youth League, has stated that “If the debate is [about] that there are problems caused by refugees and immigrants, we don’t want it.” During a demonstration organized by Islamic and anti-racist organizations in December 2006, Klein stood in front of a banner which read “A Sweden for all — Stop the Nazi violence” and held a speech warning against Islamophobia in the media. Klein has voiced strong sympathy for terrorist organization Hamas in her editorials, while warning against the threat to world peace posed by Israeli aggression and the Christian Zionist Right in the USA. She still blogged at Aftonbladet‘s website as of April 2008.
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Shouldn’t it worry Ms. Stenius that a representative of one of Scandinavia’s largest newspapers, with close ties to the country’s largest political party, thus cooperates openly with an organization known for physically assaulting members of a legal opposition party, even in their private homes? Isn’t that worse than what a few bloggers may or may not write about mass immigration at their private websites? I don’t know much about the specific mandate of the press Ombudsman, but according to the Wikipedia entry, the PO “is to determine whether the actions of a newspaper is in line with good journalistic practice.” Well, I hereby suggest that Yrsa Stenius does some research into the organization AFA, and asks whether it is “good journalistic practice” for Swedish journalists to cooperate with such an organization. Perhaps she should also take a look at potential ties between AFA and Expo.
There’s much more information at The Brussels Journal about this latest example of Swedish illiberality.