Did you hear about the terrorist attack on Sweden last Friday? If we had waited for the mainstream media to tell us about it, we still wouldn’t know. But, since according to Representative Lamar Smith of Texas, we should get all our news directly from Trump, we now know about the attack. Thank you, Donnie T. for the enlightenment! Only one problem … there was no terrorist attack on Sweden on Friday … or any other time, for that matter.
For some reason, unbeknownst to mankind, Trump continues doing campaign-style rallies wherever he goes. I suspect to keep the masses fired up with enthusiasm and as a venue to toot his own horn, since not too many people are tooting it for him these days. So, on the taxpayers dime, he goes around spewing and spouting to crowds of thousands who are still goo-goo-eyed over him (for a reason that is beyond my comprehension).
At one such rally on Saturday in Melbourne, Florida, he spoke in an airplane hangar to a crowd of some 9,000 people. Wait … there are 9,000 people in Florida willing to waste time on a Saturday listening to Trump? What the …. ???? Anyway, he was doing his usual rant about the press,
“Life is a campaign. Making our country great again is a campaign. For me, it’s a campaign. To make America great again is absolutely a campaign. It’s not easy, especially when we’re also fighting the press. When the media lies to people I will never ever let them get away with it. We are not going to let the fake news tell us what to do, how to live and what to believe. We are free, independent people and we will make our own choices.”
He then reiterated that the press is dishonest, that he inherited a “mess”, and that the White House is running “so smoothly”. He continued to criticize the judges who refused to fall under his spell and reinstate his travel ban. And then came the kicker …
“We’ve got to keep our country safe. You look at what’s happening in Germany, 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. You look at what’s happening in Brussels. You look at what’s happening all over the world. Take a look at Nice. Take a look at Paris.”
There was no attack in Sweden, and the only such incident I can find record of was in 2010 when a suicide bomber injured two people. The bomber was a Swede.
Sweden, meanwhile, had some fun with Donald’s faux pas.
- “Sweden? Terror attack? What has he been smoking? Questions abound,” Carl Bildt, a former prime minister and foreign minister.
- “Due to harsh weather in northern parts of Sweden the road E10 was closed between Katterjakk and Riksgransen” and “a man died in hospital, after an accident in the workplace earlier that day” – Aftonbladet, a Swedish newspaper responded, were the biggest “crime” stories of the day.
- “OK let’s not be fake news, this story took place in the autumn, but was reported Friday before lunchtime and we thought you would like it. A wooden moose got the attention of a lovesick moose bull.” – Aftonbladet
- Another Twitter user posted a picture of famous Swedish export Abba, writing: “Four extremists responsible for #swedenincident are still at large, if you see these people phone @realDonaldTrump at once.”
Just for some perspective here, there were 112 reported cases of lethal violence in Sweden in 2015, an increase of 25 cases over the previous year. Not terrorism, just your run o’ the mill rape, robbery, etc. Sweden has a long history of welcoming refugees — Jews, Iranians, Eritreans, Somalis, Kurds and people from the former Yugoslavia, among others.
In an essay in the newspaper Dagens Nyheter, the journalist Martin Gelin speculated that “Trump might have gotten his news from the countless right-wing media in the United States that have long been reporting that Sweden is heading for total collapse. Among Trump supporters, there are common myths that Sweden is in a state of chaos after taking in refugees from the Middle East. These are incorrect, made up and gravely misleading news items like this have spread to right-wing sites like Breitbart, Human Events, Drudge Report and Fox News, as well as the popular conservative radio programs that reach millions of listeners every day.”
And so, Trump himself joins the ranks of his minions Kellyanne Conway (the non-existent Bowling Green Massacre) and Sean Spicer (the Atlanta terrorist attack, repeated 3 times, where he obviously meant to say Orlando). And yet, he complains about the “dishonest media” and “fake news”. I don’t get it … I just don’t get it.