Bill O’Reilly addressed the controversy over fake Swedish “Defense and National Security Advisor” guest Nils Bildt tonight. “The criticism is valid,” O’Reilly acknowledged and “a more relevant guest should have been used.” But he also insisted, “The information we gave you in the segment was accurate.”
As I previously reported, Bildt was booked in a misbegotten effort to validate Donald Trump’s citation of a fake, immigrant-caused terror attack in Sweden last week. Sure, there was no terror attack or major incident when Trump said there was but there could have been. Bildt even suggested there might have been some kind of cover up when he complained, “These things are not being openly and honestly discussed.”
Unfortunately for the Trump TV rehabbers, Bildt only made Trump look worse. Here’s what The Washington Post found out about Bildt:
[The Swedish newspaper] Dagens Nyheter reported that Bildt had in fact emigrated from Sweden in 1994 and that he was originally named Nils Tolling. The newspaper also said Bildt had been convicted of a violent offense while living in Virginia and was given a one-year prison sentence in 2014.
You can probably guess that none of that information was provided to The O'Reilly Factor viewers, neither during Bildt's appearance nor tonight.
The executive producer of The O’Reilly Factor had claimed the show’s booker “made numerous inquiries and spoke to people who recommended Nils Bildt.” But O’Reilly never revealed who those people who recommended Bildt were. I continue to suspect it was someone close to Trump.
Here’s what O’Reilly said (transcript via Media Matters, with light edits and emphases added):
O’REILLY: The Factor Tip of the Day, last week we did a segment on Sweden and its Muslim immigrant situation. Both sides were presented as always.
After the segment, some left-wing people objected to one guest, Nils Bildt, who was introduced by me as a Swedish Defense and National Security advisor. The Swedish government also weighed in, saying they’ve had no contact with Mr. Bildt.
Now, we looked into the situation and the criticism is valid. It’s valid. Mr. Bildt does consulting work on terrorism, that’s true, but we should have clarified that he had no direct role with the Swedish government. To be fair, the information we gave you in the segment was accurate, but in hindsight, a more relevant guest should have been used on the anti-immigrant side. You should also know that before the segment was booked, we asked the Swedish ambassador to appear. He declined, that invitation stands.
However, Brian Stelter made an important point tonight about the “bigger picture”:
O’Reilly pitted Bildt against Anne-Sofie Naslund, a Swedish reporter in NYC who said Sweden is “one of the safest and most peaceful countries” on Earth. So the segment did have balance. But the bigger picture point is that POV hosts like O’Reilly aren’t doing original reporting from Sweden or from other countries for that matter. They’re talking about immigration rather than reporting on it...
This is one of the main tactics Fox employs for propaganda. Someone books an immigrant-hater like Bildt (or a Trump lover, an African American black attacker, etc.) to say what Fox wants said while giving themselves plausible deniability in the process.
It didn’t work out well this time.
Watch O’Reilly’s admission below, from the February 27, 2017 The O’Reilly Factor.
Faux, after being worn down to a bare spot on the rug is gonna come to the conclusion that honesty is the best policy. Or they won’t. Either way it will be fun to watch Trump grind them down.
Christ, the bastards INVENTED Fake News (nobody ever gave the Enquirer and other such rags much respect) and have been spreading their venom for 20 frigging years!