Postcards from Sweden
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The choice of words is a subtle and yet effective element in propaganda in our free media. So when the semi-official Swedish news agency TT (Tidningarnas Telegrambyrå) issues a news flash about Julian Assange it seems important to suggest which feelings Swedes should have for this man. TT:s texts are often copied verbatim by most newspapers and broadcast media, among them this time Dagens Nyheter.What’s reported by TT today is, correctly, a Twitter-message that Assange will run for a seat in the Australian Senate next election, in September this year. Supposedly to “explain” more about Assange the news flash end like this:“Assange has been hiding in the Ecuadorian Embassy in London since June 2012 to avoid extradition to Sweden where he is accused of sex crimes.”
“Hiding”! A man holding speeches from the Embassy’s balcony, covered by media all around the world! “Accused”! To anybody’s knowledge he is not officially accused of anything; he is absurdly suspected for “sex crimes” against consenting women and wanted for interrogation by a prosecutor.
This is how Swedish journalists, cynically claiming to defend the free word, insidiously disparage a real fighter for freedom of expression. And this has become the mainstream media “policy”, as if Julian Assange’s case above all must be regarded as a matter of national prestige.
It’s a shame to be Swedish in these days, for this and for other reasons as well!