The liberal Swedish government has been quick to run interference over claims the country is having a difficult time with refugees from the Middle East and Fox News’ Bill O’Reilly may have unintentional made that effort a little easier.
In a follow-up on the attention on immigration and crime in Sweden that President Donald Trump drew attention to last week at a Florida rally, “The O’Reilly Factor” did a segment on Thursday featuring Swedish journalist Anne-Sofie Naslund and Nils Bildt, who was identified as a “Swedish defense and national security adviser.”
As might be predicted, Naslund downplayed reports of rape and violent crimes, while Bildt insisted she was “rather incorrect,” saying Sweden is having real problems with integrating the Muslim immigrants into society.
The Swedish newspaper Dagens Nyheter reported on Friday that neither the Swedish armed forces nor the Foreign Ministry knew of Bildt, The Washington Post reported.
Who is Nils Bildt? Swedish "national security advisor" interviewed by Fox News is a mystery to Swedeshttps://t.co/SJSphP4bd1
— The Washington Post (@washingtonpost) February 25, 2017
When reached by email, Bildt told The Post he did not chose the title Fox News went with.
“I made clear that I am an independent analyst,” he told the newspaper via email.
Bildt also disputed a claim in the Dagens Nyheter article that he spent time in prison.
“Had I spent a year in prison, I would think I would remember it,” he said.
Given that it’s O’Reilly, haters were quick to ridicule him over the alleged confusion, but the show stood by the decision to book Bildt.
“Our booker made numerous inquiries and spoke to people who recommended Nils Bildt and after pre-interviewing him and reviewing his bio, we agreed that he would make a good guest for the topic that evening,” David Tabacoff, executive producer of “The O’Reilly Factor,” said in a statement, according to The Post.
In what will now be must-see TV, Fox News said O’Reilly would address the matter on his Monday show — which you can be sure will receive far less attention than initial reports that Bildt is an impostor.
UPDATE: Bill O’Reilly issued the following correction on Monday night: “Finally tonight, 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.
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