Norwegian Media: Distorting the News

In early 2009, a blog in English called Norway, Israel and the Jews was launched. It was established after its blogger read my 2008 book Behind the Humanitarian Mask: The Nordic Countries, Israel and the Jews. He had checked footnotes in it about Norwegian anti-Semitism and anti-Israel bias. To his surprise, all the quotes were correct. The blog – now managed by another blogger who writes under the pseudonym Miranda McGonagal – has become a major source of information on widespread Norwegian anti-Semitism. This largely expresses itself as anti-Israelism.

In 2009, a number of academics proposed a cultural /academic boycott of Israel to the Board of the NTNU University of Trondheim. Only on Norway, Israel and the Jews one could find detailed descriptions of how the battle against this boycott was fought by Jewish and other organizations abroad. The Norwegian media reported little and late on this boycott action, which was later voted down by the NTNU board.

One example of how the Norwegian press omits unwelcome information about the country was when in summer 2010, then-U.S. Senator Sam Brownback sent a letter to the Norwegian Ambassador in Washington. In it he expressed his worries about Norwegian anti-Semitism and anti-Israelism. Attached to it was a detailed description of anti-Semitic acts by Norwegian ministers also involving King Harald the Fifth. There was almost total silence on the letter in the Norwegian media. Yet one wonders whether another U.S. senator has ever deigned himself to address Norway on anything in this century. The Norway, Israel and the Jews blog was the first to publish the Brownback letter.

Domestic critics of Norway’s Labour dominated government were silenced even more after the mass murders by criminal Anders Breivik in July 2011. Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg falsely claimed shortly thereafter that there would be even more openness (sic) and democracy in Norway. The opposite happened as has been described by American author Bruce Bawer who lives in Norway. He published a book titled The New Quislings: How the International Left Used the Oslo Massacre to Silence Debate About Islam.

I can add some of my own surreal experiences with Norwegian media. An interview of me by journalist Fredrik Graesvik was aired in March 2009 by the major Norwegian commercial TV station TV2. He translated most of what I said correctly. Graesvik however interjected that I considered the Norwegians to be “barbarians and un-intellectual” because they killed whales and seals. This was a major distortion of my words.

The person at TV2 who transcribed this distorted interview for the station’s website maltreated my quotes even further, falsely claiming that I said that “Norwegians are unintelligent and barbaric” and that “Norway is the most anti-Semitic country in Europe.” The Norwegian press agency NTB spread these false quotes further. They were taken up by many Norwegian and some Swedish papers. As a result, I now own a representative collection of hate emails from Norwegians. TV2 also gave the British Holocaust distorter David Irving more than a quarter of an hour of air time to express his views. The station paid for his trip and expenses to come to Oslo.

Sidsel Wold, then-Israel correspondent from state radio NRK even outdid TV2. She interviewed me and afterwards claimed that she had mistakenly deleted the interview. Instead of interviewing me anew, she fabricated a false interview. She culled some recorded text of mine off the internet. Thereafter, she aired an invented interview with me, full of distortions and then criticized the text she had falsely attributed to me. For this she received a dishonorable mention in HonestReporting’s 2010 Dishonest Reporter Award. Thus Wold became one of those rare Norwegian journalists to actually win an international prize.

Dr. Manfred Gerstenfeld has published 20 books, several of which deal with anti-Semitism and anti-Israelism.

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