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Candypig & Humpty Dumpty
Karin Olsson - how could they forget her? That's what the investigators at Flashback are asking themselves today.
They know all about her boss Thomas 'Humpty Dumpty' Mattsson, the dictator of the smelly rag Expressen. There's been a drain of writers from that organisation of late, people who've abandoned a permanent job and a steady paycheque because they can't stand the man and his autocratic policies. Karin Olsson didn't quit - she's sitting very prettily, thank you. But lots of others have quit, disillusioned at how low even a filthy tabloid like Expressen can go. This much has been thoroughly discussed at Flashback. But not Karin Olsson. Somehow they missed her. But no longer.
Karin is known to her friends as 'Gottegrisen' - 'Candypig'. She particularly likes geléhallon sweets. And she particularly dislikes Julian Assange.
Karin has other dislikes too - this in accordance with her current position as 'culture editor' of Expressen. As Expressen is owned by the powerful Bonnier empire with tentacles in US and German publishing as well as the Swedish government (they have an ambassador in Tel Aviv and are staunchly zionist) and as the Bonniers have been Sweden's fiercest opponents of file sharing, Rick Falkvinge, and the Swedish Pirate Party, and as Julian Assange came to Stockholm a year ago to seal a deal with Rick's Pirate Party for WikiLeaks web server support, then WikiLeaks and Julian Assange must also of needs become an enemy as well and be attacked incessantly in their poison pen op-eds.
Given too that the Bonniers even own the German publishing house which released Daniel Domscheit-Berg's ridiculous book, and given that they hold the world rights to that 'adventure book' as it was called elsewhere in the Swedish media, then Karin Olsson must of course come out in full support of Daniel Domscheit-Berg's book. Done deal. Steady paycheque.
But Candypig went even further to please Humpty Dumpty. Speaking about a book that's otherwise universally laughed at, she used the opportunity to not only praise it but also to once again rail against WikiLeaks and Julian Assange, stating there was a bad smell about the both and claiming it had to do with Julian's bathing habits.
Candypig has an irrepressible urge to lash out rudely at people, only thereafter to creep into her corner and claim innocence. She also has an extremely myopic view of what's going on in her country. And finally she has an agenda handed to her by her editor: destroy file sharing, Rick Falkvinge, the Pirate Party, and WikiLeaks. The Bonnier empire with its investments in Popular Mechanics, Swedish cinemas, book of the month clubs and Swedish publishing in general: they can't risk someone getting one of their fine products for free. And as WikiLeaks might accidentally expose some of their high stakes political intrigues, they can't tolerate WikiLeaks either.
That other bit about Sweden's outrageous social climate today, what with the rabid state feminists, a situation so out of control that only the likes of Karl Rove would be smiling - that's all secondary. Money matters most.
The judges handing down the High Court extradition verdict this past week would like people to believe Julian Assange would have a fair trial in Sweden, if things ever get that far. Perhaps being old and wizened and not really informed can be an excuse, but as anyone who's taken the time to look into the matter can attest, a fair trial is something that's not even remotely possible in Sweden - not for Julian Assange, not for anyone.
But the danger doesn't stop there. For it's the media climate that's the worst. And now, as clockwork, as soon as the verdict is handed down: Julian's old friends at the Grauniad publish a piece by Candypig.
Candypig's article was a hit piece. There's no other way to describe it. And it reeks of the handiwork of David Leigh. It's David Leigh's style: hide the falsehoods in the unwelcome adjectives. Candypig's piece reeks of this. And together they commit about every journalistic crime in the book.
And it doesn't stop there. For Candypig's sleaze was for the international audience - outside the Swedish duck pond. And as anyone familiar with Swedish culture knows, the Swedish people will never venture far beyond its limits. There's another article that's necessary in such case, an article for the ducks in the pond. Candypig's editor Thomas 'Humpty Dumpty' Mattsson wrote that one. Mattsson writes about as well as former New York Times editor Bill Killer (they're soul mates too). But Mattsson pulls off the pomp and circumstance for the local suckers and takes the opportunity to sneak in a few lies and slurs of his own.
The next chapter in this exciting saga is the fact that Candypig's piece in the Grauniad's been syndicated to the Lucky Country where it appeared today in the Canberra Times. There are a lot of people out there frothing at the mouth, intent on taking this opportunity to destroy Julian Assange and WikiLeaks, but unfortunately for them the masses - whether it be the Swedish ducks or the international readership - are having none of it this time around.
The Grauniad initially didn't allow comments on Candypig's article. Perhaps there'd been an outcry, for now they're allowing them. But as per usual, as has been discovered and discussed so many times before, they're cherry-picking the ones they like and making all the rest quietly disappear. What remains are mostly superficial mutterings from people obviously not all that familiar with WikiLeaks, Julian Assange, and the case in Sweden.
The Swedish reaction to Candypig's article - as published online - is much more critical. Suddenly those ducks are revolting. They're not at all kind towards Candypig, they see through what Mattsson and Olsson are up to. And the comments coming in from down under are even worse.
The ultimate effect of the attack by the Grauniad and Expressen's dynamic duo Olsson/Mattsson has been more to reveal to the world outside the duck pond just how twisted those Swedes can be.
Flashback Stops Witch Trial of Assange
Sweden's veteran news anchor Olle Andersson outed the vile Karin Olsson this past February in a piece that really got legs. Andersson really went to town on poor Candypig and exposed her style of attack and propaganda.
Or what do you think about this: Karin Olsson demanded that WikiLeaks - in the name of transparency, mind you - should reveal all their whistleblower sources! Yes you read that right. Even David Aaronovitch wasn't that stupid.
Olle takes two swipes in the same graph, the second at the zionism that's a cornerstone of Expressen's editorial policy.
But Karin Olsson at Expressen? You who in an op-ed wanted WikiLeaks to reveal their sources so they could be hailed as the real heroes: how is your own transparency? What were you thinking when you hung out WikiLeaks' Russian representative as an anti-semite and then refused to publish his reply? What editorial decisions were behind that? You should have answered at the debate.
And hey - why stop there? Candypig commands the culture desk at Expressen, doing the job Humpty Dumpty wants. What do people outside the Marieberg offices have to say about that?
What about the all more stubborn rumours about what Expressen is systematically doing with comments asking for a more nuanced debate about Swedish sex crime legislation? How do you choose the material you publish? Who decides what goes in the dust bin - you? Or someone else? If I come visit you at your department at Expressen and want to know how it turns out that some things end up in your newspaper and others don't, do you promise to turn on the 100 watt bulbs on your desk?
Olle Andersson ends with the following.
These are the answers your readers want, Karin Olsson. They want complete transparency. Clear facts. If you have hidden agendas - then out with them! You should demand of yourself whatever you demand of others. Nothing else will do, Karin - otherwise you're just a hypocrite.
The hypocrisy of Expressen is thick and it's not going away soon. Expressen's first headline about Julian Assange, blasted across the globe by their scavenger reporters who fought and cheated to get credit for the scoop, claimed the WikiLeaks leader was being 'hunted' on the streets of Stockholm for 'two counts of rape'. A serial rapist in other words. A deranged person who somehow had eluded justice on several continents for years, a veritable Mr Hyde.
That's what Expressen went with. Hunted for double rape. They also boasted they had the police protocols - something that police investigator Mats Gehlin expressly told Julian Assange would never happen. They published a scan of one of the pages the very day after Gehlin's 'solemn promise'. So why didn't Candypig and Humpty Dumpty publish them? It was perfectly legal and it made more sense than blasting out a headline about a crazed serial rapist being hunted in the streets of the capital.
Olle Andersson again.
The dilemma is that not a single Swedish news organisation has dared relate the sequence of events. That is: what the two women and Assange have said in their interrogations with the police. What we common news consumers have had access to are redacted excerpts from these interrogations, most often blatantly stolen from the British media. Looking at the facts, with the cat out of the bag, it's easy to see the redacting's been done to benefit the claimants and no one else.
The short version? 'Rape' + 'hunted on the streets' sells newspapers. Showing the nation and the world around that it's all so much nonsense makes the rag - and the nation - look stupid. It's counterproductive. It deflates the issue. It doesn't sell shit.
And don't forget there's the agenda of the powerful Bonnier empire to uphold.
'There are no established media to trust when more and more new information is met by more and more compact silence. The culture pages send up sparklers.'
- Olle Andersson
If you want to learn even more about Candypig and Humpty Dumpty, then read more coverage by Olle Andersson here. And note that this article was written before the so-called 'Assange case' and note that it describes Karin Olsson and her Candypig friends before that event. So much for Candypig's claim she somehow 'soured' over the year gone by.
WikiLeaks and the Gutless Swedish Media
'You can think what you want about WikiLeaks and the demonised Julian Assange but one thing is crystal clear: our exalted Swedish editorial writers, columnists, and news reporters lack the courage and the independence needed when an international super-story lands in their laps. Their fixation on personalities and their resistance to source research makes one wonder if the Swedish journalists at all possess the competence, the cerebral wherewithal, and the publicist courage to tackle and work with materials of this scope.'
- Olle Andersson