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'Journo Pigs Suffering from Mass Psychosis'
Remember who they really are and what Expressen really stands for.
STOCKHOLM (Rixstep) — By May 2005 Mikael Persbrandt had had enough. His lawsuit against Expressen was still to go forward. But he was starting to lose his patience. The following article written by Persbrandt was published in the rival tabloid Aftonbladet 8 May 2005.
When the Swedish tabloid Expressen lost ground to rival Aftonbladet in the first years of the New Millennium, they devised a plan - stalk celebrities to within an inch of their lives. They picked famous stage and film actor Mikael Persbrandt at random as their first and primary victim.
A previous article in this series based on an op-ed by the Royal Court's Lord Chamberlain Elisabeth Tarras-Wahlberg showed what Expressen were capable of. Tarras-Wahlberg was prompted by Expressen's stalking of Mikael Persbrandt to step forward.
These are Mikael Persbrandt's own words that follow.
The case of Persbrandt vs Expressen is no longer a matter of conjecture: the case has been settled in court where the magistrates unanimously condemned Expressen. Their editor in chief - predecessor to the current Thomas Mattsson who most regard as even worse - is lucky he personally got off with a fine. Most people felt he should have got the maximum penalty: one year in prison.
So the next time you hear or see or read about anyone from Expressen trying to lean on lofty ideals, remember what these people said. The next time you hear of one of their reporters, be it Karin Olsson or Thomas Mattsson or Niklas Svensson, go off about Julian Assange or WikiLeaks: remember this article. Remember who they really are and what Expressen really stands for.
Journo Pigs Suffering from Mass Psychosis
By Mikael Persbrandt. Published 2005-05-08.
Actor Mikael Persbrandt writes about being stalked by Expressen.
I want to tell you a story about a little pig. Unfortunately it's a true story. Once upon a time there was a journalist (?) and I'll call him a journalist because no one knew that he really was a little pig. The pig worked his way up the hierarchy at the New York Times and gained a great reputation and won lots of nice awards for his brilliant and completely flawless search for the truth. The little pig had a good life and he thrived, became wealthy and famous. Then one day it all ended. The little pig had made everything up.
Everything was a fabrication. In other words: nothing he'd written about had any basis in reality. The only truth in it all was the fact there was a tiny pig who wanted to be a big pig. A rich and famous pig.
This story needs telling in a time when they're thinking like this at the Pig Farm Expressen: NEVER fact-check a good story. You might find out it's not true. For that's the #1 rule at the Pig Farm Expressen.
On direct request for retractions, their Pig Colonel Otto replies: 'oh goodness did we make an error - then sue us!' Retractions don't sell newspapers.
So how are you feeling today, Lars Lindström? Did you get that job as a lifeguard?
Another honest day's work behind you, Ingvar Hedlund? Now you know how to read court decisions?
Any pats on the back recently, Micke Ölander?
And then we have Terese Cristiansson who is guilty of trespassing when she jumps over hedges and gates to get to my door to check if it's locked.
Something to be really proud of, Niclas Rislund, you night caller and apprentice liar?
So how's my fence holding up, Lars Johansson? Is it white or is it black?
I have to admit that I'm a little tired of being stalked. Tired of the outright harassment day and night. Tired of the libel and the lies in the name of the 'truth' and the 'public interest'.
When you guys decided to be, so to speak, the bearers of the truth to the people - for that's what you decided, right? Was it something like this you were thinking of: to wait until 01:30 in the morning and creep under the bushes on my property and call out my name, jump my fence, yank at my door handles, committing outright aggravated trespassing on my property and the property of my neighbours? Stalk me in my car, stalk me at my place of work, and try to get a rise out of me so you could write more lies and then refuse to retract?
I finally got to the point where I'm fucking forced to react. I want to say in passing that your notices and headlines are tasteless, clumsy, often outright lies, and terribly simpleminded. I'd like to see the tyranny of your moralist panic come to an end. And believe me: I am not alone.
That I've been silent during this massive attack is due in part to my refusal to contribute to your sleaze journalism and in part to my simply not knowing how to go about protesting.
But now I'm here and I have a big fucking cream pie in my hand. And I wanted to toss it in your faces: LARS LINDSTRÖM, INGVAR HEDLUND, MICKE ÖLANDER, LARS JOHANSSON, TERESE CRISTIANSSON. And last but not least: the most troublesome, the dirtiest and sleaziest, and the tiniest shit-pig on the entire Pig Farm Expressen: NICLAS RISLUND. A pig totally lacking in morals and ethics.
You have no respect for your readership. You have no respect for yourselves.
But most importantly: you create an aggressive and hostile climate full of frightened people.
I want to show you a media climate where every news item is served already chewed, where everything is dumbed down.
Life is more complex than that. So are people. And Pig Colonel Otto knows this. But he doesn't give a shit - he's trying to make more money for the owners of the Pig Farm Expressen.
We live today in a world where children, when asked what they want to be when they grow up, answer 'celebrity', where the norms and the ideals are superficial and vacuous, where the string and the flat tummy rule. This is what you've created, you wee pigs. What made you choose journalism as a profession?
My industry and my career take care of themselves. For better or worse. In your cynical world of profit, the shittiest and nastiest and tiniest pigs are lured away on the most humiliating assignments like lying in the forest on Ingarö in the middle of the night and yawning.
Little pigs like Rislund don't get all the blame - it's mostly Pig Colonel Otto who's to blame. For he shouts out orders and approves everything happening in the Expressen pigsty even as he denies it to the outside world.
The tabloids are extremely authoritarian. They're cynical places to work where the demands of the bosses are to be met no matter the cost.
I hope this article will get people to react. What you're doing to me and others is not proportional to anything we've done on this planet.
There's no reason or rhyme in a trial about who drove or didn't drive a motorboat on a summer night getting more column real estate than 30,000 children starving to death or being victimised by violence every day on the same planet.
Or for that matter the coverage of my trial sucking up more of your resources than your coverage of the trial of the murderer of Anna Lindh.
Seriously - and from the bottom of your hearts: what makes you tiny pigs tick?
I haven't had a collapse. I feel fine. What do you think about your chosen profession? I'm proud of my profession. I love it. And I'll never betray what got me started in it.
The desire to tell a story, ask questions, give people hope. I've made mistakes and I'll continue to make mistakes. I'm human.
I've driven whilst under the influence. The responsibility is mine. The shame as well. I admit it and I accept the consequences. And I understand things like that will make it into the news.
All I object to is how you stalk me - for it's both criminal and cowardly. And by the way? My fence is white.
[The little pig is real. But he didn't work at the New York Times - he worked at the New Republic.]
One: 'A lie that Mikael Persbrandt is an accident at work' | Two: 'Journo Pigs Suffering from Mass Psychosis' | Three: 'Pig Farm Expressen'
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