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Hanne Kjöller & Half-Truths

It wasn't just JA. It was everyone. It was her.


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STOCKHOLM (Rixstep) — Hanne Kjöller, chief cultural journalist at DN.se, Sweden's biggest morning daily, has been outed. Kjöller is infamous as being part of the mediadrev against Julian Assange and features in toxic documentaries on the WikiLeaks leader, and criticism of her integrity has been hard.

But now she's got the corps in the capital against her, and not for anything she's written about Assange either, but for her 'journalism' in general.

'Her grievous factual errors, misinterpretations, and half-truths are myriad in her writing. Kjöller doesn't hesitate to use outright falsehoods, something I myself have experienced', says journalist Gellert Tamas.

'A Half-Truth is Also a Lie'

Talk about dim-witted: Kjöller's just come out with a book with the title 'A Half-Truth is Also a Lie'. Bad Move™ - especially for someone like Kjöller.



One of the 'half-truths' Kjöller cites in her book is the claim that Swedish journalists ignored the riots in Husby until things started getting torched. To refute this claim, Kjöller did searches in the Swedish 'Press Text' archive for 'Husby' and the period in question, and she found that there were many more hits than for the neighbouring suburb Bagarmossen. But what the dubiously talented Kjöller forgot (or deliberately sidestepped) was that there are many instances of 'Husby' in the archive not related to the suburb. What journalist Gellert Tamas found were instead references to:

  • Eastern Husby outside Norrköping, 252 hits.
  • Western Husby outside Söderköping, 241 hits.
  • Husby-Rekarne outside Eskilstuna, 63 hits.
  • Norwegian forensic psychiatrist Torgeir Husby, 116 hits.
  • Norwegian singer/actor Hans-Erik Dyvik Husby, 158 hits.
  • Racehorse Husby Lynet, 4 hits.

Gellert Tamas writes:

'Either Hanne Kjöller can't manage even the most basic news archive search or she's deliberately trying to mislead the readers of Sweden's biggest morning paper. The one is worse than the other and vice-versa.'

Gellert Tamas is just getting started.

'Her grievous factual errors, misinterpretations, and half-truths are myriad in her writing. Kjöller doesn't hesitate to use outright falsehoods, something I myself have personally experienced. Can the editorial page of DN.se now publish a correction thanks to Kjöller achieving the dubious feat of confusing a suburb with a Norwegian forensic psychiatrist, and actor, and a racehorse?'

From JA to JJ

Everybody knows who JA is today, but few outside the Duckpond know who JJ is. JJ is Janne Josefsson, head of television's Uppdrag Granskning and the country's leading investigative journalist. Kjöller quoted JJ out of context in her abortive book.

Kjöller namely claims that Josefsson, a journalist most people know is above corruption in any form, had once revealed how he ran his television show:

'We promote facts that strengthen our opinions and disappear the rest.'

JJ objected immediately. 'I know I can't have said anything like that', he told Swedish radio. 'But I could have possibly cited that as a trap that journalists can fall into. Should I have ever said anything that dumb, the public would have reacted strongly.'

So Swedish radio went digging for the sound bite. And found it. It was ten years old. And sure enough, JJ was citing a journalistic trap that has to be avoided at all costs.

Hanne Kjöller took the country's leading journalist out of context to smear him. Did she think no one would ever find the actual sound bite as it was ten years old?

'Hanne Kjöller is the leading example of the bad things she wants to warn us about', says JJ.

Persecution of the Sick

Researcher Björn Johnson writes in his book 'The Fight for Sick Leave' that the articles by Hanne Kjöller in DN.se created a myth that the increase in sick leave in the noughties was caused by fraud, which in turn gave the current right wing prime minister the carte blanche to drastically cut people's benefits across the board.

She also attacked the terminally ill Erik Videgård who tried to get health insurance in his final months, because the patient supposedly owned a $2 million condo. But of course the poor sod owned nothing of the sort.

Persecution of Assange

Kjöller's attacks on Assange are legendary. One hardly knows where to begin. But perhaps this is one of the best: when Kjöller came out with an especially 'OTT' op-ed where she once again got even the most basic facts wrong, the members of Flashback reacted. Here's the exchange, with Kjöller's replies in green.

Hi!

I read your editorial http://www.dn.se/ledare/signerat/trasig-eller-forstord this morning and I'm wondering if you have a theory why the condom can't be bound by DNA to either of the people who've been in contact with it?

Nope.

OK. Then I guess you don't have a theory about that.

But have you thought about why AA deleted her tweets and blog posts but still wanted to be JA's press secretary after the alleged assault?

Nope. I wasn't aware of that at all.

For anyone with even a limited knowledge of the case, the matter of the deleted blog posts and tweets is key.

You're evidently ignorant or you've chosen to selectively ignore parts of the story.

You say 'time will tell us what happened' but time doesn't seem to have helped you, does it? It's obvious you can't be certain what happened when you've not bothered to familiarise yourself with the case!

And to admit you weren't aware that AA agreed to be JA's press secretary after the alleged assault makes this even more embarrassing for you.

No cordial sendoff this time. Sorry. You should be ashamed of yourself.

I'm sitting on a stool in the corner, a brown paper bag over my head, boo-hoo, in a cold sweat from the shame.

Blushingly,

Hanne Kjöller

But why can't you read about the case instead of playing the fool?

Take a good look at the criminal lab report. Can you honestly say you don't have second thoughts about the allegations after having read it?

Shouldn't a condom that's been used for hours have traces of DNA? How old were the condoms? What was their expiry date? What size were they?

Were the people at that particular lab the right people to carry out an experiment into how condoms can break?

And you don't think it's worth mentioning that the constable who interviewed the one claimant is the political colleague and personal friend of the other claimant?

The fact that the claimants are interviewed 'conceptually' and the neutral and 'Assange witnesses' are taped - you think that's OK too? And if not, then why so silent, Kjöller?

Have you wondered about what SW would have needed time for, from the moment her nearest ICA food store opened at 08:00 that morning, until the alleged assault took place only one hour later?

You had an open unguarded goal to criticise the Swedish judicial system, but you're too scared to kick the ball in until your colleagues and friends are standing there next to you, protecting you.

Take the paper bag off your head. Become the person you always wanted to be.

But no reply. Nothing smart-arse to write back anymore. Flashbacker MoLoK was actually rather kind towards her, quite the feat.

'A Journalistic Morass in Sweden's Leading Morning Paper'

The Swedish media attacks on Assange have been merciless. The theory that this wasn't all orchestrated couldn't get much legs. But with people as hopeless as Kjöller, all bets are off. Could she be doing all this deliberately? Or could she really be that dumb? Could this be part of an agreement between the Bonniers and Reinfeldt? Or can Kjöller be so congenitally stupid as to deliberately destroy her own career? For her career is now over.



Gellert Tamas points out that it's hard to be more off base than Kjöller. When he dug into her claims about 'Husby' articles, he found that even her own paper DN.se published more pieces on Bagarmossen. Tamas cites further examples where an obstinate Kjöller, knowing she's in the wrong, deliberately edited interviews to yield directly misleading results. Tamas comments.

'Kjöller's journalism is about more than her almost tragicomic errors. By virtue of her position as lead cultural editor at Sweden's biggest morning daily, this becomes a question of the entire public social climate.'

'At the end of the day, this is about how long DN.se can let themselves be dragged into the Kjölleresque morass. For if anything be difficult for the readers, it has to be Kjöller's 'I got it almost right' journalism where mixups, bordering on Schadenfreude, are stirred in with aggravated factual errors and deliberate falsehoods.'


Julian Assange wasn't such a bad guy after all. The problem all along's been a bunch of mentally damaged media maniacs.

Kjöller has to go.

No it wasn't correct, but it was almost correct!
 - Hanne Kjöller
I'm sitting on a stool in the corner, a brown paper bag over my head, boo-hoo, in a cold sweat from the shame.
 - Hanne Kjöller

See Also
Hall of Monkeys: Hanne Kjöller

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