Monday, October 12, 2009

Swedish paper pulls a mindf**k on the Latvian media

Sweden's Dagens Nyheter has pulled off a successful mindfuck on the Latvian media, thanks to me, actually. The paper ran what appeared to be a letter to the Swedish prime minister Fredrik Reinfelt (Moderate Party) from the leaders of his three coalition partners. It raised very credible points, including Finance Minister Anders Borg's scolding of Latvia for failing to cut 500 million LVL from its budget.
The letter was written in a very Swedish informal style -- Dear Fredrik, etc. and signed with first names. This made it even more believable that it was not a fake opinion article, but most likely a leaked letter. The signature of Peter Wolodarski, one of the editorial page writers, lent credibility to this version. OK, it was Sunday afternoon, I was not at the office, I was surfing the Swedish press, so I wrote it up. But it was not fucking April 1, when you are on the lookout for such stuff.
OK, the squareheads* got me on this one, gotta write a correction on the LETA wire....

*a bizarre name for Swedes I heard in an American cowboy movie, where one referred to a Swedish prarie settlement as a place "with nothin' but squareheads living there". :)


Anonymous said...

But it does make sense to figure a thing like that out before publishing it on a newswire... I can't see anything maucisks on the Swedes' part.

Jānis Kreilis said...

I read the letter and nearly fell for it myself, but it still seemed too good to be true. Then, I double-checked, and I sent an email to LETA (as well as left a comment on all the sites I could find this information). I am really happy this misunderstanding got sorted out. We have enough trouble between Latvia and Sweden going on right now.

Jānis Kreilis, intern at the Latvian Embassy in Stockholm

Juris Kaža said...

Thanks. I managed to write my way out of the corner :). Blamed Dagens Nyheter for publishing an April 1 joke on October 11.
Got your e-mail via the news editor at LETA.

Jānis Kreilis said...

You are welcome! I was not sure if my email got through, and I am happy to know that it did.

I'm glad I could help someone whose opinions I value highly.