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Sweden’s Prime Minister in a Scandal

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of
Townhall Media

"Riffed from the Headlines" is Townhall's daily VIP feature with coverage of the deeply flawed aspects of journalism in the nation. We'll look to bring accountability to the mishaps, malaprops, misdeeds, manipulations, malpractice, and manufactured narratives in mainstream media.


Stealth Story Evolution – WASHINGTON POST

Let's harken back to a fortnight ago when the Washington Post eagerly repeated administration talking points about gas stoves being a threat to families and there being a likelihood the appliances would be banned. It saw fit to deliver two pieces on the matter. Then days later, following widespread mockery, the same paper came back with two new articles, this time mocking those on the right suggesting there was a call to ban the stoves.

(As a sign of the backtracking, WaPo even quietly edited out the word "ban" from one of the previous headlines.) 

Now, we receive word that there is a call to "Ban" gas in homes after all. The source of this story?

The – Very – Same – News – Outlet.

Both Kinds of Standards – DAILY BEAST

In a piece that has all the earmarks of a planted story, The Daily Beast comes out with a report from Jake Lahut about how Ron DeSantis and his comms team are allegedly hiring a battalion of online influencers to produce pro-DeSantis content online. That this relies on anonymous Republican sources who claimed to have been approached to be paid for producing digital agitprop is just the start of the problems. Then you have Christina Pushaw blasting the claims out of the water and those named by the outlet denying they had been contacted, and this begins falling apart rather quickly.

Then, there is the small matter of the White House repeatedly relying on influencers while absorbing zero such criticism, and this entire piece resembles a clown show of reporting.

Blue-anon – BUZZFEED

At Buzzfeed, they have waded into the news story about the rash of pregnancy centers that have become targets of violence over the past year. Sort of.

In reporting on a pair of individuals being charged with attacks on a pair of these facilities in South Florida, you get the very obvious delivery of slanted coverage.

Beginning with the description that these are "so-called pregnancy help centers," it is very clear that the pro-abortion stance of writer David Mack is on display.

Then, to underscore the diminishing of these facilities in the piece, Mack resorts to getting a description from none other than a Planned Parenthood web page.

- "Planned Parenthood has warned people seeking abortions that 'crisis pregnancy centers' like the ones targeted in Florida 'look like real health centers, but they're run by anti-abortion activists who have a shady, harmful agenda: to scare, shame, or pressure you out of getting an abortion, and to tell lies about abortion, birth control, and sexual health.'"

Presentation Paradox – DAILYMAIL

  • Just ignore the disqualifying detail provided in the body of the article.

DailyMail tries to make it seem there is an issue with the RNC gathering at a posh California hotel with $900-night rooms. Of course, you have to get deep into the piece to learn the RNC has a deal for the event at a fraction of that price.

Artisanally-Crafted Narratives – BBC

Consider all of the controversial stories surrounding our political system, from classified documents to alleged threats to our democracy and all the other manner of controversies that are reported. Now, let's peer over to Sweden to see what is rocking their political world.

There we see Prime Minister Ulf Kristersson is caught up in a scandal involving one of his top aides, who is being pressured to step down by opposition party officials over an incident where he had allegedly lied to law enforcement. An investigation is forthcoming, and the political career of the cabinet official is in limbo over the 2021 episode.

- "Sweden's prime minister has been caught up in a political row after it emerged he hired a top aide who went eel fishing illegally and misled the police about it. It is against the law to go eel fishing in Sweden without a permit. In a Facebook post, Mr Nilsson said he had been trying to sort out his equipment and throw small eels which had been caught in his fish-traps back to sea."


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