Aftonbladet is acquitted of fake Nazi scandal in SD


Published 21 March 2023 at 17.40

Media. Aftonbladet pretended that an email from a Polish official at the SD's parliamentary office was a “Nazi scandal”. But now the left-wing newspaper is cleared for publication by the Media Ethics Committee, which at the same time condemns Nyheter Idag for a critical article about the incident.

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“SD official calls for celebration of Nazi Germany's attack”, read the headline of Aftonbladet's article before the election in September.

The left newspaper was able to tell that an official at the Sweden Democrats' Riksdag office invited around 30 employees of the party to the “Second World War initiation ceremony”.

< p>The email, which was written in a jocular, old-fashioned student style, invited to coffee “on the occasion of the 83rd anniversary of Nazi Germany's attack on Poland”.

This turned Aftonbladet into yet another Nazi scandal within SD, and they the other media caught on quickly in their reporting.

The incident was then mentioned by two Swedish ministers during a press conference about “the security and foreign policy threat posed by the Sweden Democrats”.

But if one read the entire invitation, it was clear that the official shows hardly any sympathy for the German invasion. For example, he uses the wording “terrorist bombing” when describing the incident.

Then it came out that the official himself is Polish and that invasion day is celebrated in Poland. They then celebrate the resistance that the Poles made against the invasion.

– It is not as simple as it seems. This employee has a Polish background and in Poland September 1st is celebrated as Veterans Day. So you don't celebrate that Germany attacked Poland, but you celebrate Poland's defense. If you're Polish, you know that, but if you're Swedish, you react, said SD leader Jimmie Åkesson to P4 Dalarna.

SD's press department also announced that the official previously invited to coffee in a “strange way” to celebrate other events.

Despite the fact that the scandal was fake, the official chose to leave his post due to the large amount of negative attention.

SD's head of office reported the publication to the Public Media Ombudsman (MO), who quickly dismissed the matter. The chancellor considered that he had been wrongly singled out and named in less than pleasant contexts, especially with regard to the headline.

MO stated that “there is a public interest in examining things that may affect the trust in civil servants in the state administration, and there is therefore nothing to object to Aftonbladet's choosing to report on the matter”.

The Media Ethics Committee now writes that it “shares MO's assessment that there is no reason to direct media ethics criticism at Aftonbladet”.< /p>

However, the board blames Nyheter Idag for having violated good journalistic practice. According to the board, the newspaper has claimed “without sufficient evidence” that SD's head of office submitted a “fake Nazi scandal to Aftonbladet”.

Samnytt and Exakt24 have recently chosen to leave the so-called media ethics system, which is responsible for these decisions . Samnytt referred to “the left-liberal media establishment abusing the system to silence and blackmail their conservative competitors”.