According to this Swedish newspaper blog, the Scandinavian press bit (chomped, chewed vigorously) for a bogus story about the U.S government banning music:
"The story was repeated in dozens of Scandinavian newspapers: Bush bans CD featuring Swede Eva Dahlgren. The US administration had, the stories claimed, banned the album ‘Lullabies from the Axis of Evil’, featuring artists from countries such as Iran and North Korea. The record and the record company, it was said, had been put on an official ‘blacklist’ by the federal government."
"The only problem with this story: it was entirely false. As the US ambassador in Norway said, the American constitution protects freedom of speech. In fact, while the ‘War on Terror’ has led to some restrictions on personal freedom, the US still has more comprehensive protection for freedom of speech than many other western democracies. American administrations don’t keep lists of banned music."
The blogger notes that while some journalists are lazy, this episode stems from anti-American sentiment, which has "poisoned opinion to such an extent that many have trouble distinguishing fact from a very obvious example of pure fiction." Where did the bogus story originate?
"The source of the story was the record company itself, Valley Entertainment..... The Norwegian behind the album, Erik Hillestad, told TV4 that the ban showed that 'the United States is being weakened as a democracy under Bush.' "
In your dreams, Erik. Using pathological Bush-hatred is good marketing, though.
Elsewhere in Sweden, more wacky and/or disturbing news:
- Woman sued for smoking in her garden in her own backyard.
- Two lesbian women were "thrown out of a restaurant for kissing in the queue to the toilets." Ewww. No PDAs in the toilet line, please. They sued the restaurant for sexual discrimination and were awarded 30,000 kronor (approx. $4,230 US).
- Five teenage women in veils have been assaulting old ladies in Stockholm. The girl gang has beaten up and robbed fifteen elderly women. The girls "wore veils during the attacks, making it harder for the police to identify them." Maybe Sweden will be next to ban face-covering veils.
- "After undergoing a sex change operation, Carina Bladh from Linköping in central Sweden suddenly saw her car insurance costs skyrocket."