Forget what happened last night in Sweden. Today’s question is, who was that Swedish guy on The O’Reilly Factor last week?
Nils Bildt landed headlong into the fake news debate last Thursday, when he was identified during an interview on The O’Reilly Factor as a “Swedish Defense and National Security Advisor.” Except few in Sweden had ever heard of him, much less taken advice from him.
“He is not in any way a known quantity in Sweden and has never been part of the Swedish debate,” Swedish Defense University leadership professor Robert Egnell told the Associated Press yesterday. Swedish newspaper Dagens Nyheter did some digging and found that Bildt left Sweden for the United States in 1994.
Today, a Fox News spokesperson confirmed to Deadline that O’Reilly will address the matter on Monday’s Factor, following up on a statement released by David Tabacoff, Factor exec producer, that the show’s “booker made numerous inquiries and spoke to people who recommended Nils Bildt and after pre-interviewing him and reviewing his bio, we agreed that he would make a good guest for the topic that evening.”
The topic that evening was immigration and crime in Sweden. Just a week after President Donald Trump bemoaned an attack that never happened, Bildt spoke to O’Reilly about all manner of immigrant problems, crime stats and a P.C. culture that prevents such issues from “being openly and honestly discussed.”
“The narrative in Sweden, the political debate is completely false,” Bildt told O’Reilly. “You cannot have an honest open debate in Sweden about immigration because if you don’t agree with the liberal, shall we say, common agenda then you are viewed as an outsider and not even taken seriously.”
At least part of that statement is true: Bildt is viewed as an outsider. For starters, he’s no relation to Carl Bildt, Sweden’s former prime minister who loudly chastised Trump after the president’s Last Night in Sweden speech, and the Washington Post has reported that Nils Bildt is a founding partner of Modus World LLC, a consulting firm in Washington, Brussels and Tokyo whose specialties, according to the Modus website, include “operations and management of possible kidnap and ransom situations.”
Deadline was unable to verify that description: The Modus LLC website had been disabled by Sunday.
And while “ransom situations” certainly sounds dead serious, Bildt, as he seemed to suggest Thursday, was being taken as anything but, transformed into comic internet memes nearly on par with Trump’s Last Night in Sweden phenomenon.
So until O’Reilly addresses the situation tomorrow, Twitter has its own best guesses, theories and snipes about Bildt. Here’s a sampling of some memes going around: