The president of the United States has access to the best foreign intelligence money can buy (about 80 billion dollars worth). But when Donald Trump wants to get the straight dope on the impenetrable mysteries of Sweden, there’s only one man he trusts: filmmaker Ami Horowitz. Horowitz was interviewed on Tucker Carlson Tonight on Friday, in a now-notorious segment that gave our marble-mouthed illiterate of a president the vague idea that bad, terrorist-related things were going on there. Trump confirmed that Horowitz was now his top adviser about conditions behind the Ikea curtain in a tweet Sunday:
My statement as to what's happening in Sweden was in reference to a story that was broadcast on @FoxNews concerning immigrants & Sweden.— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 19, 2017
Carlson only showed a few excerpts from Horowitz’s short film Stockholm Syndrome on the segment Trump watched, saving time to interview the filmmaker about refugee aid—or, as Carlson calls it, “the masochism of the West,”—spread lies about “no-go zones,” and tut-tut at the luxurious lives of refugees in Sweden. But does the full film paint a more nuanced portrait? No. No, it doesn’t. See for yourself; Stockholm Syndrome is on YouTube, along with other Horowitz films/rhetorical questions like Do cops' lives matter? [sic] and Are voter ID laws racist?
First, let it be said that the full film is not without its merits, even if they’re accidental. Not since “Bart’s People” has a straight-faced voice-over been as unintentionally hilarious as the moment when Horowitz solemnly intones, over footage of a busker, “This man has been playing the accordion for several years, trying to bring some musical cheer to the suburbs. Yet he has faced numerous attacks.” Yet!
But besides shedding light on the mysterious outbreak of attacks inspired by unwanted accordion playing, Horowitz serves up exactly the kind of information that informs most of Trump’s political thinking—which is to say, bullshit agitprop. Horowitz is horrified that refugees have access to housing, clothing, and education, he repeats misleading accounts of refugees assaulting Swedish women, and he addresses the greatest fear of the Swedish police he interviews: being called racist.
He does accidentally gets some truth on screen though, when, in an apparent attempt to make Swedes look naïve, he asks people on the street if they think sexual assault is “an Islamic problem.” “I think it’s a general problem among men,” one woman replies. But the best response comes from a woman who Horowitz asks if Sweden is doing “too much” for refugees. “There is no ‘too much’ in helping people,” she tells him. But Fox News didn’t air that part, so it seems unlikely the message will reach President Trump. Good thing he’s not known for making rash, uninformed decisions.