Perspective

In Response to the Fake News Revenge Article in The Atlantic

Carol Schaeffer at Daniel Friberg's birthday party in Budapest in January, 2017.

This follows her encounter with me in Budapest in January this year, where she almost set fire to my apartment during my birthday party, among other embarrassing, drunken antics.

You can read more about her in this piece by Matt Forney, who also attended my party and met Schaeffer, published on January 15th of this year: https://altright.com/2017/01/15/arktos-punks-delusional-leftist-journalist-hilarity-ensues/

The article by Carol contains so many malicious errors, outright lies and misconceptions that it needs to be addressed, which I will attempt to do below:

1) I’ve always been clear that I am neither a permanent resident in Hungary nor affiliated with any Hungarian political parties or groups: not even Jobbik, as Carol claims. If anything, I would say that the Hungarians seem to be doing a good job at handling their interior and exterior politics themselves, and I have no wish to engage in Hungarian politics whatsoever. I certainly live part time in Budapest, just as I live part time in Sweden, Poland and Germany, but I don’t identify myself as being part of any ”alt-right expat community,” even if any such thing existed. Furthermore, I have zero interest in party politics but work solely as an author and publisher, focused on spreading traditionalist ideas to Western Europe and the U.S. rather than central and eastern Europe, both of which are healthier.

2) I’ve never been involved in any “neo-Nazi” scene or “group” in Sweden whatsoever. On the contrary, I have called myself a nationalist, a conservative, and an identitarian, meaning one who emphasizes the importance of national and cultural identity. I have often been criticized by the more radical elements in the Swedish scene for this; indeed, I’ve been called everything from a “Zionist” to a “Secret Service agent.” This is a well-known fact in Sweden, well documented online, and something that should have been fact checked.

3) It is true that I created a forum called Nordisk.nu in Sweden (meaning “Nordic.nu”), with the tagline “a portal for Nordic identity, culture and tradition,” with not 22,000 but rather 27,000 members. The vast majority of members were people interested in Nordic culture and identity, traditionalists or regular nationalists, and certainly not ”neo-Nazis” as Carol claims.

4) Regarding her worst accusation, which serves to portray me as some sort of criminal, anti-social element, I’ve been convicted three times in my entire 39-year old life, of which two are misdemeanours:

  • Once in 1995 for possessing a tear gas spray that is legal in most European countries.
  • Once in January 1996, at the age of 18, for possessing two firearms I was storing at my family home for a friend, rendering me three months in a low-security prison.
  • The third and final time in 2010 for a misdemeanour: specifically, for taking back something a thief stole from me. I did not serve any prison time for this and was given a minor fine.

All of the above facts are easily verifiable through public records, and can easily be fact-checked.

Between 1996 and 2010 I also earned a degree in economics and held several highly-respected jobs, including working as a researcher in economic clusters at the University of Gothenburg, as a CFO, a controller specializing in mergers and acquisitions, and so forth. My full CV and professional career, including the glowing resumés given by my previous employers, are easily available for all to see on my LinkedIn profile.

Carol Schaeffer’s attempt to portray me as a violent criminal is beyond dishonest. She makes it seem like I was repeatedly convicted and serving prison time for weapons-related crimes from 1995 to 2010. This is likely her attempt at revenge over her failed Budapest tour and attempt at interviewing me, which was aptly described in the aforementioned article by Matt Forney.

5) The title of the article, as well as the general thesis that Hungary is “a haven for the alt-right”, are both completely false for a number of reasons:

a) Few Hungarian nationalists and conservatives identify with the Western “alt-right” term.

b) The fact that foreigners are expelled or banned from the country for holding ”alt-right” views is proof of the contrary. In fact, this is something unique to Hungary, as I’ve never heard of any other Schengen country doing this with other citizens of the EU. While I am supportive of the Hungarian government and understand the strategy behind what they do, since Hungary is the number one target of the Western liberal media, this is a convenient quick fix to solve the problem with repeated bad press.

6) Finally, Carol Schaeffer writes that the daily newspaper Magyar Hirlap is a “Jobbik newspaper”. This is entirely untrue, which any Hungarian person or anyone with insight in the Hungarian media landscape would know. This is sloppy journalism and should have been fact-checked before publishing the article.

I would also like to stress that Budapest:

a) probably has the smallest number of alt-right expats among all European capital cities (95 percent of the expats I’ve met are Western liberals, that are either critical of the government or apolitical),

b) the ”alt-right” is not extremism, but a collective term for paleo-conservatives, nationalists, right-wing libertarians, traditionalists and identitarians alike, and certainly none of these ideological persuasions can be perceived as ”extremism” of any sort.

Furthermore, the article includes too many errors and conscious misconceptions to address in this short response.

In conclusion, I believe The Atlantic should have done some proper fact-checking on Carol Schaeffer’s story before publishing it. In the future, they should be more careful when publishing pieces from interns or freelancers that have barely even gotten their journalism degrees, and who possess openly radical leftist (and sometimes, as in Carol’s case, personal) agendas.

Budapest, Hungary, May 29, 2017

Daniel Friberg, Author and Publisher

Daniel Friberg
the authorDaniel Friberg
Daniel Friberg is a co-founder and editor of AltRight.com. He is furthermore an economist from the School of Business, Economics and Law at Gothenburg University who has conducted research into the Gothenburg Maritime Cluster, worked with mergers and acquisitions, business valuation, as a CFO, management consultant, business analyst and as a CEO within the Swedish mining industry. He is also co-founder and CEO of the British publishing house Arktos Media Ltd., which is one of the world-leading publishers of traditionalist and right-wing literature. He is also the author of The Real Right Returns: A Handbook for the True Opposition (Arktos, 2015). (Official Facebook page)