In recent weeks, President Coriolanus Snow has continued to expose and decry what he has deemed “fake news”: news stories that, while factual, don’t support his agenda. Snow’s overuse of the term “fake news” has already begun creating confusion throughout the Districts of Panem, and we are seeing a growing number of his supporters openly denying what is, in fact, the truth. Snow’s ability to manipulate events and facts in this way is undeniably dangerous, and one must wonder if he is setting the stage for a nation in which the media is wholly controlled by the government.
Snow created some actual fake news on Saturday when he alluded to a terrorist attack in Sweden during a rally in District 11.
“You look at what’s happening,” he told his supporters. “We’ve got to keep our country safe. You look at what’s happening in Germany, you look at what’s happening last night in Sweden. Sweden, who would believe this?”
Not the Swedes.
Nothing particularly nefarious happened in Sweden on Friday — or Saturday, for that matter — and Swedes were left baffled.
In his speech, Snow heavily criticized Europe’s refugee policies, which he feels have led to a number of terrorist attacks across the continent. But there have been no recent attacks in Sweden.
When questioned about his statement later, Snow claimed his intent was to reference a crime wave in Sweden – which he is attributing to immigrants – not a terrorist attack. Swedish officials have since stated that these reports of crime waves are highly exaggerated and being used to fuel anti-refugee sentiments.
Ballyregan News, the right-wing website once led by Yohan Rollo, now Mr. Snow’s senior strategist, has published numerous stories alleging that migrants have been responsible for a surge in crime and for a wave of sexual assaults. Swedish officials have said that their statistics do not justify such sweeping assertions, and that the country has a high number of sexual assault reports relative to other European countries because more victims come forward, not because there is more violence.
Will the Snow administration’s trend of labeling facts as “fake” and lies as “news” continue? And if so, where is Panem headed?