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Helge Lurås: Taking on the MSM in Norway

Good news media are all alike; every bad news medium is bad in its own way. This is not to say that bad news media do not have certain attributes in common. In these days when the Western political and cultural establishment considers it de rigueur to avoid certain unpleasant truths, for example, bad news media tend to whitewash Islam, big time.

But there are different ways of approaching this task. Take Norway. With a couple of exceptions, all of the country's major newspapers are mediocre, mendacious, and exceedingly Islam-friendly. The dignified look and traditional stylebook of Aftenposten, originally a Conservative Party organ, puts a bourgeois façade on its hard-left contents; opinion-heavy Dagbladet, founded as a Liberal Party sheet, wears its socialism – and its enthusiasm for Islam and mass immigration – on its sleeve; VG provides heavy doses of pop culture to make its left-wing politics go down more easily.

Worst of all is Dagsavisen, an anorexically slim sheet that used to be the Labor Party's (and government's) official gazette and that now survives only thanks to a hefty line item in the national budget. In 2016, Dagsavisen printed 20,440 copies a day and received $4.8 million from the state – a subsidy of $234 per reader. You'd think these people would be ashamed of themselves for ripping off taxpayers so flagrantly. On the contrary, this lame welfare queen of a daily exudes a staggering self-importance, posturing as the intellectual's choice and presenting its shrill, predictable leftism as sophisticated and original.

Thank heaven, then, for the first-rate online alternatives to these rancid propaganda mills: Hans Rustad's document.no, Human Rights Service's rights.no, and the new kid on the block, resett.no, edited by Helge Lurås. In a country where a remarkable number of so-called professional journalists exhibit a breathtaking ignorance of history, economics, and general culture – not to mention a surprisingly poor command of their own language – Lurås is head and shoulders above the mob. At age 47, he has degrees in business, sociology, intellectual history, and social anthropology; he's worked in the military, serving in Hungary and Guatemala and running an air base in Bosnia; he's been an advisor at a foreign policy institute and founder of a center for strategic analysis; and he's written a book called Who's Threatening Norway Now?

Resett, founded last August, is a site worthy of a man with such a résumé. It's a responsible reporter of news and it dispenses opinions, marked clearly as such, that challenge the orthodoxies of Norway's mainstream media. It's unapologetically pro-American and pro-Israel, fair to Trump, critical of Islam, and opposed to mass immigration. While the mainstream media are little more than megaphones for the political class, Resett takes on both of them. Needless to say, they don't like it. They don't like it at all. In Norway, as in the U.S., the established media were much happier when they had the game to themselves and their carefully cultivated picture of the world was almost universally accepted without question.