Speed Reads

Crow of the Day

Bill O'Reilly calls criticism of Swedish guest 'valid,' says he should have booked someone 'more relevant'

Last Thursday, Bill O'Reilly had a man on his show whom he introduced as "Swedish defense and national security adviser" Nils Bildt. Bildt argued that Sweden was ignoring its immigration problem, disagreeing with O'Reilly's other guest, Swedish journalist Anne-Sofie Naslund of the Expressen newspaper, who said that Sweden was much safer and more harmonious than President Trump and Fox News made it sound. Sweden's small national security circle was confused by Bildt's presence in the debate, as nobody had ever heard of him.

The newspaper Dagens Nyheter did some digging and reported that the man calling himself Bildt had left Sweden in 1994, changed his name in 2003 from Nils Tolling — apparently to suggest a connection with former Swedish Prime Minister Carl Bildt and his brother, Nils Bildt — and had earned a one-year prison sentence in Virginia in 2014 for a violent offense. (Bildt/Tolling disputed that last part, telling The Washington Post he never went to prison.)

O'Reilly addressed the kerfuffle on Monday's O'Reilly Factor, in his closing "Tip of the Day" segment, saying that "some left-wing people" had objected to Bildt's participation in his Sweden debate and Sweden's government had objected to O'Reilly's description of Bildt's qualifications. "We looked into the situation, and the criticism is valid," O'Reilly said. "It's valid." Bildt "does consulting work on terrorism," he added, and "to be fair, the information we gave you in the segment was accurate, but in hindsight a more relevant guest should have been used on the anti-immigrant side." Watch below. Peter Weber