Makes me think of some of the headlines in the recent burst of bad publicity and, frankly, campaign hournalism, concerning the King here. Support for the monarchy, and for the royal family, is very strong in Sweden, though everyone knows the king or queen regnant doesn't wield any solid power, and last year, when a trio of journalists put out a book that was billed as "the secret history of the monarch" (=all the gossip you didn't previously get to hear about the king, unless you're an old reporter yourself) it became a bit of a succès de scandale
. Much of the content was decades-old rumours of love affairs with actresses and models, fried up again and not much research added, but the allegations that, in time, really made the shit hit the fan, were that some high-society friends of the monarch had taken him to "secret parties at strip clubs" and - of course - orgies, in Stockholm and abroad. Some of these clubs were being run by gangsters, not very odd really: who hasn't heard of flash restos and nightclubs with mob connections? The actual connection of those places with gangsters seems clear, it wasn't denied by anyone. The idea that the king had been there and had been having hot nights there was a lot more spurious.
The only supposed evidence of these stories consisted in interview statements by said godfathers and torpedoes (men of the "Yugo mafia") and purportedly existing (not so far published) photos of the currently 65-year old monarch at a table with some half-nude serving girl popping up in a corner of the room. The court and king first tried to ignore and then denied anything unseemly had taken place. So far it looks like a winning-out strategy but there's been a huge amount of low-class sensation/campaign journalism and editorializing, with very flimsy limits between the news stuff and the subjective, or biased, comment, even in papers that ranked as somewhat classy. It's been presented in a way that more or less took it for granted that if the gangsters running these restaurants and clubs say this stuff happened and say pictures exist, then we should believe them hands down and so the pics do exist
, though nobody's seen them and no one's had a chance to check if they might have been doctored. Uh, what great journalism! (Personally, I am not really for the monarchy, but I think if one is going for abolishing it, it should be for much more solid and politically valid reasons than this.)
Anyway, after this "the-king-partying-with-strippers-and-the-Serb-mob" had been running the newsstands for some time, one of the morning papers put out this big black headline: "DRAMATIC DROP IN POPULAR SUPPORT FOR THE KING - Only 7 percent!"
Reading the article, you found out that the share of people who think the king is doing a good or very good service to the nation had dropped from 62 to 57 percent since the last gallup on this, six months before. The headline cropping of the number was a lesson in how to create a dramatic and unfair sticker: 7 percent above the majority mark
. Wow! (of course the article was illustrated with an equally xcropped diagram, making it look like the years before the French revolution)
My bet on the whole affair is that some people in the media who want to see a republic feel that they have to grab the window of opportunity now. The crown princess (a very popular young lady) married last year and once she bears a few princes and princesses, support for the royal family will hit the roof again.