In Sweden, most people appeared upset about the interview before it aired and criticized public broadcaster SVT for giving the controversial far-right leader a forum on Norwegian journalist Fredrik Skavlan’s popular show.
But in neighboring Norway, the complaints came flying after the interview was broadcast, with many people calling it nothing less than “mobbing”, according to the tabloid Verdens Gang.
Norwegian public broadcaster NRK was inundated with viewer protests and reports flew in fast to the Norwegian authority that oversees broadcasting content. A Facebook group “Boycott Skavlan” soon appeared.
“This is certainly among the eight to ten items or programs that have elicited the most reactions over the past few years,” the authority’s secretary, Erik Berg-Hansen, told the paper.
In the TV interview, host Fredrik Skavlan repeatedly asked Åkesson about controversial, and often racist, statements made in the past by Sweden Democrats. A blogger for Sweden's GP newspaper titled his entry on the interview: “Skavlan was a pitbull”.
The press spokesperson of the Sweden Democrats, Henrik Vinge, wrote in an SMS to Verdens Gang: “In Sweden we have long had a positive image of Norwegian media, but yesterday Skavlan acted just like a Swedish journalist.”