What's the Swedish for "No, thank you?"
(It's "nej, tack.")
In what is his worst campaign defeat since he ended his very serious run for the Republican presidential nomination in South Carolina this past January, Stephen Colbert has been denied the opportunity to operate the @Sweden Twitter feed.
“Although we appreciate that having Colbert as a Curator of Sweden would be meaningful in terms of global attention to this initiative, Visit Sweden and the Swedish Institute have decided to – after thorough consideration – decline his generous offer,” officials from the Nordic nation wrote in a statement.
The Colbert Report host became taken with the country's efforts to promote tourism via social media two weeks ago, when 27-year old Stockholm resident and mother of two Sonja Abrahamsson was given the reigns to the nation's national account and given carte blanche to post whatever she'd like.
Abrahamsson wasn't the first to take over the feed -- the account is given to a new Swede each week -- but her tweeting drew plenty of attention and notoriety to the once-quiet web presence. She made eyebrow-raising inquiries, especially where her comments about Jews were concerned.
"Whats the fuzz with jews," she tweeted earlier in June. "You can't even see if a person is a jew, unless you see their penises, and even if you do, you can't be sure!?”
The comments continued, as she worked to assuage critics accusing her of insensitivity; Abrahamsson, promising only earnest curiosity (having never met a Jewish person herself), pledged that she could not understand how people could hate Jews, and later, added the same about gay people (her children could be gay, she reasoned). She did, however, make no bones about her dislike for Justin Bieber and outer space (because of the diapers). Things she does like: kosher food, bear brains and criticism.
The news will be disappointing to Colbert, who made plenty of promises and threats in hopes of getting his way. Not only did he show of his language skills, speaking like the Muppets' Swedish Chef, he threatened to cut off all diplomatic relations with the nation.
Since Abrahamsson, there have been two other Swedish twitterers: a student, and a professional soccer player.
- Stephen Colbert
- Swedish Institute