|Frogs, clowns, and swastikas|
|Rebuilding the Reich, one meme at a time|
|Buzzwords and dogwhistles|
“”Resett with art reviews
|—Are Bøe Pedersen|
Subjekt.no (or Subjekt) is a Norwegian alt-right and "anti-woke" website that presents itself as a newspaper focused on art. Subjekt hilariously claims to be "the leading cultural newspaper" of Norway and "your best friend in all matters of good taste," but is in reality the blog of Danby Choi, who is essentially the Norwegian Andy Ngo. It is often compared to Resett.no and publishes a steady stream of transphobic, racist, Holocaust-denying, and anti-vaccination writers, as well as complaints about "woke culture", "Pride ideology", and "identity politics." Some of its writers also contribute to websites such as Resett.no and Steigan.no. The blog's focus on transphobia and conspiratorial "anti-wokeism" has made it the main forum for far-right anti-gender populism and disinformation in Norway.
Role in the culture war
Despite the stated focus on art and good taste, a large amount of the content consists of articles complaining about "woke culture" and "identity politics". The website is published by Danby Choi, a blogger and self-styled journalist who is pretty much the Norwegian Andy Ngo. According to an article in leading daily Dagens Næringsliv, Choi's critics have accused him of being "a transphobe, racist and fascist." The website has published articles attacking LGBT+ rights, articles ridiculing allegations of rape and sexual abuse, and articles by prominent anti-immigration activists and anti-semites; for example the Norwegian humanist and skeptic Didrik Søderlind, an advisor at the Norwegian Humanist Association, has noted that "Subjekt has become a platform of the group surrounding Hans Olav Brendberg. They believe it is reasonable to ask whether Jews are a 'state within the state.'"
Are Bøe Pedersen, an assistant professor at the University of Bergen, described Subjekt in 2021 as "Resett with art reviews" while Didrik Søderlind at the Norwegian Humanist Association described the website in an interview with Dagens Næringsliv as "Resett for former students at Westerdals" (a private media and communications college with a less than stellar academic reputation). Søderlind has also compared Subjekt to other Norwegian far-right, conspiracy theorist and "anti-woke" websites such as Document.no and Steigan. After Subjekt published an article insinuating that Jews are a "state within the state," Søderlind wrote that the website is worse than openly neo-Nazi outlets such as Nordfront and Frihetskamp, and he later clarified that he believes Subjekt is "worse than Resett."
The Norwegian humanist and skeptic Gunnar Tjomlid has noted that Subjekt has published anti-vaccination disinformation, transphobia and articles by Holocaust deniers, falsely portraying it merely as a matter of freedom of speech and without any regard for the minorities the website incites hatred against.
Conservative historian Bård Larsen, affiliated with the free market think tank Civita, said in 2022 that he thought the website "is about to tip over into problematic terrain", as it "often happens with the most monomaniacal anti-wokeists".[note 1]
In 2022 Subjekt extensively promoted an interview with a Norwegian anti-transgender activist by Tucker Carlson. In response, Harald Klungtveit, a journalist and expert on far-right extremism, said that Subjekt has become "a megaphone for American fascist television" and that the website "sucks up to the far right." Klungtveit also said that Choi is not a real journalist. In 2023 Klungtveit said Subjekt and its editor are part of the "Norwegian alt-right."
In August 2022, the Professional Committee of the Press (PFU) ruled, following a complaint by law professor and human rights scholar Mads Andenæs, that Subjekt had violated press ethics in its articles about LGBT+ rights activist Begard Reza.
In 2023, cultural magazine Natt&Dag described the blog's "debate editor" Mikkel Ihle Tande as "one of the eight most idiotic voices in the trans debate" who is responsible for "enthusiastic and unscrupulous wholesale importation of American culture war" to Norway and who "likely devours four to five dubious (originally: alt-right) Youtube videos daily."
In 2023, in yet another attempt to make himself relevant, Choi published a book titled Kanseller meg hvis du kan [Cancel me if you can]. The book is an entirely unoriginal rehash of the standard repertoire of the "anti-woke" alt-right, with himself as the tiresome focus of attention. In the book he devotes a whole chapter to complaints about his Wikipedia biography. The earnestness with which Choi lists what he views as his accomplishments, down to his bachelor's degree and club memberships, while lambasting his Wikipedia biography and its "woke" authors, inadvertently adds a layer of humor to the chapter. He also devotes a substantial amount of the book to defending a friend who was convicted of rape, while smearing the victims. In a review of the book, Nazneen Khan-Østrem of the conservative newspaper Aftenposten wrote that Choi's ideas about "wokeism" are anchored on the US political right:
“”In one of the world's most woke countries, Danby Choi sees cancellations everywhere. His supporters in the United States will probably be a little surprised (...) It's quite the allies Choi has with him in the war. Over time, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis has become the most famous anti-wokeist. Trump's former advisor Steve Bannon is also part of the gang. He praises Putin because he is anti-woke and Elon Musk. He has declared war against the woke virus. (...) Is it excessive to draw parallels to this far-right landscape when writing about Subjekt and Choi? Not really. What they have in common is the same nagging anxiety that 'someone' is out there to get them
|—Nazneen Khan-Østrem, Aftenposten|
In November 2023, Danby Choi appeared in a video with a man convicted of child sexual abuse. In the video, Choi tells the man that "you have been cancelled" before patting the man on his back and encouragingly telling him he that "you'll get through this".
In 2021 the website applied for and received public funding. The newspaper Dagens Næringsliv reported in 2022 that the website's editor Danby Choi has given himself a salary of close to one million NOK, while the other writers receive "next to nothing." This had led to resentment and controversy among the staff.
- It bears repeating that a conservative said this.
- Self description of Subjekt.no
- "Danby Chois kritikere mener han er transfob, rasist og fascist" [Danby Choi's critics believe he is a transphobe, racist and fascist], Dagens Næringsliv, 28 April 2022
- Subjekt gjør seg til talerør for miljøet rundt Hans Olav Brendberg. Her kan vi for eksempel lære at det er rimelig å si at jødene er en "stat i staten" [Subjekt has become a platform of the group surrounding Hans Olav Brendberg. They believe it is reasonable to ask whether Jews are a "state within the state"] by Didrik Søderlind (10:52 PM - 16 Mar 2022) Twitter (archived from March 17, 2022).
- Are Bøe Pedersen (2021). "At de nå er Resett med kunstanmeldelser var verdens mest forutsigbare utvikling" [That they have become Resett with art reviews was the world's most predictable development] by @Zealuu (2:42 PM - 28 Nov 2021) Twitter (archived from November 30, 2021).
- Det ER et segment som vil være interessert i det Subjekt som Choi og co legger opp til, men det segmentet har allerede Resett, Steigan, Document, Sivilisasjonen og en haug enda mer obskure "alternative medier" by Didrik Søderlind (Norwegian Humanist Association) (2:46 AM - 6 May 2022) Twitter (archived from May 6, 2022).
- Didrik Søderlind (Norwegian Humanist Association) (2022). Slåttavik er nemlig så drøy at de organiserte nazistene holder ham på avstand
- Aha. Men jeg mener jo ikke det. Jeg mener Subjekt er verre enn Resett by Didrik Søderlind (11:51 PM - 5 May 2022) Twitter (archived from May 6, 2022).
- Gunnar Tjomlid (25 July 2022). Når kampen for «ytringsfrihet» fører til mindre ytringsfrihet
- Øivind Bergh (2022). Jeg har formulert mitt generelle syn på Subjekt etter Ellingsen-gate. Choi og hans ubetydelige, men ufattelig selvhøytidelige «kulturjournalister» er det nye Resett
- Torkil Vederhus (2022). Fact-checking of Subjekt
- "Provokatøren". In: Dagens Næringsliv, 29 April 2022, pp. 10–22.
- Utløste ellevill redaktørkrangel, Dagbladet, 22 July 2022
- Redaktør kaller Danby Choi «alt-right»
- Subjekt felt i lukket PFU-sak [PFU rules against Subjekt], Journalisten, 1 September 2022
- De åtte mest idiotiske stemmene i transdebatten [The eight most idiotic voices in the trans debate]. Natt&Dag 31 May 2023
- Sikkert også helt tilfeldig at de fleste Wikipedia-editsene som hauser opp Subjekt og Danby Choi er skrevet av anonyme kontoer... som kun har redigert saker om Subjekt og Danby Choi.
- Danby Choi bryr seg så lite den faktiske ytringsfriheten at han går gjennom Wikipedia med anonyme kontoer å fjerner negativ info om seg selv.
- Eivind Trædal on the book
- Nazneen Khan-Østrem (5 November 2023): "Danby Chois tolkning av woke har et sterkt ankerfeste på USAs politiske høyreside", Aftenposten
- Slettet video etter reaksjoner, Bergensavisen
- Danby Choi etter video med overgrepsdømt: − Jeg har utvist dårlig dømmekraft, Verdens Gang