With England’s monarchy successfully in shambles, Donald Trump has arrived in Helsinki, Finland, the site of his “historic” summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin. The duo will sit down Monday to discuss, I assume, dismantling the current Western powers, the joys of oligarchy-ing, and also how Putin got his pecs, which Trump will probably want to touch. And just as Londoners feted Trump’s U.K. visit with massive protests, Helsinki residents seem super psyched to meet Mr. MAGA—particularly the editorial staff of Finland’s biggest newspaper, which has posted citywide ads excoriating Trump’s and Putin’s combative relationship with the press. It’s not a baby Trump blimp, but it has its own bite, I suppose.
ABC News reports that Helsinki paper Helsingin Sanomat has commissioned nearly 300 billboards emblazoned with some of Trump’s and Putin’s finer anti-media moments. Messages like, “Mr. President, welcome to the land of free press,” and “Trump calls media enemy of the people” are printed in English and posted along the route from the airport to the summit site. I assume this is so Trump sees them, though that implies Trump can read, which is optimistic. Here are some of the signs:
The signs are also in Russian, a nice reprove of a president who jails and (allegedly) murders journalists, as opposed to merely suggesting they be jailed and murdered. “This is a statement on behalf of critical and high quality journalism,” Helsingin Sanomat editor-in-chief Kaius Niemi wrote in a press release on Sunday. “As we welcome the presidents to the summit in Finland, we want to remind them of the importance of free press. The media shouldn’t be the lap dog of any president or regime.”
Niemi added, “We want to show our support to those colleagues who have to fight in ever toughening circumstances on a daily basis both in the U.S. and Russia.”
Finland has been long ranked one of the top nations in the world for press freedom, and in 2018 it came in as #5 on the World Press Freedom Index. The United States landed at a coincidental number 45 on that ranking, down from 43 the year prior. Russia is at a depressing 148, out of 180 countries total.
Finland also has saunas, publicly-funded healthcare, reindeer, the Northern Lights, and free baby boxes. Let’s all move to Finland!