We'll let @Colbert #Tweetforus

  • Article by: KIM ODE , Star Tribune
  • Updated: June 22, 2012 - 5:15 PM
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Stephen Colbert

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Leave it to Minnesotans to be nice.

The American Swedish Institute -- you know, that castle on Park Avenue S. in Minneapolis -- has responded to Stephen Colbert's campaign to take over Sweden's official Twitter account with an offer to let him host the institute's account for a day.

The invite comes as the host of Comedy Central's "The Colbert Report" seeks to be the next person to tweet as part of the Curators of Sweden's publicity strategy of letting a different Swede "take over" its Twitter account each week -- an idea that's earned international raves as a viral marketing tool.

Colbert's campaign, #Artificial Swedener, began after last week's curator tweeted weirdly worded musings about Jews. The Swedish Institute (the one actually in Sweden) and Visit Sweden, the tourism folks, brushed off Colbert, noting that many legitimate Swedes are in line for duty.

In a deft parry, they allowed as how they have been "very amused" by Colbert, but are taking it all "with a pinch of salt." For non-Scandinavians, this was a master course in Passive-Aggressive 101.

So leave it to Minnesota's Nordic outpost, the American Swedish Institute (ASI), to be gracious, offering Colbert the chance to control the museum's Twitter feed as they ramp up to the June 30 opening of the new Nelson Cultural Center. (Ahem, Marketing 101.)

In a letter to Colbert, ASI president Bruce Karstadt offered him "control of our American Swedish Twitter feed for one day this week or next. We know this isn't quite the same as tweeting for an entire nation, but as a major hub of American-Swedish relations, we hope you will find it an acceptable short-term substitute. You can tweet in English, Swedish or in some hilarious, fakey mix of the two. We leave the comedy up to you, sir."

The ASI is asking people to post support on its Facebook page as well as the Colbert Report Facebook page.

That may have prompted Sweden's Swedish Institute to reconsider. It's now saying it's considering Colbert's request and will decide next week, according to a report in the Local, an English-language news source in Sweden.

Could turn out to be vinst-vinst situation for all.

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