Satan rir media (Satan Rides the Media) is a 1998 Norwegian documentary by Torstein Grude. The film covers the controversy that surrounded black metal musician Varg Vikernes in the early 1990s, who not only has been tied to a series of church arsons in Norway, but received widespread media attention for the admitted murder of Mayhem band member Øystein Aarseth.
According to Satan rir media, two (unnamed) trainee journalists had approached the Bergens Tidende (BT), a major Norwegian newspaper, with a story they had done with Vikernes. This story mentioned the torching of churches; journalist Finn Bjørn Tønder, who had previously reported about a dead animal that had been found on the steps of the Fantoft stave church after the fire, became curious. He persuaded the two to show him the man and eventually met Vikernes, describing him in the documentary as the "weirdest person I think I have ever met in my life".
The journalists explained to Vikernes that if he "intended the things he had said to be PR for his music", they "would have to be able to check the information against the police evidence and any other background". Vikernes told them he was a Satanist and that Satanists were behind the arsons and a murder at Lillehammer involving another black metal musician. He also told them about a hare that had been decapitated at the Fantoft stave church. Tønder later confirmed the details Vikernes had given him with the forensics at Haukeland Hospital and the police by telephone. According to Bjørn Tønder, he later found out that his queries had apparently stirred up the police, who wondered where this information was coming from. This is affirmed by the Bergen police officer Svein E. Krogvold. According to Krogvold, the police were already closing in on Vikernes but did not have enough evidence to make an arrest. When they heard that the BT was to run a story on this, they made the arrest anyway. It would be embarrassing if the police seemed without an idea while this story was on the front page. Vikernes was arrested the same night.
While Tønder insists in the documentary that he had protected his source, Vikernes (who was also interviewed) was convinced that Tønder "must have given them the address for the arrest". The documentary also shows briefly how the Norwegian media hyped the Satanist angle and arguably inspired copycat arsons.
It is interesting to note that in the segment where Vikernes is talking about the murder of Aarseth, the scene fades out just as he is about to explain his side of what happenened in the apartment; that it was in self-defence, leaving the viewer to assume that it was a pre-meditated murder motivated by an afformentioned, and arguably fictitious, power struggle between the two in the black metal scene. A full account of the incident is provided by Vikernes on his band, Burzum's website.