The Not-Unexpected Freakout over the Carlson Interview with Putin

Thanks to the interview with Tucker Carlson, Vladimir Putin’s voice was definitely heard in the Transatlantic world. And what has panicked his opponents is that hearing him undoubtedly has provoked many to think, especially outside the narrative imposed by the “Censorship Industrial Complex” in the West. The freakouts in the United States, the primary audience targeted by Carlson, speak volumes.

One example is Greg Gutfield, host of the Fox News “Gutfield” show, which has the highest late night television ratings in the United States. Gutfield said that what impressed him is that Putin “presented historical facts again and again…. While our own president [Biden] is falling apart in real time”. Recall that the same Fox had fired Carlson in April 2023, although his was the most popular primetime political show in the country, and he went on to launch his own network.

As for most of the mainstream media types, the hysteria generated by the interview was unmistakable. Take for example Chris Wallace, formerly Carlson’s colleague at Fox, who has now moved to CNN. Wallace denigrated the event as “anything but an interview”, sneering that “Putin droned on for two hours and seven minutes, while Tucker sat there like an eager puppy.” This was a common line from Putin haters, for example Will Sommer of the Washington Post, who accused Carlson of letting Putin “ramble on to the point of tedium.” Wallace added that calling Carlson a “useful idiot”, as Hillary Clinton did during her attempt to belittle Carlson, “is unfair to useful idiots.”

The panel which Wallace hosted chimed in as a chorus. New York Times opinion columnist Bret Stephens accused Carlson of “broadcast[ing] fascist propaganda to credulous people in the West”, and Putin of being a “champion of the Nordic races against their enemies.” The panel’s verdict was that Tucker Carlson cannot be called a “journalist.”

These common refrains against Putin reflect the role of British intelligence’s hybrid warfare team in shaping media narratives in the Anglosphere. One of the foremost figures in this is Keir Giles,a Chatham House fellow whose book, Russia’s War on Everybody, is a classic example of disinformation on steroids. Giles told the Mirror in London that he was not surprised by Putin’s attacks on western leaders in the interview, since everybody involved in it — including Elon Musk, whose X platform streamed it and provided the bulk of the viewing audience — “is an enemy of the U.S., of the West, of democracy and of genuine journalism”.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email