Sacked star Tucker Carlson’s wild new Vladimir Putin gig in Russia

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Controversial US shock jock Tucker Carlson has been noticed at an elite opera home in Moscow. Hypothesis is rife that he’s there to interview President Vladimir Putin.

In accordance with Russian police Telegram channel Mash, the previous Fox Information host arrived in Moscow final week. He’s since been seen rubbing shoulders with Russian oligarchs whereas attending a glowing efficiency on the Bolshoi Theatre.

Final night time, Russia’s Kremlin-controlled information company Tass referenced an announcement by Putin’s press secretary Dmitry Peskov. It stated followers must “wait and see” whether or not or not a gathering between the 2 would eventuate.

Peskov has beforehand stated Western media was not allowed to speak to Putin as a result of “Western society has been stupefied by Russophobic propaganda”.

Yesterday, the Russian state-controlled RIA information company repeated the Kremlin criticism that Putin needed to tolerate “accusations” when coping with overseas media.

“Possibly he’ll be extra fortunate with Tucker Carlson — it’s stated the TV host, who brazenly sympathises with Russia, has come right here within the hope of speaking to Putin,” stated RIA on Telegram.

However pro-Kremlin blogger (some other sort is attacked and arrested) Bezgranichny Analitik declared Carlson’s go to an “epochal occasion”.

“And be assured, this time, Putin will probably be heard by many within the West,” he added.

Double requirements

“Democrats and their propagandists within the media are spasming on the prospect of Tucker Carlson interviewing Putin,” outspoken Georgia Republican Congressional Consultant Marjorie Taylor Greene posted to social media on the weekend.

“Now we have a free press on this nation, and it’s folks like Tucker Carlson, who we rely on to talk the reality!”

However not Russia. And it has the dying toll to show it.

However, Carlson is an unabashed fan of the Russian autocrat.

“Has Putin ever known as me a racist? Has he threatened to get me fired for arguing with him? Has he shipped each middle-class job in my city to Russia?” Carlson stated hours earlier than Russia launched its failed “three-day” invasion of Ukraine in February 2022 that’s nonetheless happening as we speak.

“Did he manufacture a worldwide pandemic that wrecked my enterprise and stored me indoors for 2 years? Is he instructing my youngsters to embrace racial discrimination? Is he making fentanyl? Is he making an attempt to snuff out Christianity?

“These are honest questions, and the reply to all of them is: ‘No.’ Vladimir Putin didn’t do any of that.”

Carlson complained in September final yr that his efforts to contact Putin had been “blocked”.

“I attempted to interview Vladimir Putin, and the US authorities stopped me,” Carlson complained to the Swiss Die Weltwoche journal. “Effectively, you’re not allowed to listen to Putin’s voice, ’coz why?” he grumbled.

However Putin’s press secretary says that’s the Kremlin’s personal coverage.

“Firstly, when the general public is in a technique or one other intoxicated by Russian-hateful propaganda, it’s unlikely that anybody is now capable of soberly understand Putin’s evaluation of the state of affairs, his imaginative and prescient of the longer term, and so forth,” Peskov wrote in September.

“We imagine that there will certainly come a time when such an interview is required. However not for the time being. Whether or not Carlson will probably be amongst those that will probably be thought of as such an interviewer, we’ll wait and see.”

‘Data battle’

Carlson’s new social media streaming service Tucker Carlson Community is an everyday dialogue level for Russia’s Kremlin-controlled commentators.

The Kremlin repeatedly points Russian media with directions on “Victory within the Data Conflict”.

“It’s important to make use of as a lot as potential fragments of broadcasts of the favored Fox Information host Tucker Carlson,” reads a leaked talking-points memo from March final yr. “(Carlson) sharply criticises the actions of the US [and] NATO, their adverse function in unleashing the battle in Ukraine, [and] the defiantly provocative behaviour from the management of the Western nations and NATO in the direction of the Russian Federation and in the direction of President Putin, personally.”

No different Western commentator or journalist was referenced within the memo.

The identical memo instructs Russian media to insist the invasion of Ukraine was “stopping the opportunity of nuclear strikes” on Russian territory, that the invasion was continuing “as deliberate”, and that Putin had taken the motion to “defend Russians”.

These are additionally all common Carlson feedback. However not the ultimate clause: the specter of “hazard and potential authorized penalties” for anybody who brazenly criticises the “particular navy operation”.

The chief of Russia’s state-controlled broadcaster RT, which has been blocked from rebroadcast within the West over false information studies, stated Carlson initially requested to interview Putin in August. Its chief, Margarita Simonyan, added Carlson was “doing a terrific job”.

Pundits on parade

Carlson set the scene for his help of Putin in 2018: “There’s a whole lot of mendacity happening, and there’s a whole lot of propaganda, and there’s a whole lot of unhealthy journalism, and there’s lots of people with a vested curiosity in making us hate Russia. And so we must be sceptical.”

He later went on to accuse Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky of Putin’s personal crimes: “The truth is, Zelenskyy is much nearer to Lenin than to George Washington. He’s a dictator. He’s a harmful authoritarian who has used 100 billion in US tax {dollars} to erect a one-party police state.”

Injecting confusion into Western democracies by means of troll farms and influencers has develop into a co-ordinated marketing campaign over the previous decade. In 2018, Australia made unlawful “covert and misleading or threatening actions by individuals meaning to intervene with Australia’s democratic programs and processes”. It’s additionally an offence to help “the intelligence actions of a overseas authorities”.

Now Norway is transferring to criminalise selling foreign-influence marketing campaign “falsehoods”.

“What number of brokers of affect, established people who form the general public debate on behalf of Russia, China, or different hostile nations, are there?” asks Atlantic Council senior fellow Elisabeth Braw. “We don’t know. However we do know that brokers of affect act with impunity as a result of spreading one other nation’s speaking factors will not be unlawful.”