Kremlin told broadcasters to use clips of Tucker Carlson criticising Nato, report says

Russia ministry allegedly calls Fox News presenter ‘essential’

Josh Marcus
San Francisco
Sunday 13 March 2022 21:23
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Tucker Carlson says Ukraine is not a democracy in latest pro-Russia rant

The Kremlin is advising its media partners to play more clips from popular Fox News commentator Tucker Carlson, according to reports.

On 3 March, as the Russian military continued its invasion of Ukraine, officials sent out a memo containing talking points, suggesting it is “essential” broadcasters play segments of Carlson’s show “as much as possible” because he “sharply criticizes the actions of the United States [and] NATO,” reports Mother Jones.

The magazine said it had obtained the memo from Russia’s Department of Information and Telecommunications Support, from a confidential source working at a Russia-friendly media outlet.

The document, titled, “For Media and Commentators (recommendations for coverage of events as of 03.03)” describes the utility of the Fox host’s arguments about “provocative behavior from the leadership of the Western countries and NATO towards the Russian Federation and towards President Putin, personally” and at times directly quotes from Carlson’s on-air monologues.

He is the only Western journalist singled out by name in the document.

The Independent has reached out to Fox News and Carlson for comment.

Tucker Carlson has cut against most popular opinion and voiced his scepticism of the US position on the invasion of Ukraine and criticisms of Vladimir Putin.

“Why do Democrats want you to hate Putin?” he said in one segment in the run-up to the invasion. “Has Putin shipped every middle class job in your town to Russia? Did he manufacture a worldwide pandemic that wrecked your business? Is he teaching your kids to embrace racial discrimination? Is he making fentanyl? Does he eat dogs?”

Once Russia commenced the invasion, Carlson took a similar position as Russian officials and suggested the US had intentionally goaded Russia into invading by suggesting Ukraine could Nato.

“Why in the world would the United States intentionally seek war with Russia? How could we possibly benefit from that war?” he said.

As one heading in the Russia media memo puts it, television news commentary has been a key part on all sides of the political spectrum of “Victory in the Information War.”

Russian state TV has played multiple clips from Fox News in regards to Ukraine, where guests align with Russian talking points.

Russian officials have also made it illegal to put out what the government deems as “false” information about what it calls the “special military operation” in Ukraine, punishable by up to 15 years in prison.

At the same time, it has banned popular social media networks like Facebook and Twitter, while pressuring independent Russia news producers to shut down or avoid talking about Ukraine, contributing to a drought of reliable information about the war in the country.

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