While most of America has united across party lines and ideologies to support Ukraine, a few outliers with major platforms are valuable assets for Russian state propaganda media — and a newly-leaked memo makes it clear that this is the official plan.
Of course, when a high-level U.S. government official, or, say, former president, speaks favorably of Russia and Vladimir Putin, or parrots anti-Ukrainian propaganda, it can be expected that Vladimir Putin’s state-controlled media will use the clips, and the nation’s ambassador to the U.N. has even used Donald Trump’s Big Lie to try to discredit the United States government.
As tools go, however, it seems Fox News host Tucker Carlson, though, is a particularly useful one for promoting Russia’s favorite lines of propaganda. Not only do Russian media networks consider him “practically a co-host,” but a memo leaked to Mother Jones shows that this is an official directive.
The memo, dated March 3rd, is from the Russian Department of Information and Telecommunications Support, and it describes Carlson’s position on Russian aggression, saying that he defends it as the nation merely “protecting its assets and security,” and says that “it is essential to use as much as possible fragments of broadcasts” from his show. Carlson is described as critical of the United States and NATO, and as blaming “defiantly provocative behavior” from western countries and NATO for Putin’s invasion of Ukraine.
Russia’s government and media aren’t the only ones who interpret Carlson’s rhetoric that way, either. The Washington Post reported last month on a clip in which the Fox host suggested that there’s far more reason to hate American liberals than to hate Putin, and insisted that supporting the Russian dictator is “not treason [or] un-American.”
U.S. government officials, including Representative Adam Kinzinger (R-IL), responded to condemn Carlson’s position. Kinzinger described Carlson’s behavior as “beyond dangerous, to say the least,” and interpreted the clip as stating, “Putin isn’t your enemy. Your fellow American is.”
What's Your Reaction?
Steph Bazzle reports on social issues and religion for Hill Reporter. She focuses on stories that speak to everyone's right to practice what they believe in and receive the support of their communities and government officials. You can reach her at Steph@HillReporter.com