Rare influence

Free enterprise, free speech, freedom of the press, all labored and brought forth…Fox News. Next up could be President Tucker Carlson.

Tucker Carlson, as the most-watched host of the most-watched cable news network, holds rare influence over not just Republican supporters, but politicians, too. This year Carlson has been unafraid to wield that power, across issues including war, subjugation of continents and testosterone.

That’s what we want to see – another “personality” dragging the world toward a deeper abyss.

On 22 February, Vladimir Putin’s forces were massed on the Ukraine border. As people in the eastern European country braced themselves for war, and as the Russian leader was widely condemned by the international community, Carlson used his Fox News show to launch a spirited defense of the Russian president.

Yeah, Putin! That’s what the world needs more of! Ruthless cynical valueless Strongmen!

“Has Putin ever called me a racist? Has he threatened to get me fired for disagreeing with him?” Carlson said. “These are fair questions, and the answer to all of them is: ‘No.’ Vladimir Putin didn’t do any of that.”

Knock-down argument. The list of things Putin did do is in that famous bottom drawer in the basement under the stack of refrigerators.

As Russian troops poured into the Ukraine, Russian news media picked up clips of Carlson’s defenses of Putin to sell the conflict to Russian citizens, including footage from Carlson’s Tuesday show, during which he poured scorn on international efforts to de-escalate the brewing war.

“Democrats in Washington have told you it’s your patriotic duty to hate Vladimir Putin. It’s not a suggestion. It’s a mandate. Anything less than hatred for Putin is treason,” Carlson had said.

He was every bit as scorching about the mandate to hate Obama, right? Right?

[I]n the months since the conflict began, as Kremlin-backed Russian media have amplified Carlson’s coverage “dozens of times”, Carlson’s apparent sympathy towards Putin hasn’t waned. In December the Fox News host declared Ukraine’s president, Volodymyr Zelenskiy, to be a “dictator” and “a dangerous authoritarian”.

So unlike the great and glorious Donald Trump, right?

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