Leaked Kremlin Memo Urged Russian Media to Air Tucker's 'Essential' Pro-Putin Rants 'as Much as Possible'
It's no secret that far-right Fox News host Tucker Carlson has repeatedly promoted talking points in favor of Russian President Vladimir Putin, who recently upended global diplomacy with his invasion of Ukraine, the fledgling democratic nation that formed from the U.S.S.R.'s collapse in 1991.
When Trump was facing his first impeachment for withholding congressionally approved military aid for Ukraine in an effort to force investigations into then-candidate Joe Biden back in 2019, Carlson said he was rooting for Russia over the United States' ally.
In more recent rants, Carlson has suggested that American Democrats pose more of a threat to the United States than Putin, and further claimed that Ukraine isn't a democracy but a "client state." Carlson backed down from this stance eventually, claiming that his team didn't take the prospect of an invasion seriously because Vice President Kamala Harris was involved in diplomatic talks with European nations on the matter.
Carlson's rant have already been aired on state-friendly Russian media to bolster support among everyday Russians for Putin's war.
Now, a memo from the Kremlin, uncovered by David Corn of Mother Jones, revealed that Putin was explicitly urging Russian media outlets to air Carlson's diatribes.
The document was called For Media and Commentators (recommendations for coverage of events as of 03.03), reads in part:
“It is essential to use as much as possible fragments of broadcasts of the popular Fox News host Tucker Carlson, who sharply criticizes the actions of the United States [and] NATO, their negative role in unleashing the conflict in Ukraine, [and] the defiantly provocative behavior from the leadership of the Western countries and NATO towards the Russian Federation and towards President Putin, personally."
Putin has repeatedly trafficked in disinformation to bolster his power. Disinformation was a key ingredient in the Kremlin's efforts to interfere in the 2016 presidential election. Since the start of the invasion, which has seen heavy opposition from Russian citizens, the state has disseminated lies to justify it. Carlson has also echoed these false justifications to his millions of viewers.
Sadly, few were surprised that Carlson's broadcasts were assisting the Russian government's revisions of reality.
Tucker a Russian stooge? Shocked face. https://t.co/hnFeEuIHdh
— Straw Wendigo (@gravewriter71) March 13, 2022
This shouldn't be a surprise to anyone. However, there are those who believe everything he says without question. https://t.co/rjvsvQLBzq
— VandalFan (@VandalFan3) March 13, 2022
Not shocked at all that Tucker Carlson and other right wingers are willing outlets for Russian propaganda. Not. At. All. https://t.co/UHwbh19Itc
— CeterisParibus (@Ceter1sPar1bus) March 13, 2022
That didn't spare Carlson from heavy criticism.
The only place where @TuckerCarlson is indeed "essential" is... Russia. https://t.co/oZC3489x5Q
— Asehpe (@Asehpe) March 14, 2022
Embarrassing news for @FoxNews .. for how long will we have to bear anti-american verbal diarrhea from this propagandist? https://t.co/Q595cJ7bzg
— Kolia Tchernikov (@KTchernikov) March 14, 2022
@TuckerCarlson Congrats on winning the Kremlin Employee of the Month award, you emetic fauxtriot. https://t.co/fOZMbCmTkM
— David Bozetarnik (@dbozetarnik) March 14, 2022
@FoxNews : your network commits treachery everyday. We will never forget. I will refuse to watch and will lobby my cable provider to remove your propaganda "news" channel from our lineup.
— Pacem Bello (@Lalaith471) March 14, 2022
Yeah. So…when Russia is using you as pro-Russian propaganda you are on the wrong side of history https://t.co/rfm4j2BC62
— Ana 🧜🏻♀️ (she/her) (@oceanbound) March 13, 2022
Carlson has yet to respond to the report.