On Tuesday, Tucker Carlson announced his upcoming interview with Russian dictator Vladimir Putin. This interview has been rumored and hinted at for a few days now.
Previously on RedState: Putin Interview? Intense Speculation As Tucker Carlson Is Spotted in Moscow
Now, the man himself has announced not only that the interview is happening but why it’s happening.
Why I’m interviewing Vladimir Putin. pic.twitter.com/hqvXUZqvHX
— Tucker Carlson (@TuckerCarlson) February 6, 2024
In his statement, Carlson repeatedly emphasized that Americans have a right to know not only what their government is involved in but also why; and given Mr. Carlson’s reputation as a journalist, we can hope that he will hold the Russian dictator’s feet uncomfortably close to a journalistic fire.
But, as always, there is another side. The BBC had this to say:
The United Nations has said that Russian forces are responsible for rapes, “widespread” torture and killings in Ukraine.
Russia has also annexed four more regions of Ukraine, after its illegal takeover of Crimea in 2014.
And the International Criminal Court (ICC) has issued an arrest warrant for Vladimir Putin, accusing him of war crimes and the unlawful deportation of children from Ukraine to Russia.
Within Russia, journalists are under extreme reporting restrictions – the media are banned from calling it a “war”: it is meant to be called a “special military operation”.
Tucker Carlson has been an outspoken defender of Mr Putin since the war began. Just before Russia’s invasion, he claimed that “hating Putin has become the central purpose of America’s foreign policy”, but urged his viewers to ask themselves why.
“Has Putin ever called me a racist? Has he threatened to get me fired for disagreeing with him?” Carlson said as Russian troops started to mass on Ukraine’s border. “These are fair questions, and the answer to all of them is: No. Vladimir Putin didn’t do any of that.”
Tucker hasn’t shied away from controversy, not ever. We can hope he won’t this time, either.
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Critics, mostly on the left, will call Carlson a Putin sycophant for doing this; he will be accused thereafter of being a Russian agent, especially if he makes any political commentary, which is pretty much his stock in trade. It’s surprising that Vladimir Putin agreed to this interview, and it will be extremely disappointing if we learn later that Mr. Carlson agreed to any limits on topics or specific questions. Hopefully, we will see something we haven’t seen before, and that is the Russian strongman being grilled by a Western journalist with an eye on the main chance. It would be good to see Putin pressed with some uncomfortable questions, not only on Ukraine but other issues, such as Russia’s imprisonment of Evan Gershkovich, a Wall Street Journal correspondent and another American journalist.
Will Tucker Carlson press Putin hard on these and other matters? He should. There’s little point in doing the interview otherwise. But Mr. Carlson is right about one thing: This is journalism; there are issues here that the American people have a right to hear Putin answer to. The chance to interview the old KGB apparatchik, who now runs the world’s largest gas station, should be an opportunity any real journalist should jump at.
The interview will be recorded live and uploaded to Tucker Carlson’s X account; Elon Musk has promised that the interview will remain available and untampered with.