Americans Apoplectic over Putin Interview [Opinion]

You don't have to believe anything that Putin said to see that Tucker Carlson's interview has gotten people talking about Ukraine pre-2022, and starting a discussion is what journalism is all about. And that's a good thing, unless of course you don't want people discussing the historical context of the war in Ukraine. I'll wager that Tucker's critics did not watch the interview. They don't believe it would be informative. But that sort of takes away their right to criticize and malign the interviewer.

EU leaders are considering sanctions and a travel ban on Carlson. Here in the U.S., people are calling him a traitor. May I remind the reader that in order to officially be a traitor someone must give aid and comfort to an enemy we are at war with. And yet Biden administration officials insist that this is not a proxy war with the United States.

Some are using the word propagandist to describe Tucker as it pertains to this interview, a term that carries the accusation that Carlson is pro-Russian or anti-Ukrainian (and by extension, anti-American). They say Putin would not allow any "real" journalists to interview him. This is, of course, an assumption if not a bald faced lie. When did Norah O'Donnell request that interview? Sure we all know that more than one lawsuit against Fox News has ended in the determination that it is biased partisan entertainment and not news, a label that will follow Carlson through the rest of his career. But all he did was ask questions, neither loaded nor fawning, and in some cases he even challenged Putin.

Of course everything that Putin said can be defined as propaganda, but does that make Tucker a conspirator? In the past, American journalists have interviewed Castro, Bin Laden and other despots. Did those interviews make them de facto sympathetic propagandists? Perhaps the difference in those instances is that the facts of the matter supported the U.S. narrative.

We used to extol the virtues of a free press, agreeing en masse that more damage is done by silencing alternate points of view than by giving them voice.

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janis b's picture

from varying and inclusive perspectives. Your questions are interesting and relevant.

It may be that Putin operates with propaganda, and suppresses anti-war challenges from within, but does that make Carlson a traitor, or a pawn? Both seem quite undeterred, and/or motivated in seeking influence. I'm glad there is more exposure in any case.

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After 911 bin Laden produced some sort of manifesto. Western press refused to publish it. And they succeeded. I am sure it was online in some obscure website. I for one wanted to read it. Not because I was curious about his beliefs and state of mind. I was not going to be converted to some violent jihadist. (My model of dissent was the non-violent Civil Rights movement as I was growing up.)

Caitlin Johnstone has a great term "narrative managers". It was not the wars that was shaken but the narrative that dissent and even basic knowledge must be censored and controlled.

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bondibox's picture

@MrWebster The Guardian published the Bin Laden letter a few months ago, and it was quickly picked up by several Tik Tok users. Then the U.S. government got involved, forced both sites to pull all references to it.

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F the F'n D's

Cassiodorus's picture

But to admit that is to admit to the rampant criminality at the top. Someone out there is in fact admitting as much.

South Africa to file legal action with ICJ against UK, US, for war crime complicity

So, what, 400,000+ dead bodies in Ukraine, 100,000+ dead bodies (if not the full 2.3 million) in Gaza, all generated in a very short period of time, but hey, let's go after Tucker Carlson.

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"The West doesn't spend any time, or, our policymakers in Washington spend no time thinking about, like, what are the achievable goals here?" -- Tucker Carlson, on Project Ukraine

#2.1 Ah so that was the "controversy" I read about from just headline scans. Just for kicks looked up online Mein Kampf and The Turner Diaries--hard to find any copies even on ebay. Actually The Turner Diaries not to be found. Maybe age of copies but one of thee seminal books to understand the extremist neo-nazi right wing.

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