US media is reporting on the role that Fox News star Tucker Carlson has been playing in Russian propaganda efforts during the invasion of Ukraine. According to a report in The Intercept:
February 25, 2022 In the hours since Russia launched its military assault on Ukraine, the news on Russian state television has been dominated by official statements and reports from war correspondents. But in the days leading up to the attack, as the state broadcaster worked to tarnish Ukraine and cast American criticism of President Vladimir Putin as hysterical, its producers borrowed heavily from another source: Fox News. At least four times this week, Russian news reports have featured translated clips of Tucker Carlson or his guest Tulsi Gabbard, a former Democratic U. S. representative, attacking the Biden administration. What’s more, one report broadcast on Russian television’s main channel Sunday did more than just quote Carlson: It developed and sharpened a political attack on a prominent Democratic senator that Carlson had just hinted at. At 8 p. m. on Sunday, a primetime review of the week’s news presented by Dmitry Kiselev, a bombastic Putin favorite, featured remarks from the opening monologue of Carlson’s February 17 show, in which the American commentator trashed Ukraine’s government. “These people are so ghoulish,” Carlson said of U.S. officials who provided military aid to Ukraine. “Of course they’re promoting war,” Carlson continued, as his comments were translated into Russian, “not to maintain the democracy that is Ukraine. Ukraine is not a democracy. It has never been a democracy in its history, and it’s not now. It’s a client state of the Biden administration.”
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The Intercept report goes on to highlight one Carlson broadcast where his comments were subtitled and re-broadcast by RT, the state-backed media outlet:
On Wednesday night, just hours before Putin ordered the attack on Ukraine to begin, two excerpts from Carlson’s most recent program were featured in Russian state television’s 8 p.m. and 9 p.m. news broadcasts. Carlson had started his show Tuesday night with a sarcastic monologue in which he told viewers: “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. Many Americans have obeyed this directive. They now dutifully hate Vladimir Putin. Maybe you’re one of them. Hating Putin has become the central purpose of America’s foreign policy. It’s the main thing that we talk about. Entire cable channels are now devoted to it. Very soon, that hatred of Vladimir Putin could bring the United States into a conflict in Eastern Europe.”Carlson’s comments were so welcome in Moscow that an excerpt from that rant with Russian subtitles was quickly produced by the Russian-language service of RT, the government-funded network formerly known as Russia Today.
In August 2021, the Global Influence Operations Report (GIOR) reported that Carlson had spent a week hosting his show from Budapest, where he gave what was described as a “fawning interview” with Viktor Orbán, the increasingly authoritarian prime minister of Hungary. During the interview, Carlson promoted Hungary under Orban as a model for the future of the US.
A recently published Global Influence Operations Report (GIOR) report documents Tucker Carlson’s role in a new and developing alliance between US conservatives and European nationalists, seen as a potential vehicle for Russian influence operations.