US media is reporting that Fox News host Tucker Carlson has attempted to link the fall of the Afghan government and seizing of power by the Taliban on what he calls an American imposed “neoliberal program,” citing gender studies as an example. According to the report in The Week:
August 17, 2021 While the world watched in horror on Monday as the Taliban quickly unraveled 20 years worth of work in Afghanistan, Fox News, offering a semblance of normalcy, continued to do what the network does best — make outlandish and politicized claims during a moment of national reflection. Tucker Carlson, host of Tucker Carlson Tonight, used his primetime slot to claim Afghanistan’s fall is a result of a “grotesque,” American-imposed “neoliberal program” in which “men can become pregnant” and Afghan women can serve in government roles. “It turns out that the people of Afghanistan don’t actually want gender studies symposium,” said Carlson. He also purported that a swell of Afghan refugees are now coming to overrun American neighborhoods — “so first we invade, and then we’re invaded,” he said.
Read the rest here.
The Global Influence Operations Report (GIOR) reported last week that Carlson had spent the 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, and promoted Hungary under Orban as a model for the future of the US. As that report noted, a DC lobbying firm was said to have paid Hungary $265,000 in 2019, in part to arrange an interview on Carlson’s Fox News show. Another GIOR report indicated that Russian government propagandists rely heavily on Fox News, with clips featuring Tucker Carlson regularly appearing on Russia’s most popular state TV programs.
Other GIOR reporting on US rightwing attempts to use disinformation targeting the political left for political gain has included:
- A report from June 2021 that a digital marketing firm closely linked to the pro-Trump youth group created a series of deceptive ads falsely attributed to a leftwing group and apparently aimed at splitting the Democratic vote in close races.
- A report from June 2021 on a new organization launched with an initial over $1 million campaign, likely funded by US rightwing elements, to combat what it described as political influence in US schools.
For the original Carlson tweet, go here.