US media is reporting that the Russian government has advised Russian media to amplify pro-Russian statements by FOX News Anchor Tucker Carlson. A leaked memo by a government agency sent to Russian outlets says they should “use as much as possible fragments of broadcasts” of the popular US Fox News host regarding the Ukraine conflict. According to a Mother Jones report:
March 13, 2022 On March 3, as Russian military forces bombed Ukrainian cities as part of Vladimir Putin’s illegal invasion of his neighbor, the Kremlin sent out talking points to state-friendly media outlets with a request: Use more Tucker Carlson. “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,” advises the 12-page document written in Russian. It sums up Carlson’s position: “Russia is only protecting its interests and security.” The memo includes a quote from Carlson: “And how would the US behave if such a situation developed in neighboring Mexico or Canada?” The document—titled “For Media and Commentators (recommendations for coverage of events as of 03.03)”—was produced, according to its metadata, at a Russian government agency called the Department of Information and Telecommunications Support, which is part of the Russian security apparatus. It was provided to Mother Jones by a contributor to a national Russian media outlet who asked not to be identified. The source said memos like this one have been regularly sent by Putin’s administration to media organizations during the war. Independent media outlets in Russia have been forced to shut down since the start of the conflict.
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The Global Influence Operations Report has extensively covered Tucker Carlson’s continuing efforts to blame the US and the Biden administration for the Russian invasion of Ukraine while echoing Russian talking points on the causes of the conflict. Recent GIOR coverage on Tucker Carlson has included:
- We reported earlier this week that Carlson was continuing his efforts to blame the US and the Biden administration for the Russian invasion of Ukraine while echoing Russian talking points on the causes of the conflict.
- We reported last month on Tucker Carlson’s role in Russian propaganda efforts during the invasion of Ukraine, including one Carlson broadcast where his comments were subtitled and re-broadcast by RT, the Russian state-backed media outlet.
- 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.