Fox News star Tucker Carlson is 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. In a recent broadcast, Carlson opens by citing remarks by US Vice-President Kamala Harris in which she said:
Let me start by saying I appreciate and admire President Zelenskyy’s desire to join NATO.
Carlson said the “message” from Harris was:
Up yours Vladimir Putin, go ahead and invade Ukraine.
However, Carlson omitted the context of Harris’ remarks, which clearly were not a green light for an invasion:
And I’ll put that in context, because the obvious is also the point, which is that: and therefore no other country can tell anyone whether they should or should not join NATO. That should be their independent choice. That is the point of sovereignty. So I respect President Zelenskyy’s desire to be a member of NATO.
Carlson went on in the broadcast to accuse the US of intentionally seeking war with Russia and to assert that Trump was impeached to facilitate such a war:
Why would the United States intentionally seek war with Russia? How could we possibly benefit from that war? You still don’t know the answer to that question. It is obvious that permanent Washington has been fixated on war with Russia for a very long time. Couple of years ago, we’ve forgotten, they impeach a sitting president why? Threatening to withhold military aid from president Zelensky of Ukraine. Failing to back a proxy war in Ukraine was one thing President Trump was not allowed to do as President. They impeached him for it. And no one said much about it even in his own party because of course they support a war with Russia too, even more than the Democrats.
Mediaite, a US media news website, cited Carlson’s claim on another broadcast that media coverage on the Russian attack on the Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant were “disinformation” and “designed to get you to support a war against Russia.”
Mediaite also reported Carlson’s comparison of the media coverage on the Ukraine conflict to what he called “moral panics” such as the Black Lives Matter movement and the Covid epidemic:
We live in a country of moral panic. The first one began in May of 2020 with the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis. That changed America completely. The second moral panic was Covid. We have lived through that. So for nearly two years, the shouting has not ended. Hysteria is now the official language of public discourse in the United States. That’s not good for anyone except those benefiting from it. Who is benefiting? Anyone who lies for a living.
According to Mediaite, Carlson used the Black Lives Matter movement and the Covid epidemic to suggest that much of the media coverage on the Ukraine conflict was “propoganda:”
Carlson told his audience to ask themselves, “How much of what you first heard about [Black Lives Matter] and about the coronavirus turned out in the end to be true?” He added, “The pattern never changes. Hey, maybe with war on Russia is not a good idea for the United States. Say that out loud some time. It’s not an extreme position. ”“The people in charge and decided the primary job is to decide who you should hate,” Carlson stated. “In an environment like this, everything feels like propaganda, and that’s because much of it is..”
The Global Influence Operations Report (GIOR) 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.
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.