UPDATE: Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov confirmed that Tucker Carlson interviewed Russian President Vladimir Putin on Tuesday.
Per The Guardian, Peskov told reporters, “When it comes to the countries of the collective west, the large network media, TV channels, [and] large newspapers can in no way boast of even trying to at least look impartial in terms of coverage,” Peskov said.
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“These are all media outlets that take an exceptionally one-sided position. Of course, there is no desire to communicate with such media, and it hardly makes sense, and it is unlikely that it will be useful.”
Peskov, though, acknowledged that the Kremlin does receive “numerous requests” from major media outlets to interview Putin, according to the news site Meduza. That contradicts Carlson’s claim that U.S. journalists have not even bothered to try to interview the Russian leader.
PREVIOUSLY: Tucker Carlson confirmed speculation today that he’s been in Moscow to interview Russian President Vladimir Putin.
“There are risks to conducting an interview like this, obviously. So we thought about it carefully over many months,” he said in a message posted on X/Twitter.
He went on to claim that “two years into a war that is reshaping the entire world, most Americans are not informed. They have no real idea what is happening in this region, here in Russia or 600 miles away in Ukraine.”
He then went on to call media outlets “corrupt” who “lie to readers and viewers” mostly “by omission.” He accused U.S. media of doing “fawning pep sessions” with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky “specifically designed to amplify Zelensky’s demand that the U.S. enter more deeply into Eastern Europe and pay for it.”
Carlson also claimed that “not a single western journalist has bothered to interview the president of the other country involved in this conflict, Vladimir Putin.”
That accusation was met with immediate pushback from other journalists, including Christiane Amanpour, CNN’s chief international anchor.
“Does Tucker really think we journalists haven’t been trying to interview President Putin every day since his full scale invasion of Ukraine? It’s absurd — we’ll continue to ask for an interview, just as we have for years now,” she wrote.
The BBC’s Russia editor, Steve Rosenberg, wrote, “Interesting to hear @TuckerCarlson claim that “no western journalist has bothered to interview” Putin since the invasion of Ukraine. We’ve lodged several requests with the Kremlin in the last 18 months. Always a ‘no’ for us.”
One of Putin’s last major interviews with a western news outlet was in June, 2021, when NBC News’ Keir Simmons sat down with him.
In claiming that U.S. media was one sided, Carlson also did not mention a set of censorship laws that Putin implemented in the aftermath of the invasion, which saw major outlets removing correspondents out of concerns for their safety. In March, The Wall Street Journal’s Evan Gershkovich was detained on an allegation of espionage. The Journal denies that claim, as does the State Department.
Carlson said that the interview would not be behind a paywall and posted on TuckerCarlson.com, his media venture, as well as on X/Twitter. His subscription site otherwise costs $6-per-month.
Carlson was dropped by Fox News in April. He then went on to post interviews on X/Twitter before launching his subscription service.
Russian state media has highlighted Carlson’s criticisms of Joe Biden’s administration and his criticisms of Zelensky.
The Atlantic’s Anne Applebaum wrote, “Many journalists have interviewed Putin, who also makes frequent, widely covered speeches. Carlson’s interview is different because he is not a journalist, he’s a propagandist, with a history of helping autocrats conceal corruption.”
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