By Neenah Payne
Del Bigtree, host of The Highwire which airs online Thursdays at 2PM ET announced on February 8 that the interview by Tucker Carlson of President Vladimir Putin of Russia would air online at 6PM that evening and would not be behind a paywall. Del pointed out that the interview would probably “break the internet”.
Although the legacy media criticized Tucker for interviewing Putin, Del showed that Putin had been interviewed by other American journalists in the past without criticism. He showed that Barbara Walters had interviewed Fidel Castro, Dan Rather interviewed Saddam Hussein, Diane Sawyer interviewed the serial killer Charles Manson, Larry King interview Muammar Gaddafi of Libya, and Peter Arnet interviewed Osama bin Laden. Del showed clips of the “talking heads” of legacy media all repeating EXACTLY the same script on every TV channel. Much of that is “Brought to you by Pfizer”.
There were even calls to ban Tucker from returning the Land of the Free and the Home of the Brave for daring to interview Putin. Fortunately, saner heads prevailed as shown in Musk condemns idea of banning Carlson from coming back to US if he interviews Putin which reported:
US entrepreneur and one of the world’s richest people Elon Musk has criticized the idea of banning American journalist Tucker Carlson from returning to the United States if he interviews Russian President Vladimir Putin, as the US media assume.
“Agreed,” Musk wrote in response to a post on X (formerly Twitter) from American journalist Brian Krasenstein, who said that the idea of banning Carlson from coming back to the US contradicts the principles of journalism and information freedom. The latter noted that the American press has shied away from interviewing anyone due to their political views. “To the people calling for Tucker Carlson to be barred from the United States if he interviews Vladimir Putin, <…> If you are about freedoms, you wouldn’t be calling for Tucker Carlson to never be allowed back in the United States,” Krasenstein wrote.
The Newsweek article below shows that the European Union is considering imposing a travel ban on Tucker because he interviewed Putin! See Why Was David Icke Banned From 26 European Nations?
The New York Times article “Tucker Carlson Regains the Bullhorn, at Least Temporarily” said:
Mr. Carlson’s interview with President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia put him back on center stage for the first time since his Fox News show was canceled….In landing an exclusive interview with President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia — released on Thursday on the social network X and Mr. Carlson’s own streaming site, Tucker Carlson Network — the host returned, at least for a moment, to the center of American politics.
The two-hour interview gave him a bullhorn to an American audience just as many congressional Republicans worked to block a vital lifeline of American military aid to Ukraine.
The Highwire reported:
TODAY, Legacy Media, government leaders, and special interests are calling for the arrest, and even the death, of Tucker Carlson, leading up to the release of his interview with Russian President Vladimir Putin. Why are they all so desperate to silence a journalist for doing his job? What happened to freedom of the press? Why are they so openly violating the principles of the Constitution to silence him? Del breaks down one of the most important issues of our time just hours before the release of this potentially narrative-shattering interview.
EPISODE 358: THE POWER GAME 2/8/24
Here’s why we’re doing it
Tucker We’re in Moscow tonight. We’re here to interview the President of Russia, Vladimir Putin. We’ll be doing that soon. There are risks to conducting an interview like this, obviously. So we’ve thought about it carefully over many months. Here’s why we’re doing it. First, because it’s our job. We’re in journalism. Our duty is to inform people. Two years into a war that’s reshaping the entire world, most Americans are not informed. They have no real idea what’s happening in this region, here in Russia or 600 miles away in Ukraine. But they should know, they’re paying for much of it in ways they might not fully yet perceive.
The war in Ukraine is a human disaster. It’s left hundreds of thousands of people dead. An entire generation of young Ukrainians. And has depopulated the largest country in Europe. But the long-term effects are even more profound. This war has utterly reshaped the global military and trade alliances, and the sanctions that followed have as well. And in total, they have upended the world economy. The post-World War 2 economic order, the system that guaranteed prosperity in the West for more than 80 years, is coming apart very fast, and along with it, the dominance of the US dollar. These are not small changes.
They are history altering developments. They will define the lives of our grandchildren. Most of the world understands this perfectly well. They can see it. Ask anyone in Asia or the Middle East what the future looks like. And yet the populations of the English-speaking countries seem mostly unaware. They think that nothing has really changed. And they think that because no one has told them the truth. Their media outlets are corrupt. They lie to their readers and viewers, and they do that mostly by omission.
For example, since the day the war in Ukraine began, American media outlets have spoken to scores of people from Ukraine, and they’ve done scores of interviews with Ukrainian President Zelensky. We ourselves have put in a request for an interview with Zelensky. We hope he accepts. But the interviews he’s already done in the United States are not traditional interviews. They are fawning pep sessions, specifically designed to amplify Zelensky’s demand that the U.S. enter more deeply into a war in Eastern Europe and pay for it. That is not journalism. It is government propaganda, propaganda of the ugliest kind, the kind that kills people. At the same time, our politicians and media outlets have been doing this, promoting a foreign leader like he’s a new consumer brand, not a single Western journalist has bothered to interview the president of the other country involved in this conflict, Vladimir Putin.
Most Americans have no idea why Putin invaded Ukraine, or what his goals are now. They’ve never heard his voice. That’s wrong. Americans have a right to know all they can about a war they’re implicated in, and we have the right to tell them about it because we are Americans, too. Freedom of speech is our birthright. We were born with the right to say what we believe. That right cannot be taken away no matter who is in the White House. But they’re trying anyway. Almost three years ago, the Biden administration illegally spied on our text messages and then leaked the contents to their servants in the news media. They did this in order to stop a Putin interview that we were planning. Last month, we’re pretty certain they did exactly the same thing once again, but this time we came to Moscow anyway.
We are not here because we love Vladimir Putin. We are here because we love the United States. And we want it to remain prosperous and free. We paid for this trip ourselves. We took no money from any government or group, nor are we charging people to see the interview. It is not behind a paywall. Anyone can watch the entire thing shot live to tape and unedited on our website, TuckerCarlson.com.
Elon Musk, to his great credit, has promised not to suppress or block this interview once we posted on his platform X, and we’re grateful for that. Western governments, by contrast, will certainly do their best to censor this video on other, less-principled platforms, because that’s what they do. They are afraid of information they can’t control. But you have no reason to be afraid of it. We are not encouraging you to agree with what Putin may say in this interview, but we are urging you to watch it. You should know as much as you can. And then, like a free citizen and not a slave, you can decide for yourself. Thanks.
Controversial ex-Fox News host is in Moscow to talk to the Russian leader.
FEBRUARY 6, 2024 8:08 PM CET
American pundit Tucker Carlson, who is currently on a visit to Moscow, has announced he is interviewing Russian President Vladimir Putin. The conservative provocateur and former Fox News anchor said he was interviewing Putin “because it’s our job. We’re in journalism. Our duty is to inform people.”
Carlson — who will be the first American to interview Putin since the start of Moscow’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine almost two years ago — has repeatedly questioned U.S. support for Kyiv’s war effort. The TV host, who was ousted by Fox last year, seemed to suggest the interview was yet to take place and did not specify when it would air, but said it would be published “unedited” and “not behind a paywall” on his personal website.
In a social media monologue, Carlson said he had been motivated to sit down with Putin because “the populations of the English-speaking countries” were ill-informed about the war in Ukraine, alleging that was “because no one has told them the truth.”
Putin has been waging all-out war on Ukraine since February 2022, in an onslaught which has killed tens of thousands of people and triggered an international arrest warrant for war crimes against the Russian leader.
Carlson says there’s more to the story, however, and that the Western media is misleading its audience. “Their media outlets are corrupt. They lie to their readers and viewers, and they do that mostly by omission,” Carlson added. “We are not here because we love Vladimir Putin. We are here because we love the United States, and we want it to remain prosperous and free,” he added.
News of Carlson’s visit first broke at the weekend after the Mash Telegram channel, rumored to have links to Russian law enforcement, reported he’d been spotted in Moscow at the Bolshoi Theater after having flown in several days earlier. In a video published by the Russian outlet Izvestia a day later, Carlson said he had come to Russia to “talk to people, look around, and see how it’s doing … and it’s doing very well.”
Responding to a question as to whether he was there to interview Putin, Carlson responded: “We’ll see.”
Elon Musk, the owner of X (formerly Twitter), the platform on which the video will be published, has promised not to suppress or block the interview once it’s posted, Carlson said. He then aimed another broadside at the West.
“Western governments, by contrast, will certainly do their best to censor this video and other less principled platforms because that’s what they do,” Carlson said.
The last time Putin sat down with an American journalist was in June 2021 with NBC’s Keir Simmons. In October 2021 Putin briefly spoke to CNBC’s Hadley Gamble at the Russian Energy Week event in Moscow. Before that the Russian president also talked to U.S. TV journalist Megyn Kelly, then with NBC, before his last election win in 2018.
Russian state media and pro-Kremlin Telegram channels have followed Carlson’s every step in Moscow, making news of his leaving and entering his hotel, visiting the “Rossiya” exhibition, or being invited to visit the annexed Crimea peninsula.
The independent Telegram channel “Ostorozhno Novosti” (“Be Careful, News”) calculated that since Jan. 29, state publications in Russia have mentioned Carlson more than 2,000 times. In the last few days, the frequency with which Carlson was mentioned in Russian media has increased 14-fold.
The Guardian’s Review of Tucker’s Interview With Putin
Russian president sits down with Trump-supporting rightwing commentator who frequently criticizes US support for Ukraine
Tucker Carlson and Vladimir Putin were in the spotlight on Thursday night, as the divisive, Trump-supporting rightwing commentator interviewed the reclusive Russian autocrat. The interview, filmed in Moscow, was Putin’s first with a western media outlet since Russia invaded Ukraine in February 2022.
It marked a new level of infamy for Carlson, who has frequently criticized US support for Ukraine and has referred to Volodymyr Zelenskiy, the president of Ukraine, as a “Ukrainian pimp” and “rat-like”.
Carlson’s trip to Moscow had been widely criticised ahead of the interview. But the opening of the two-hour conversation between the former Fox News host and Putin was a let down.
Putin spent more than 30 minutes giving a history of Russia, Lithuania, Poland and Ukraine, in a monologue that took viewers from the ninth century rule of Oleg the Wise, to the struggles of the 1300s, through to a critique of Lenin’s foreign policy.
When a baffled-looking Carlson finally coaxed Putin into the 21st century, the Russian president accused the US and other western countries of prolonging the war in Ukraine.
There were peace talks with Ukraine that were “almost finalized”, Putin said, but then Ukraine “threw away all these agreements and obeyed the instructions of western countries, European countries and the United States to fight Russia to the bitter end”.
It wasn’t the most helpful interview for a viewing public that Carlson had earlier said “have no idea why Putin invaded Ukraine or what his goals are now”.
Carlson did, at least, press Putin on Evan Gershkovich, the Wall Street Journal reporter who has been detained in Russia since 23 March having been accused of espionage – which Gershovich and the Journal deny. Putin claimed Gershovich, 32, was “caught red-handed when he was secretly getting confidential information”, and alleged he was “working for the US special services”. Russia is “ready to talk” about releasing Gershkovich, Putin said, but added: “We want the US special services to think about how they can contribute to achieving the goals our special services are pursuing.”
In a video published ahead of the interview, Carlson claimed he was conducting the interview because English-language “media outlets are corrupt – they lie to their readers and viewers”. “There are risks to conducting an interview like this obviously, so we’ve thought about it for many months,” Carlson said. “Most Americans have no idea why Putin invaded Ukraine or what his goals are now. 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. But they should know. They’re paying for much of it.”
Followers of Carlson over the past two years will be less surprised than others that Putin accepted the interview request. Carlson was an early, notable defender of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. As Putin amassed up to 190,000 troops on Ukraine’s border in mid-February 2022, Carlson appeared to echo Putin’s talking points by claiming the brewing conflict was a mere “border dispute”.
In the week following the attack, Russian state media played clips of Carlson’s rants about Ukraine and against the US providing military aid to the country.
The interview was aired on Tucker Carlson Tonight, a streaming service which Carlson launched in December 2023. Notably, Carlson was fired by Fox News in April 2023 – for getting “too big for his boots”, a book later claimed.
The Vladimir Putin Interview
The Interview Feb 8, 2024 127 mins
The following is an interview with the President of Russia, Vladimir Putin. Shot February 6th, 2024, at about 7 p.m in the building behind us, which is, of course, the Kremlin. The interview, as you will see if you watch it, is primarily about the war in progress, the war in Ukraine, how it started, what’s happening, and most pressingly how it might end. One note before you watch. At the beginning of the interview, we asked the most obvious question, which is why did you do this? Did you feel a threat, an imminent physical threat, and that’s your justification. And the answer we got shocked us.
Putin went on for a very long time, probably half an hour, about the history of Russia going back to the eighth century. And honestly, we thought this was a filibustering technique and found it annoying and interrupted him several times, and he responded. He was annoyed by the interruption. But we concluded in the end, for what it’s worth, that it was not a filibustering technique. There was no time limit on the interview. We ended it after more than two hours. Instead, what you’re about to see seemed to us sincere whether you agree with it or not. Vladimir Putin believes that Russia has a historic claim to parts of western Ukraine.
So, our opinion would be to view it in that light as a sincere expression of what he thinks. And with that, here it is. Mr. President, thank you. On February 22nd, 2022, you addressed your country in a nationwide address when the conflict in Ukraine started, and you said that you were acting because you had come to the conclusion that the United States, through NATO, might initiate a, quote, surprise attack on our country and too American ears, that sounds paranoid. Tell us why you believe the United States might strike Russia out of the blue. How did you conclude that?
Did Tucker’s Interview Re-open Door To Peace?
The Biden administration seems committed to sending endless billions of dollars of American taxpayer money to the Ukraine with no end in sight and pushing the world ever closer to nuclear war. Is it possible that Tucker’s interview with Putin may have opened the door to negotiations and consideration of better options for the Ukraine, Russia, Europe, the US, and humanity? If so, it would certainly have been a very powerful interview and the world should be very grateful for his enormous courage.
In the video below, independent presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy Jr. points out that France, Germany, Russia, and the Ukraine signed the Minsk Accords in 2014 and Minsk Accords #2 in n2022. However, the US sent British Prime Minister Boris Johnson to torpedo that peace agreement. Putin mentioned Johnson’s role during his interview with Tucker. Diplomacy Watch: Did Boris Johnson help stop a peace deal in Ukraine? See NYT What Are the Minsk Accords, and Could They Defuse the Ukraine Crisis?
Kennedy also explained that when the former Soviet Union agreed to the reunification of East and West Germany in 1992, it was on the promise that NATO would not move further east. However, NATO has since moved 1,000 miles across 14 countries. Kennedy points out that the Biden administration wants war with Russia. Now, there are talks of the Ukraine joining NATO – which is an even more direct threat to Russia. Secretary General in Kyiv: Ukraine is closer to NATO than ever before
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Neenah Payne writes for Activist Post
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