Ukraine war: Putin gave ex-Fox News host Tucker Carlson interview because he differs from Western media, Kremlin says

Ukraine war: Putin gave ex-Fox News host Tucker Carlson interview because he differs from Western media, Kremlin says

The Kremlin said on Wednesday “many” foreign news outlets had requested to interview President Vladimir Putin, contradicting talk show host Tucker Carlson’s claim he was the only Western reporter to ask.

The former Fox News host, who visited Moscow for an interview with Putin this week, said no Western journalist had “bothered” to request access to the Kremlin leader since Moscow’s Ukraine offensive began.

“We receive many requests for interviews with the president,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters when asked whether Carlson was the only person who requested a sit-down with Putin.

[Carlson’s position] contrasts with that of the traditional Anglo-Saxon media
Dmitry Peskov, Kremlin spokesman

“But when it comes to countries of the collective West, we are talking about large online media outlets that can’t boast of trying to at least look objective,” he said in a daily briefing, and said there was no appetite to communicate directly with such media organisations.

“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 added.

Carlson’s position “contrasts with that of the traditional Anglo-Saxon media,” Peskov said.

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CNN anchor Christiane Amanpour and the BBC’s Moscow correspondent Steve Rosenberg were among those who refuted Carlson’s claim he was the only Western reporter to ask to speak to the Russian leader.

Carlson, whose radical conservative opinions have garnered a vast right-wing following, said he is not interviewing the Russian leader because “we love Vladimir Putin,” but rather because “we love the United States.”

“Has Putin ever called me a racist?” Carlson asked viewers in 2022.

“Has he threatened to get me fired for disagreeing with him? These are fair questions, and the answer to all of them is ‘No.’ didn’t do any of that.”

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“We’re in journalism,” he posted to social media, in reference to the interview. “Our duty is to inform people.”

“Two years into a war that’s reshaping the entire world, most Americans are not informed,” Carlson said of the conflict, which began in February 2022.

“They have no real idea what’s happening in this region.”

The 54-year-old Carson also thanked social media platform X, formerly Twitter, for allowing his unedited Putin interview to be posted on the platform. X began hosting Carlson’s content after the former prime time host was let go by Fox News.

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Tucker Carlson speaks about his interview with Russian President Vladimir Putin. Photo: Tucker Carlson Network via Reuters

The “live to tape” interview was likely to be aired on Thursday, Russia’s TASS news agency said, citing reports by the Wall Street Journal.

Carlson’s access to Putin represents a huge contrast with restraints on other American journalists in Russia, where two US citizens – Wall Street Journal reporter Evan Gershkovich and Radio Free Europe’s Alsu Kurmasheva – are being held in detention.

Reporting by Agence France-Presse, Reuters, dpa

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