Kremlin: We Reject All Western Media but Tucker Carlson Is Different

Marco Bello/Reuters
Marco Bello/Reuters

The Kremlin confirmed Wednesday that an interview between Tucker Carlson and Vladimir Putin has already taken place, with a spokesperson for the Russian president also explaining what makes the former Fox News host special, in Putin’s eyes, compared with other Western reporters whose requests for access are routinely rejected.

Dmitry Peskov declined to reveal when the interview would be released, saying only that it will be published “as soon as it is prepared.” He also contradicted a claim that Carlson made in his own video confirming the interview Tuesday, in which the conservative claimed that “not a single Western journalist has bothered to interview” Putin during his war in Ukraine.

Kremlin Cronies: Putin-Tucker Interview Will ‘Blow Up’ U.S. Election

“Mr. Carlson is wrong. But he couldn’t have known,” Peskov said, noting that, on the contrary, Western media outlets frequently ask for interviews with Putin, but such requests are declined. “When it comes to the countries of the collective West, we are talking about large online media, traditional television channels, large newspapers, which cannot boast of attempts to at least look impartial in terms of coverage,” Peskov said, according to TASS. “These are all media that take an exclusively one-sided position.”

He added that Putin has “no desire to communicate with such media” because it’s “unlikely that there can be any benefit from this.” Carlson, on the other hand, is different, Peskov said, because he takes a position unlike the rest of the “Anglo-Saxon media.” Peskov characterized Carlson as not being either pro-Russian or pro-Ukrainian, just pro-American.

The Kremlin spokesman also said that a purported transcript from the interview being shared online is an “absolute fake.”

On Tuesday, Carlson acknowledged there are “risks” to conducting such an interview, but justified doing it anyway on the grounds that he is a journalist whose “duty is to inform people.” He claimed most English-speaking countries are uninformed about how Russia’s war in Ukraine is reshaping the world order because those nations’ “media outlets are corrupt.” “They lie to their readers and viewers, and they do it mostly by omission,” he added.

He also said interviews that the U.S. media has done with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky aren’t journalism but “fawning pep sessions” and “government propaganda” designed to drag America further into the conflict.

The prospect of Carlson’s interview with Putin has been warmly received by Russian government propagandists. The approbation from state media outlets and the Kremlin stands in stark contrast to the coverage given to other Western journalists in Russia—some of whom are currently suffering even more serious consequences simply for doing their job in the country.

Evan Gershkovich, an American Wall Street Journal reporter, has already spent over 10 months in detention over espionage charges which both the Journal and the U.S. government have vehemently denied. The Biden administration considers him wrongfully detained. Alsu Kurmasheva, an American-Russian reporter with Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, is also behind bars in pre-trial detention for allegedly violating a law concerning “foreign agents.” Her employer has similarly decried the allegations against her as baseless and politically motivated.

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