An interview with the Russian president will soon be released by the American television host. What we know about it is as follows.
A highly anticipated interview between American TV presenter Tucker Carlson and Russian President Vladimir Putin is scheduled to air on Thursday; however, the White House has expressed misgivings about providing the president of Russia with a platform.
The interview with Carlson, a former Fox News host well-known for his conservative talking points, will air at 23:00 GMT on both his website and the social media platform X, where he hosts a program named Tucker on X. What you need know about the controversy around the interview is provided here.
Regarding Carlson’s interview with Putin, what is known?
On Tuesday, Carlson verified that he was in Moscow, the Russian capital, for an interview with Putin. “Tonight, we are in Moscow. We’re here to speak with Russian President Vladimir Putin,” Carlson stated in a video that appeared to have been taken from a Moscow tower and was uploaded to X on Tuesday.
The host, who has criticized the way the US media has covered the conflict between Russia and Ukraine, stated that his goal was to counter what he saw as pro-Ukraine “fawning pep sessions” by Western media.
The interview will be shared “uncensored” on X in addition to being accessible on Carlson’s website. Putin would be speaking with a Western journalist for the first time in a formal capacity since the beginning of the invasion of Ukraine almost two years ago.
Carlson reportedly spent several days in Moscow, per the TASS news agency. Additionally, the host allegedly stated that he had “put in a request for an interview” with Volodymyr Zelenskyy, the president of Ukraine.
The interview also coincides with Democrats preparing to launch a fresh effort on Thursday to bring back US military aid to Ukraine, following the failure of the first vote on a multibillion-dollar aid package because of Republican Party resistance.
October 2021 marked the last time Putin was formally interviewed by a US media organization.
Carlson is interviewing Putin; why?
According to Carlson, the interview’s objective is to help Americans comprehend Russia’s perspective on the conflict.
“Most Americans are unaware of the nature of the conflict that is transforming the global world two years in. The four-minute video included Carlson saying, “They really don’t know what’s going on in this area.”
He continued, “But they should understand that, in a way they may not fully understand yet, they are paying for the majority of it.”
He claimed that “most Americans have no idea why Putin invaded Ukraine or what his current goals are.” We do not have this position because we adore Vladimir Putin. Though we don’t want you to agree with everything Putin says in this interview, we do think you should see it.You ought to be as informed as possible.
When he was still with Fox News, he claimed that the Biden administration forbade him from interviewing Putin; the White House press secretary called this accusation “ridiculous” on Tuesday.Putin reportedly agreed to the interview because Carlson offered a different perspective from other news agencies’ “one-sided” coverage of the war in Ukraine.
In a news briefing on Wednesday, Dmitry Peskov, a spokesman for the Kremlin, stated, “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 look impartial in terms of coverage.”
“All of these media outlets present a remarkably biased image. It scarcely makes sense, there is obviously no desire to engage with such media, and it is unlikely to be helpful.
Peskov responded that Carlson’s method was “inappropriate” when questioned about how he was able to secure the interview.Peskov responded that the American journalist’s strategy was “in no way pro-Russian, it is not pro-Ukrainian – it is pro-American” when questioned about how Carlson was able to acquire the interview.
What debate exists regarding the interview?
A wave of criticism has been sparked by Carlson’s interview. The White House stated on Wednesday that Putin shouldn’t have an unquestioning platform to defend his war in Ukraine.
Presidential Spokesman John Kirby stated, “I don’t think we need another interview with Vladimir Putin to understand his brutality.”
In addition, Carlson claimed that he was the only member of the Western media attempting to speak with Putin.
“Is Tucker really under the impression that since President Putin’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine, we journalists haven’t been attempting to interview him every day?” CNN host Christiane Amanpour stated on X. “That’s ridiculous; we’ll keep requesting interviews, as we have been doing for years.”
Critics also brought attention to Putin’s ongoing persecution of international and Russian journalists. As Russia increased its control on “independent wartime reporting,” the Moscow Times claims that by February 2023, at least 1,000 independent Russian journalists had left the nation.
“Absurd! Yevgenia Albats, a Russian journalist, stated on X that “I am like hundreds of Russian journalists who have had to go into exile to keep reporting about the Kremlin’s war against Ukraine.”
Sharp political responses have also been sparked by Carlson’s interview. Former prime minister of Belgium and current member of the European Parliament Guy Verhofstadt demanded that the EU investigate the possibility of placing a “travel ban” on Carlson.
Former Republican congressman from Illinois, Adam Kinzinger, referred to Carlson as a “traitor” for doing the interview.
The conversation takes place at the same time that two American journalists, Alsu Kurmasheva of Radio Free Liberty and Evan Gershkovich of The Wall Street Journal, are being held captive by Russia on what are generally believed to be politically motivated allegations.
What about the right to free speech?
Carlson has justified the conversation. “We were born with the right to free speech,” Carlson stated in his video. “No matter who is in the White House, we cannot take away our right to say what we believe because we were born with it,” he continued.
His defenders have stepped up to defend him, arguing that the interview was an illustration of free expression.
Congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Greene, a far-right Republican, stated that the US is unique in having a free press.
“People like Tucker Carlson, who we rely on to speak the truth, are part of our free press in this country,” the writer said on X.
Owner of X, Elon Musk, urged people to “hear” Putin.
Interviews with opponents have long been a feature of journalism, according to journalist Glenn Greenwald, who responded to the outcry of criticism. He cited CNN’s 1997 interview with Osama bin Laden, the founder of al-Qaeda, and 1991 with Saddam Hussein, the president of Iraq at the time.