Why did Tucker Carlson suddenly go from Putin apologist to Putin critic? Don’t think for a minute that decency had anything to do with it.
On Tuesday, Carlson said the Ukraine crisis was due to Biden and Vindman Corruption, not Putin
On Tuesday, Carlson openly sided with Russia over the United States in the kind of commentary he’d be apoplectic over if, say, MSNBC host Joy Reid used it to support an African dictator hell-bent on invading Israel.
CARLSON: Since the day that Donald Trump became president, Democrats in Washington have told you, you have a patriotic duty to hate Vladimir Putin. It's not a suggestion, it is a mandate, anything less than hatred for Putin is treason.
Many Americans have obeyed this directive. They now dutifully hate Vladimir Putin, maybe you're one of them. Hating Putin has become the central purpose of America's foreign policy. It's the main thing that we talk about. Entire cable channels are now devoted to it.
Very soon, that hatred of Vladimir Putin could bring the United States into a conflict in Eastern Europe. Before that happens, it might be worth asking yourself since it is getting pretty serious: What is this really about? Why do I hate Putin so much? Has Putin ever called me a racist? Has he threatened to get me fired for disagreeing with him? Has he shipped every middle class job in my town to Russia?
More specifically, Carlson blamed a corrupt and senile President Biden and retired Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman, a pro-impeachment witness in Donald Trump’s first impeachment heariings, for what Carlson called Russia’s “border dispute” with Ukraine:
CARLSON: Now the main thing to know about Ukraine for our purposes, is that its leaders once sent millions of dollars to Joe Biden's family. Not surprisingly, Ukraine is now one of Biden's favorite countries
The administration assures us this has nothing at all to do with repaying Joe Biden's personal debts to Ukrainian oligarchs. Not at all. It's completely and totally unrelated.
Alexander Vindman believes you have a moral obligation to defend his homeland, and if you don't, you're a murderer.
So your job is to take up arms in defense of Alexander Vindman's home country or else you're evil, you have blood on your hands, and that's effectively our policy.
Two days later, Carlson said the Ukraine invasion is Putin’s fault
On Thursday, Carlson “forgot” all about Hunter Biden and Vindman:
CARLSON: So what is happening in Ukraine, whatever its scale, and it is not totally clear right now, but whatever it is, it is a tragedy, because war always is a tragedy, and the closer you get to it, the more horrifying it seems. It's the ugliest thing that men do -- ever.
Vladimir Putin started this war. So, whatever the context of the decision that he made, he did it. He fired the first shots. He is to blame for what we are seeing tonight in Ukraine.
So what happened? Carlson couldn’t be bothered to provide his viewers an explanation for this supposed change of heart, assuming Carlson has one. The Washington Post’s Erik Wemple said Carlson “bowed to programming realpolitik.” I'm sure that's true. But I also suspect he bowed to paycheck realpolitik.
Carlson’s pro-Putin comments provoked just the kind of outcry that makes it difficult for the Murdoch family to keep up the pretense that Fox is just a “center right” network and not a treasonous propaganda outlet for fascism. Especially when they are already facing two, billion-dollar lawsuits over the network’s Big Lies about the 2020 election. And especially when Russia has turned Carlson into a big hero.
Don't forget, this is the same “anti-vax” Tucker Carlson who is too cowardly to criticize his employer’s vaccine mandate and is even too cowardly to admit he’s vaccinated. Why would he stand up for his principles now? Assuming he has any.
The one thing we can know for sure about Carlson: If he doesn’t revert to supporting Putin over Ukraine and the U.S., he’ll find another way to wage his propaganda war on America. For profit, of course.
You can watch Carlson change his tune below, from the February 22, 2022 and February 24, 2022 Tucker Carlson Tonight.
These sudden reversals do make me wonder just how badly the financial restrictions are hitting the Murdoch (and other) empires throughout the world. A few years ago I chatted with a stereotypical “nouveau-riche” sort of woman (aka a Trumpian) who said she had decided to learn Russian because that’s where a lot of money could be made. Her husband, who was (she said) a close friend of Trump’s, expected to be at the front of the line to take advantage of the Trump administrations rapprochement with Russia.
Anyway, I’m hoping Putin’s military staff realise that using nuclear bombs is not a viable option for anybody, not even themselves.
Let’s start attacking Fox’s advertisers for being unpatriotic and that awful non-word, ‘unAmerican’.