If Russian state television employee Marina Ovsyannikova can risk everything to call out Russia’s dishonest propaganda about the invasion of Ukraine, surely someone can muster up the courage to do something similar about Tucker Carlson.
Marina Ovsyannikova is the brave Russian state television employee who disrupted a Russian state TV newscast by appearing on screen with a handwritten sign saying, “NO WAR” and “Stop the war. Don’t believe the propaganda, they are lying to you here.”
She was detained, interrogated for 14 hours and fined afterward. She is now in hiding, fearful for her life. She calls herself “Enemy No. 1” in Putin’s anti-dissent efforts, as CNBC reported. But “her protest has been followed by a string of resignations by Russian journalists, including top TV anchors: Channel One’s Zhanna Agalakova and NTV’s Lilia Gildeeva and Vadim Glusker.”
Here in the U.S., nobody would face arrest for doing something similar with Tucker Carlson or any of the other propagandists on Fox News (though threats and financial consequences are a real possibility). You don't have to sneak onto the set, just get yourself booked on a show. Or arrange for a real life encounter. Even better, why not disrupt one of the Murdochs’ efforts to hobnob in the world of successful businessmen when they are literally profiting off the marketing of hate and waging war on democracy? They more rightly belong in the corps of ostracized Russian oligarchs.
I have long written about the dangers of Carlson’s demagoguery. He is not someone merely espousing a conservative point of view. I’d be fine with that. No, Carlson uses his Murdoch-financed pulpit to deliberately endanger people he disagrees with or to cheer on others who do the endangering or to encourage it.
So I was heartened to read a Salon commentary by Kirk Swearingen called, “Won't someone, anyone stand up to protest Tucker Carlson, Putin's biggest fanboy?” In it, Swearingen writes:
The founders of our republic knew that democracy had to have an informed citizenry to survive. How can it survive the massive dose of misinformation, disinformation, outright propaganda and bizarre conspiracy theories spewed by Fox News, Newsmax and OAN every day?
He goes on to suggest that Fox and other propagandists “who constantly muddy the waters – and steal the very possibility of citizens becoming better informed” do not deserve First Amendment protections. But I believe that is a far too slippery a slope to try to navigate. But a viral, shareable moment caught on video could go a long way. The AIDS activists did a great job in that regard - and they got what they wanted and needed.
Meanwhile, enjoy Marina Ovsyannikova’s courage below, via The Washington Post, and hope that it inspires some similar bravery in Americans.