Tucker Carlson says Putin interview is real journalism, not Western media’s propaganda reporting

Fox News host turned podcaster Tucker Carlson sent shockwaves across the journalism world this week when he was pictured in Moscow taking in the Bolshoi ballet. Speculation swirled that he was there to interview Russian President Vladimir Putin, and that speculation turned out to be correct.

On Tuesday, Mr. Carlson posted a video statement on X explaining why he would travel to Russia to interview the man who invaded Ukraine and caused the deaths of hundreds of thousands of people.

“First, because it’s our job. We’re in journalism. Our duty is to inform people. Two years into a war that’s reshaping the entire world, most Americans are not informed. They have no real idea what’s happening in this region, here in Russia or 600 miles away in Ukraine,” Mr. Carlson said.



He insisted that he’s no Kremlin stooge.

“We are not here because we love Vladimir Putin. We are here because we love the United States. And we want it to remain prosperous and free. We paid for this trip ourselves,” he said.

Mr. Carlson said he’s interviewing Mr. Putin because the mainstream media has no interest in seeking answers and instead is busy promoting Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy “like he’s a new consumer brand.”

“Not a single Western journalist has bothered to interview the president of the other country involved in this conflict, Vladimir Putin. Most Americans have no idea why Putin invaded Ukraine, or what his goals are now. They’ve never heard his voice. That’s wrong. Americans have a right to know all they can about a war they’re implicated in, and we have the right to tell them about it because we are Americans, too. Freedom of speech is our birthright.”

This is Mr. Carlson’s statement in full:

“We’re in Moscow tonight. We’re here to interview the President of Russia, Vladimir Putin. We’ll be doing that soon.

“There are risks to conducting an interview like this, obviously. So we thought about it carefully over many months. Here’s why we’re doing it, First, because it’s our job, we’re in journalism. Our duty is to inform people. Two years into a war that’s reshaping the entire world, most Americans are not informed. They have no real idea what’s happening in this region, here in Russia or 600 miles away in Ukraine. But they should know. They’re paying for much of it in ways they might not fully yet perceive.”

“The war in Ukraine is a human disaster. It’s left hundreds of thousands of people dead. An entire generation of young Ukrainians and it has depopulated the largest country in Europe. But the long-term effects are even more profound. This war has utterly reshaped the global military and trade alliances and the sanctions that followed have as well and in total, they have upended the world economy. The post World War Two economic order, the system that guaranteed prosperity in the West for more than 80 years, is coming apart very fast, and along with it the dominance of the US dollar.”

“These are not small changes, they are history-altering developments. They will define the lives of our grandchildren. Most of the world understands this perfectly well, they can see it, ask anyone in Asia or the Middle East, what the future looks like. And yet the populations of the English-speaking countries seem mostly unaware. They think that nothing has really changed. And they think that because no one has told them the truth. Their media outlets are corrupt, they lie to the readers and viewers, and they do that mostly by omission.”

“For example, since the day the war in Ukraine began, American media outlets have spoken to scores of people from Ukraine, and they have done scores of interviews with Ukrainian President Zelensky. We ourselves have put in a request for an interview with Zelensky, we hope he accepts. But the interviews he’s already done in the United States are not traditional interviews. They are fawning pep sessions specifically designed to amplify Zelensky’s demand that the US enter more deeply into a war in Eastern Europe — and pay for it.”

“That is not journalism, it is government propaganda, propaganda of the ugliest kind, the kind that kills people. At the same time, our politicians and media outlets have been doing this, promoting a foreign leader like he’s a new consumer brand, not a single Western journalist has bothered to interview the president of the other country involved in this conflict, Vladimir Putin. Most Americans have no idea why Putin invaded Ukraine or what his goals are now, they’ve never heard his voice.”

“That’s wrong. Americans have a right to know all they can about a war they’re implicated in and we have the right to tell them about it because we are Americans, too. Freedom of speech is our birthright, we were born with the right to say what we believe. That right cannot be taken away no matter who is in the White House. But they’re trying anyway.”

“Almost three years ago, the Biden administration illegally spied on our text messages and then leaked the contents to their servants in the news media. They did this in order to stop a Putin interview that we were planning. Last month, we’re pretty certain they did exactly the same thing once again, but this time we came to Moscow anyway.”

“We are not here because we love Vladimir Putin. We are here because we love the United States. We want it to remain prosperous and free. We paid for this trip ourselves. We took no money from any government or group, nor are we charging people to see the interview, it is not behind a paywall. Anyone can watch the entire thing shot live to tape and unedited on our website tucker carlson.com. Elon Musk, to his great credit, has promised not to suppress or block this interview once he posted on his platform X and we’re grateful for that.”

“Western governments, by contrast, will certainly do their best to censor this video on other less principled platforms because that’s what they do — they are afraid of information they can’t control, but you have no reason to be afraid of it. We are not encouraging you to agree with what Putin may say in this interview, but we are urging you to watch it. You should know as much as you can. And then like a free citizen and not a slave. You can decide for yourself. Thanks.”

• Washington Times Staff can be reached at 202-636-3000.

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