Russia Weighs In on Tucker Carlson's Firing

Lavrov calls the move 'curious,' state TV hosts blame the US government
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 26, 2023 8:40 AM CDT
Russia Weighs In on Tucker Carlson's Firing
Tucker Carlson attends the final round of the Bedminster Invitational LIV Golf tournament in Bedminster, NJ, Sunday, July 31, 2022.   (AP Photo/Seth Wenig, File)

Tucker Carlson has a lot of sympathizers in Russia, not only those who've offered him jobs on Russian state TV, but Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov himself. While speaking on the topic of freedom of speech at the United Nations on Tuesday, Lavrov brought up Carlson's surprise ouster from Fox News unprompted. "Perhaps it would be useful to consider how things are with freedom of speech in the United States," Lavrov said in a clip aired on CNN, per Mediaite. "I've heard that Tucker Carlson has left Fox News. It's curious news. What is this related to? One can only guess. But, clearly, the wealth of views in the American information space has suffered as a result."

CNN's Erin Burnett described the comment from "the most senior Russian official to visit the United States since Putin invaded Ukraine" as "unbelievable" considering everything else that should be of concern to Russia's Foreign Ministry, though she did note Carlson is a "star" in Russia "for repeatedly being pro-Russia, anti-American, and anti-Ukraine." As Mother Jones reported, shortly after Russia's war in Ukraine began, the Kremlin issued a memo to friendly media outlets, saying "it is essential to use as much as possible fragments of broadcasts of the popular Fox News host Tucker Carlson, who sharply criticizes the actions of the United States [and] NATO."

Clips of Carlson's shows have become "an everyday occurrence on Russian state television," per the Daily Beast. But Carlson was popular in Russia even before the war. In 2020, a host of Russia 1's 60 Minutes described Carlson as "practically our co-host." In the wake of his firing, Russian state TV hosts have blamed the US government. "The main issue is that he started to discuss, in harsh terms, all of the goals that the liberal establishment is pursuing abroad," Dmitry Drobnitsky said Monday on Russia 1, per the Beast. "They'll throw him in prison, wait and see." Mediaite's Michael Luciano claims Lavrov also "implied" Carlson's firing "was done at the behest of the US government." (More Tucker Carlson stories.)

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