The Kremlin asked state-controlled Russian media to highlight Fox News host Tucker Carlson’s broadcasts “as much as possible” due to his criticisms of the U.S. and its NATO allies in his coverage of the Ukraine crisis, Mother Jones reported.
A leaked 12-page memo from a Russian government agency to media on March 3 said “it is essential to use as much as possible fragments of broadcasts” by Carlson, according to a translation by Mother Jones, which said it obtained the note from a contributor to a national Russian media outlet.
Carlson “sharply criticizes” the actions of the U.S. and NATO and their “negative role in unleashing the conflict in Ukraine,” the memo said, per the news site.
Carlson is also critical of the “defiantly provocative behavior from the leadership of the Western countries and NATO towards the Russian Federation and towards President Putin, personally,” it reportedly continued.
The document was titled “For Media and Commentators” and sent from Russia’s Department of Information and Telecommunications Support, according to Mother Jones.
The outlet said Carlson was the only Western journalist referenced in the memo.
Retired Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman, the former director for European and Russian affairs at the National Security Council whose testimony figured prominently in former President Donald Trump’s first impeachment, weighed in on the report, tweeting at Carlson to “Live your life in such a way that the Russian government and state TV apparatus doesn’t think you’re an ally.”
Carlson has evidently landed in the Kremlin’s good books after consistently amplifying Russian propaganda on his show. On Thursday, ABC’s chief Washington correspondent Jonathan Karl reported that Carlson’s rhetoric was “almost a plagiarism” of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s.
In the days before Russia invaded Ukraine, Carlson defended Putin and questioned why he was expected to dislike him. “Has Putin ever called me a racist? Has he threatened to get me fired for disagreeing with him?” he asked.
“Why do I care what is going on in the conflict between Ukraine and Russia?” Carlson said in 2019. “And I’m serious. Why do I care? Why shouldn’t I root for Russia? Which I am.” He later claimed he was joking.
Multiple excerpts from his show have been translated to serve as propaganda on Russian state-sponsored TV, including one in which he argued that Ukraine is not a democracy but “a client state of the Biden administration.”