US information anchor Tucker Carlson is about to air a extremely anticipated interview with Vladimir Putin on Thursday, with the White Home expressing considerations about giving the Russian president a platform.
Carlson, a former Fox Information anchor recognized for his conservative speaking factors, mentioned the interview will probably be broadcast at 11:00 p.m. GMT on his web site and on the social networking platform X, the place he hosts a present referred to as Tucker on X.
Right here's what it is advisable know concerning the interview and the controversy surrounding it.
What can we find out about Carlson's interview with Putin?
Carlson confirmed on Tuesday that he was in Moscow, the Russian capital, to interview Putin. “We're in Moscow tonight. We're right here to interview the president of Russia, Vladimir Putin,” Carlson mentioned in a video posted on X Tuesday that seems to have been shot from a tower in Moscow.
The presenter, who criticized US media protection of the Ukraine-Russia conflict, mentioned his purpose was to counter what he described as pro-Ukraine “fawning pep periods” by Western media masking the conflict
The interview will probably be obtainable on Carlson's web site and also will be shared “uncensored” on X. This may be Putin's first formal interview with a Western journalist because the begin of the invasion of Ukraine almost two years in the past .
In line with the TASS information company, Carlson spent a number of days in Moscow. The host additionally mentioned he had “put in a request for an interview” with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy.
The interview comes whilst Democrats are set to make a contemporary try Thursday to revive U.S. army funding to Ukraine after a primary vote on a multibillion-dollar assist bundle failed as a consequence of cross-party opposition. Republican.
Putin was final formally interviewed by an American media in October 2021.
Why is Carlson interviewing Putin?
Carlson mentioned the aim of the interview is to permit People to grasp Russia's view of the conflict.
“Two years right into a conflict that’s reshaping all the world, most People aren’t knowledgeable. They don’t have any actual concept of what is occurring on this area,” Carlson mentioned within the four-minute video.
“However they need to know that they’re paying for many of it in a means that they won’t but absolutely understand,” he added.
“Most People do not know why Putin invaded Ukraine or what his objectives are actually,” he mentioned. “We’re not right here as a result of we love Vladimir Putin … We don’t encourage you to agree with what Putin might say on this interview, however we urge you to observe it. You must know as a lot as you may.”
He claimed that the Biden administration prevented him from interviewing Putin when he was nonetheless with Fox Information — a cost that the White Home press secretary on Tuesday referred to as “ridiculous.”
Why interview Vladimir Putin. pic.twitter.com/hqvXUZqvHX
– Tucker Carlson (@TuckerCarlson) February 6, 2024
In line with Russian authorities, Putin agreed to the interview as a result of Carlson supplied an alternate view from the “one-sided” reporting of the battle in Ukraine by different media.
“Relating to the international locations of the collective West, the large community media, the TV channels, [and] Large newspapers can under no circumstances boast of even making an attempt to be a minimum of neutral when it comes to protection,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov mentioned at a press briefing on Wednesday.
“These are all media that take an exceptionally one-sided place. In fact, there isn’t any want to speak with such media, and it doesn’t make sense, and it’s unlikely that will probably be helpful.”
When requested why Carlson obtained the interview, Peskov mentioned that the method of the American journalist was “under no circumstances pro-Russian, it’s not pro-Ukrainian – it’s pro-American.”
What’s the controversy surrounding the interview?
Carlson's interview introduced a wave of criticism. On Wednesday, the White Home mentioned Putin shouldn’t be given an uncritical outlet to justify his conflict in Ukraine.
“I don't assume we want one other interview with Vladimir Putin to grasp his brutality,” Nationwide Safety Council spokesman John Kirby mentioned.
Carlson additionally claimed that he was the one one among the many Western media who tried to interview Putin.
“Does Tucker actually assume that we reporters haven't tried to interview President Putin on daily basis since his full-scale invasion of Ukraine?” Christiane Amanpour, CNN anchor, he said on X. “It's absurd – we’ll proceed to ask for an interview, as now we have for years.”
Vital voices have additionally pointed to Putin's continued concentrating on of Russian and international journalists. In line with the Moscow Instances, a minimum of 1,000 impartial Russian journalists had fled the nation since February 2023, as Russia tightened its management over “impartial wartime reporting.”
“Unbelievable! It's like lots of of Russian journalists who’ve to enter exile to proceed reporting on the Kremlin's conflict towards Ukraine,” Russian journalist Yevgenia Albats informed X.
Unimaginable! They’re like lots of of Russian journalists who’ve to enter exile to proceed reporting on the Kremlin's conflict towards Ukraine. The choice was to go to jail. And now this SoB is instructing us about good journalism, capturing from the $1000 Ritz suite in Moscow https://t.co/9R3lqy5O6v
— albati (@albats) February 6, 2024
Carlson's interview additionally drew robust political reactions. Man Verhofstadt, former Belgian Prime Minister and present member of the European Parliament, requested the European Union to discover the imposition of a “journey ban” on Carlson.
Adam Kinzinger, the previous Republican consultant of Illinois, referred to as Carlson a “traitor” for conducting the interview.
The interview comes as two American journalists – Evan Gershkovich of The Wall Road Journal and Alsu Kurmasheva of Radio Free Liberty – are at present imprisoned by Russia on prices broadly seen as politically motivated.
And what about freedom of speech?
Carlson defended the interview. “Freedom of speech is our birthright,” Carlson mentioned in his video. “We’re born with the best to say what we consider, that proper can’t be taken away, irrespective of who’s within the White Home,” he added.
His supporters got here to his protection, saying the interview was an instance of freedom of speech.
Far-right Republican congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Greene mentioned the US is characterised by having a free press.
“We have now a free press on this nation and its [sic] folks like Tucker Carlson that we rely on to talk the reality,” he wrote on X.
X's proprietor, Musk, requested folks to “pay attention” to Putin.
Journalist Glenn Greenwald spoke out towards the refrain of criticism, saying that interviewing opponents has lengthy been a part of journalism. He mentioned CNN interviewed al-Qaeda founder Osama bin Laden in 1997 and Iraqi President Saddam Hussein in 1991.