This reporting appears as one of several scoops featured in this week’s edition of Confider, the newsletter pulling back the curtain on the media. Subscribe here and send your questions, tips, and complaints here.
Fox News’ own lawyers have argued that viewers shouldn’t believe anything Tucker Carlson says, but that hasn’t stopped the Kremlin from hanging on his every word.
A month after it embraced Carlson’s attempt to blame the sabotage of the Nord Stream pipeline on Biden, Russian state TV found another Putin-friendly talking point to amplify from the Fox star it eagerly describes as the “most popular American news host.”
At the end of October, Carlson—or Такер Карлсон, per Russia TV—breathlessly warned viewers that the U.S. was on the cusp of running out of diesel fuel due to President Joe Biden’s “jihad” in Ukraine. “Diesel fuel is not just low in this country,” he exclaimed. “It’s low in every Western nation that is aligned itself with Ukraine. All these nations preparing for ‘World War Trans’ are running out of diesel fuel.”
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While Carlson’s fear-stoking declaration that the U.S. was 25 days from economic collapse and Mad Max-like dystopia proved wildly incorrect, it did not stop Moscow’s propaganda machine from repeatedly blasting it out.
Confider found via the Internet Archive’s TV records that Carlson’s monologue, in which he also suggested Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-NY) wanted to destroy Russia over its traditional Christian values, was featured at least eight times across three different state networks over multiple days.
Among those boosting Carlson’s comments was Russia-1 TV host Vladimir Solovyov, who recently pushed for air strikes against several countries after “Russian-made” bombs killed two in Poland.
Russian TV has long had a love affair with Carlson, especially in the run-up to Moscow’s unprovoked invasion of Ukraine. At the same time, though, the state’s propagandists have at times warned that Carlson’s pro-Putin bias may be too blatant.
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