Categories
Audio Sources - Full Text Articles

Russia’s foreign minister joins Tucker Carlson’s Kremlin fanbase, blasting the TV host’s ousting as an offense to freedom of speech


Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said US press freedom has suffered from Carlson's departure from Fox News.Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said US press freedom has suffered from Carlson’s departure from Fox News.

Janos Kummer/Getty Images, Spencer Platt/Getty Images

  • Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov spoke out in support of the now-ousted Tucker Carlson.
  • He cited Carlson leaving Fox News as an example of poor press standards in the US.
  • The First Amendment “apparently means nothing in practice,” Lavrov told reporters on Tuesday.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov on Wednesday trashed Tucker Carlson’s ousting from Fox News, joining the Kremlin’s chorus of support for the TV host.

Lavrov was speaking at a Tuesday press conference in New York, during which he bashed Western journalism.

He cited Carlson’s departure from Fox as an example of what — according to him — is the deterioration of press freedom in the US.

“The First Amendment of the United States Constitution apparently means nothing in practice,” Lavrov said. The First Amendment does not protect journalists from being fired by their employers.

“I heard that Tucker Carlson has left Fox News. It’s curious news. What is this related to? I can only guess,” he said. “But clearly, the wealth of views in the American information space has suffered as a result.”

Lavrov’s comments about Carlson were brief, but he isn’t alone in the Kremlin’s praise for the right-wing TV figure.

On Fox News, Carlson’s views on the war in Ukraine would often align with Moscow’s war narrative. Carlson, on his show, has questioned if Ukraine is a sovereign country. He’s also attacked Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, and slammed US aid to Kyiv.

Russian state media would periodically seize such opportunities and broadcast segments of Carlson’s show, saying his commentary showed that even some Americans support the Kremlin’s stances.

Evgeny Popov, host of the Russian TV show “60 Minutes,” in January 2022 called Carlson one of the “voices of truth and reason,” and lamented that Carlson was being “silenced and marginalized” in the US, reported The Daily Beast’s Julia Davis.

That was a month before the war in Ukraine began, but it was also when Russia was amassing troops at its borders. Carlson said at the time that he was rooting for Russia, then backpedaled and said he was joking.

And when Carlson suggested without evidence in October that the US was behind the sabotage of the Nord Stream pipelines, Russian state TV replayed his commentary at least 12 times in a single day.

It got to the point where the Kremlin told state media it was “essential” to feature Carlson “as much as possible,” per a leaked memo obtained by Mother Jones in March 2022.

More recently, Vladimir Solovyov — a Russian TV host known as one of the Kremlin’s most prominent propagandists — said on Tuesday that he sent an email to encourage Carlson when he left Fox News.

“You have our admiration and support in any endeavor you choose for yourself next, be it running for president of the United States (which you should totally do, by the way) or making an independent media project. We’ll happily offer you a job if you wish to carry on as a presenter and host!” Solovyov wrote to Carlson.

Fox News announced that it parted ways with Tucker Carlson on Monday without specifying why the host was ousted. Carlson was blindsided and found out about the announcement 10 minutes before it was made, The Wall Street Journal and The New York Times reported.

In the wake of his departure, Carlson has hired entertainment lawyer Bryan Freedman, who’s known for helping TV hosts secure multimillion payouts from messy media breakups.

Read the original article on Business Insider