Tucker Carlson’s pro-Kremlin propaganda unites the internet in repulsion

CNN reporter Andrew Kaczynski: “Has this man never been to an Aldi?”

Tucker discovers grocery store carts

Citation Screenshot via Twitter/X

Tucker Carlson’s interview with Russian President Vladimir Putin has been widely mocked across right-wing and mainstream media. Carlson is a long-time admirer of Putin’s and an apologist for Russian authoritarianism. He said that he was “radicalized” against American management of cities because of the conditions he saw in Moscow.

On February 16, the news Alexei Navalny, Putin’s biggest rival, died in prison swept the globe. Reflecting on his Putin interview at a Dubai conference just four days earlier, Carlson dismissed a question about Navalny, saying, “Leadership requires killing people.” After the news broke, Carlson gave a comment to the British tabloid the Daily Mail condemning Navalny's death in a weak attempt to clean up the embarrassing fallout from his softball interview.

Carlson was once the most watched host in cable news as the star talent of Fox News, and now begs for attention by traipsing the streets of Moscow, bewitched by the wonders of french fries and grocery store shopping carts

Critics of his trip include Carlson’s peers in the right-wing media.

On his podcast, Ben Shapiro mocked the Moscow trip, saying Carlson was making propaganda on behalf of the Putin regime. Over the last few days, the pair have been publicly feuding over Shapiro’s position on Russia’s war in Ukraine.

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Citation From the February 16, 2024, edition of The Daily Wire's The Ben Shapiro Show

Right-wing columnist T. Becket Adams wrote on X: “I’m convinced now that the Kremlin has threatened his family directly, so he is dutifully debasing himself for a higher purpose” in response to a video of Carlson fawning over Russian french fries in the backseat of an SUV.

Fox News contributor Marc Thiessen: “Do North Korea next!”

New York Post blogger Jon Levine made a similar remark

Another former Fox colleague Chris Wallace, now a host on CNN, called Carlson an “eager puppy” in his interview with Putin.

Conservative legal commentator Ilya Shapiro: “Nearly a quarter of Russian homes don’t have indoor plumbing. An estimated 35 million households rely on outhouses. But here are some pretty chandeliers and murals in a subway station.”

Conservative blog the National Review ran multiple pieces criticizing Carlson’s man-on-the-street videos. One headline on Carlson’s bizarre video marveling at the cost of groceries in Moscow: “Tucker Carlson Discovers American Tourists Are Rich”.

Mainstream figures also shamed Carlson

Putin critic Garry Kasparov: “Is Tucker still in Moscow? He will be amazed by the low price of human life in Putin's Russia.”

Financial Times Moscow Bureau Chief Max Seddon: “the way Putin casually humiliates one of his most prominent and sympathetic interlocutors in the west here, after state media and the Kremlin spent ages praising him, is just brutal. Classic cheap power move” 

CNN reporter Andrew Kaczynski: “Has this man never been to an Aldi?”

Kaczynski also wrote over a video of Russian mourners being harassed by police at a memorial for Navalny: “Have they considered though that you can put a quarter in a shopping cart and get it back when you return it?”

For his part, Putin said he was disappointed that Carlson’s questions for him were too easy.