CNN appears less than thrilled about the yet-to-be-aired interview between Tucker Carlson and Russian President Vladimir Putin, as indicated by the reaction of CNN host Erin Burnett on Tuesday. Carlson’s actions, according to Burnett, are likened to supporting Adolf Hitler in World War II, a comparison that underscores the tension surrounding the interview.
CNN’s news ticker, accompanying its report, labels Carlson as a “Putin sympathizer” without substantiating the bold accusation. Burnett further intensifies the criticism when discussing Carlson’s visit to Moscow, referring to him as “one of the members of the MAGA GOP” and suggesting he is there as a “Putin-supporting celebrity.”
Despite the uncertainty about whether Carlson and Putin will sit down for an interview, Burnett contends that it would provide Putin with an opportunity to engage with a significant supporter. Notably, Putin’s spokesman Dmitry Peskov has confirmed that the interview took place, as reported by Newsweek.
To support the accusation of Carlson being a Putin supporter, Burnett shares a clip from Carlson’s Fox News show just before the Russian invasion of Ukraine in February 2022. In the clip, Carlson questions why he harbors intense personal hatred for Putin and highlights that Putin has not personally attacked him. While a reasonable point, Burnett interprets this as evidence that Carlson is Putin’s biggest fan.
CNN is TRIGGERED that @TuckerCarlson is in Russia to interview Putin:
“Putin is trying to court the MAGA GOP in the United States! In fact, one of the leaders of the MAGA GOP is in Moscow tonight! It's the man you see here with the MAGA leader Donald Trump." pic.twitter.com/VtdgFidfqZ
— Breaking911 (@Breaking911) February 7, 2024
Burnett accuses Carlson of consistently supporting Putin, portraying him as “Putin’s mouthpiece in the United States” and alleging he turns “a blind eye to the atrocities committed by Putin.” The interview, however, is undeniably newsworthy, being the first time Putin has engaged with a Western media figure since the invasion began, according to Newsweek.
While Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has participated in various interviews, the controversy surrounding Carlson’s interview raises questions about the scrutiny faced by media figures doing their jobs. Despite acknowledging Putin’s reprehensible actions, there is an argument for understanding the perspectives of both sides to facilitate a more equitable resolution to the conflict.
The article concludes by suggesting that the criticism from a prominent CNN host reflects a departure from journalism in favor of propaganda in the context of the ongoing conflict.