Why Russian Propagandists Love Fox News
[On the March 18, 2022 episode of The Bulwark’s “Beg to Differ” podcast, panelist Linda Chavez discussed the Putin-sympathetic coverage on Fox News.]
Linda Chavez: I have joked on this program a number of times that I watch Fox News so you don’t have to. And I have been doing that—I have forced myself—but I want to plead for help from my colleagues here on “Beg to Differ.” I have to say that Tucker Carlson, whom I watched the other night, nearly gave me a stroke when he started essentially apologizing for Vladimir Putin, which he does almost every night on his show. . . .
It is so appalling what is taking place on Fox News. And it’s Tucker Carlson, it’s Laura Ingraham, it’s Greg Gutfeld—Greg, by the way, he is married to a Ukrainian woman. He just had to help his mother-in-law escape from Ukraine. So, I do not understand this.
But one of the things that they are doing, in addition to bashing NATO and acting as if NATO is somehow a threat to world peace, is that they are also trying to scare their listeners into thinking that if we do anything more—including providing the S-300s, providing the drone switchblades, providing airplanes, or, God forbid, actually setting up a no-fly zone—that Vladimir Putin is going to launch a nuclear attack. And that it’s going to be justified, essentially. I mean, that’s basically what they are arguing.
And it is scaring people. I have members of my extended family—my brother-in-law is a big Tucker Carlson fan. He watches him religiously every night. He’s busy talking to my sister about whether or not they can move to the highlands of Mexico to avoid the nuclear strike that’s going to hit Tucson because of this. This is really pernicious.
And the Russian state agencies are actually saying, ‘Use Tucker Carlson on Russian networks—use him as much as you can.’ There was a leaked memo about trying to use clips from Tucker Carlson to let the Russian people know that Americans know how dangerous this is. . . .
Mona Charen: Wait, underline that again, Linda—the Russians are using Tucker Carlson clips on their propaganda televisions shows.
Chavez: That is exactly right.