Faced with a Vladimir Putin glorified in the Russian press, the American media decried a “resigned” and too often powerless Tucker Carlson.
Highly anticipated on both sides of the Atlantic, the interview between the sulphurous American journalist Tucker Carlson – close to Trump and former star of Fox News – and Russian President Vladimir Putin sparked strong reactions. While the Russian media perceived the interview as a way of informing Westerners about the “truth” of the war, the American press for its part castigates a staging, in the service of Kremlin propaganda.
“History lesson” and “victory of Russian propaganda”
The Russian and American press agree on this point: the interview with Vladimir Putin gave him an extraordinary sounding board. In fact, the first interview given by the head of the Kremlin to a foreign journalist in three years was viewed more than fifty million times. For the American television channel CNNthe Russian president is dating “a propaganda victory”. Facing non-existent adversity, the Russian autocrat had “free rein to manipulate the public and tell their side of the story” notes CNN. Vladimir Putin seemed “give a history lesson, notes Clarissa Ward, a speaker for the channel. “It was President Putin’s platform”she emphasizes again.
THE Washington Post also evokes the start of the interview devoted to a vast historical return of the Russian president. The American newspaper describes “revisionist tirade” and of “founding myths” the imposed twenty-three minute tunnel.
A “history class” which the Russian press perceives as necessary for Westerners who lack knowledge of the reality on the Russian border.
To support this thesis, the Russian press takes as an example the statements of former senior American officials. Russian news agency Ria Novosti highlights a statement from Scott Ritter, former intelligence officer of the US armed forces. According to him, this interview would be “the best thing that could happen to American society right now” For “learn the truth about the conflict between Russia and Ukraine” he said. Ria Novosti praise him “civic courage” by Tucker Carlson which allows Western audiences to “understand the real reasons for what is happening in Ukraine”.
The Russian news agency also boasts “Deserves that” of Putin to inform the Americans of the mistakes of their leaders. The war in Ukraine would be the consequence. Alexeï Chepa, vice-chairman of the Duma foreign affairs committee, believes that if millions of people watched the interview, it is because people were waiting to have “finally the truth”. He believes that it has been censored for too long by American propaganda, which he recognizes “difficult to defeat”.
A struggling Tucker Carlson
On both the Russian and American sides, the press also seems unanimous on the difficulties experienced by the journalist who supports Donald Trump’s campaign. His posture, often taken aback and devoid of retort in front of the head of the Kremlin, seems to have damaged his credibility. THE Washington Post title on “Putin, in rambling interview, barely lets Tucker Carlson speak.” The American weekly describes a Putin who “exhausted” And “pontificated” his interlocutor.
“Carlson, visibly exhausted by the Russian leader’s conspiracy theories and endless grievances against the West, thanked him and resigned”can we still read in the Washington Post. The former Fox News star seems to have left those who were impatiently waiting for the interview wanting more. “He fell well short of the media stunt he boasted about,” estimates the correspondent for the American daily, Francesca Ebel. Admitting Vladimir Putin’s domination of the interview, Carlson said he was surprised by the Russian president’s long, historic comeback.
There “demonstration of superiority” of Putin
While the American press insists on this lack of grip on Carlson, the Russian press, Ria Novosti in mind, saw in Vladimir Putin’s attitude a “demonstration of superiority over the American establishment.” This Thursday, February 9, the Russian newspaper Izvestia headlined one of his articles in the German weekly Zeitwhich would emphasize “Putin’s invincibility”. However, there is no presumed trace of these praises that the German weekly would have given to Vladimir Putin.
Izvestia also praises the mastery of the Russian president who would return a position of interlocutor “dominant”, who knows his subjects and is sure of his initiatives. Finally, the American magazine Rolling Stone summarizes the interview as follows: “Putin used Tucker Carlson to wipe the floor of the Kremlin.”