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Calmes: Tucker Carlson supports Putin as colleagues die in Ukraine

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It is tragically ironic that Fox News, purveyor of so much disinformation and expert propaganda about Russia’s war on Ukraine, is the media outlet now in mourning the deaths of brave correspondents who lost their lives bringing the truth out of this devastated nation.

Those victims should be blamed on the network’s highest-rated star and biggest apologist for Russia, Tucker Carlson.

While Carlson blasts from the comfort of his studio, repeatedly pro-Russian President Vladimir Putin while belittling Ukraine and its allies, are longtime Fox News cameraman Pierre Zakrzewski, 55, and 24-year-old Oleksandra Kuvshynova, a local journalist and an advisor to the Fox News crew in Ukraine braved gunfire there. she died on Monday if their vehicle was hit near Kyiv. Another Fox News reporter, Benjamin Hall, was injured in the attack. (A day earlier, independent documentary filmmaker Brent Renaud was shot dead outside of Kyiv.)

As Fox News Pentagon correspondent Jennifer Griffin emotionally said tribute to her colleagues: “If there was ever a time when the world needed journalists and reporters to risk their lives to tell these stories, it is now. Without a free press, the autocrats win.”

Not that such a result would necessarily bother Carlson.

“Why shouldn’t I cheer for Russia that I am?” Carlson had said in 2019, when Putin threatened Ukraine, he built up his troops on the border of the two countries. At the time, Carlson mocked the House of Representatives’ impeachment of Donald Trump for withholding US military aid to Ukraine and blackmailed President Volodymyr Zelenskyy into smearing Joe Biden.

Carlson later said he was joking, but he had started his tirade by saying, “And I mean it.” He recently said much the same thing when Russia began invading Ukraine late last month. On his Show on February 22ndHe lamented what he called the Democrats’ “mandate,” that Americans “have a patriotic duty to hate Vladimir Putin” and that “anything but hate Putin is treason.”

Carlson defended the murderous Russian dictator rejected Putin’s threat Referring to Ukraine merely as a “border dispute,” Biden falsely claimed to favor Ukraine because its leaders gave his family “millions of dollars” and said Ukraine is not a democracy but “a US State Department client state.” (For the record, the pro-democracy Freedom House admits Ukraine a “democracy score” of 39 on a scale of 1 to 100; Russia got 6.55 – rated on the curve I guess.)

Lest you doubt that Putin approves of Carlson’s diatribes, this clip nailed it on Russian TVwith Russian subtitles.

And not only this one. David Corn from Mother Jones disclosed a March 3 Kremlin memo to Russian media and commentators, stating: “It’s important to use as many fragments as possible from broadcasts by popular Fox News host Tucker Carlson.” Why? Now, as the 12-page policy explained, Carlson “severely criticizes” the United States and NATO, including for their “provocative conduct… toward President Putin personally.”

Carlson is Moscow’s gift that passes on. Last week he denounced US sanctions against Putin’s Russian oligarchs as unfair property seizures and repeated Russian disinformation that the United States has bioweapons laboratories in Ukraine.

It’s a wonder Fox News can attract and retain respected journalists like Zakrzewski, Kuvshynova and Hall when they have to share airtime with the likes of Carlson. In fact, Fox lost some talented people including Chris Wallace. And Griffin has it to her great credit increasingly fact-checked the network’s fact-free experts on the air.

Carlson should be jailed for his shameful performances lately — and those are performances. But of course he won’t; a long history of riots bears witness to this. Instead, we must mourn the real journalists who tried to inform Americans, not deceive them.

@jackiekcalmes

https://www.latimes.com/opinion/story/2022-03-18/tucker-carlson-russia-ukraine-fox-news-journalists-killed Calmes: Tucker Carlson supports Putin as colleagues die in Ukraine

Caroline Bleakley

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