London’s Evening Standard late yesterday, February 7:
Former Fox News host Tucker Carlson could face sanctions over his interview with Russian President Vladimir Putin, EU lawmakers have warned.
The Kremlin confirmed Putin had been interviewed by Carlson on Wednesday, making it the first interview the president has given to a Western journalist since his full-scale invasion of Ukraine two years ago.
Bully for Tucker Carlson, I say. But what do I know? I’m not in Brussels, where the great and the good of the EU – having sabotaged their own economies to please their Washington handlers through economic sanctions lesser folk see as boomeranging big time – gather to double down on their treachery and folly.
No, just an ingenue, his brain clouded by the quaint idea that, before going even further down the road to Armageddon, we might directly access and for once make up our own mind about the thinking of a man vilified 24/7 by systemically corrupt media; a vilification I see as having borne fruit in a spectacular inability to reason in the West, its intelligentsia not excepted.
As I wrote two weeks ago, in What of ideology when reality intrudes:
On many matters ‘quality’ media serve us tolerably well but this truth enables a greater lie. They need to show good faith even when doing so may embarrass those in high office. (Not only does their long term capacity to influence opinion and manufacture consent depend on it. So too, on pain of losing market share, do their business models.) But the trust so gained helps them mislead us, more by omission than commission, on matters critical – above all the vilifying of states and leaders in the way of empire designs – to the power they ultimately serve.
The Standard continues:
But the interview could see him targeted by European Union lawmakers, current and former members of the European Parliament told Newsweek.
Former Belgian Prime Minister and member of the European Parliament Guy Verhofstadt has said Carlson’s work in Russia could put him in hot water with the EU.
Recall how that famously undemocratic – does it run in the family? – emblem of entitlement and incompetence, Ursula von der Leyen, opened her address to the World Economic Forum at Davos with an attack on “misinformation”:
… the top concern for the next two years is not conflict or climate. It is disinformation and misinformation, followed closely by polarisation in our societies. Many of the solutions lie not only in countries working together but, crucially, on businesses and governments, businesses and democracies working together.
You see? It’s not widening inequality – as dysfunctional as it is obscene – that polarises society. Nor is it the forever wars. No, it’s misinformation. That’s me making the link explicit, btw. I can’t decode her following of ‘misinformation’ with ‘polarisation’ as other than a dog-whistle claim that the one causes the other.
Where would we be without Queen Ursula to straighten out – as does Tony Blair – the kinks in our thinks on what divides us?
She wants social media corps hit with huge fines for allowing “disinformation”. Let’s set aside the acceptance as natural and unremarkable that so vital a common as social media would be owned by zillionaires, and focus instead on an equally glaring elephant in the room. Who gets to define “disinformation”? Given this century’s form on demonising or marginalising eminent voices who dissent from mainstream narratives, and back that dissent with hard fact and sober reason, the signs are not good. Think 9/11 .. Syria .. Covid … China rising …
Think – naturally after consulting my many learned posts on the subject – Russia:
Of course the likes of Queen Ursula begin with tropes that play well with the majority. Of course they start with the low hanging fruit. As Pastor Niemöller might have put it: “first they came for the climate change deniers, and I said nothing because I was not a climate change denier …”
(Both Germany and Russia outlaw “Holocaust denial”. A slippery slope if you ask me. Whatever happened to countering bad ideas with good arguments? And for that matter with derision?)
Back to the Standard:
[Verhofstadt] told Newsweek Carlson was “a mouthpiece” of Donald Trump and Putin, adding: “As Putin is a war criminal and the EU sanctions all who assist him in that effort, it seems logical that the External Action Service examine his case as well.”
The EU’s External Action Service (EAS) is the bloc’s diplomatic arm, responsible for foreign policy.
MEP Urmas Paet has highlighted how Putin is wanted by the International Criminal Court (ICC) and accused of genocide and war crimes.
He said: “Carlson wants to give a platform to someone accused of crimes of genocide—this is wrong.
I’m trying to take Urmas Paet seriously, really I am …
… Just kidding. Of course I’m not! I wouldn’t give time of day to a man who, with all that’s going down in Gaza, can say such a thing with a straight face. In truth though, Urmas Paet’s name, in a West morally and intellectually adrift, is Legion.
“If Putin has something to say he needs to say it in front of the ICC. At the same time Carlson is not being a real journalist since he has clearly expressed his sympathy for the Russian regime and Putin and has constantly disparaged Ukraine, the victim of Russian aggression.
“So, for such propaganda for a criminal regime, you can end up on the list of sanctions. This concerns primarily travel ban to EU countries.”
Whenever I watch Mr Putin speak I’m struck by his gravitas and sobriety. The real kind. It shows the West’s politicians for the vainglorious, sound-byte obsessed empty-heads they not only are but, given the nature of our ‘democratic’ processes and systemically corrupt media, have to be.
Call me a dirty rotten misinformation peddler if you will. I can live with that. But I’ll be tuning to that interview as soon as it streams. And posting the link. 1
I should make clear I disagree vehemently with Tucker Carlson on many things. But like others on the right – Judge Andrew “small state” Napolitano for one; Peter Hitchens for another – he is often closer than the ‘woke’ ever get to important truths. (Not hard, I grant you, but let’s not go there. Sufficient unto the day and all that.)
Pending getting my hands on the interview itself, here’s Tucker in Moscow with a 4:29 teaser on why he’s there.
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- I just read that it will be up later today on his website, subscribers only. I’m always up for triangulating, including voices on the alt-right if they have something to say and evidence to back it, but I do draw the line at parting with my hard-earned for the privilege. It’ll leak soon enough onto social media – get your wallets out for Ursula, ElonZucker!