- An advertisement for a weekend show featuring former Fox News host Tucker Carlson was aired on Friday on Russian TV news channel Rossiya 24, reportedly the second such promo this month. The ads have prompted speculation about the program's content, and it's unclear whether the content would be re-airing Carlson's current programming on X, formerly Twitter, or original content.1
- Carlson denies any involvement with the ads for the show bearing his name, stating that he had never heard of Rossiya 24 before they aired and would never consider partnering with Russian state TV.2
- Despite the comments, Russian news agency Tass reported on Monday that, according to Carlson's statements to Swiss magazine Die Weltwoche, the TV host had looked to interview Russian Pres. Vladimir Putin but was obstructed by senior US officials.3
- In addition, Russian TV has regularly replayed comments made by Carlson dismissing allegations of Russian interference in the 2016 US elections and supporting some Kremlin talking points on the Ukraine war.4
- Carlson abruptly parted ways with Fox News in April, days after the broadcaster settled a case with the company Dominion over claims that its voting machines were rigged against Donald Trump in the 2020 presidential elections.1
- The right-wing host, who has opted to relaunch his show on X, was reportedly contacted by two Russian state-run media outlets — RT and Channel One — shortly after he was ousted.5
- Pro-establishment narrative, as provided by Atlantic. Even if a Russian version of Carlson's programming turns out to be a simple re-airing of his X content, it wouldn't be surprising if he joined Russian state TV at some point as he has consistently echoed Kremlin propaganda. As a prominent American journalist, his irresponsible pro-Russia comments have concerningly influenced the public debate at home while finding resonance abroad.
- Establishment-critical narrative, as provided by Daily Caller. Because the Western media establishment largely insists there's a patriotic duty to hate Putin unconditionally, it's no wonder the speculation surrounding his relationship with Russian media has come to harm Carlson's reputation. While the host has explicitly blamed the Russian leader for the conflict and its subsequent humanitarian catastrophes, he hasn't shied away from concerns ordinary Americans share about the cost of supporting Ukraine's war efforts.