Tucker Carlson Interviews Vladimir Putin

Reprinted from Bracing Views with the author’s permission.

Tucker Carlson, lately of Fox News before he was let go, has gone to Russia and interviewed its leader, Vladimir Putin. That interview will be aired on X/Twitter on Thursday, February 8th beginning at 6:00PM EST.

Should you watch it? Apparently not. Here’s one headline from CNN: “Tucker Carlson is in Russia to interview Putin. He’s already doing the bidding of the Kremlin”

Comrade Carlson is a useful idiot! A Kremlin stooge! A Putin puppet! Maybe even a Putin apologist! Geez, you’d think Carlson had become the Mouth of Sauron. (That’s from Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings.)

My opinion? Of course you should watch it, especially if you’re interested in how Russia’s leader sees the world, and how he spins it for his own benefit. Because all leaders do this. They all see the world differently. They all spin it for their own benefit.

When I was a lieutenant in the Air Force, back in the Cold War days, I attended a special course on how the Soviet Union sees the world conducted by two Air Force officers dressed in Soviet uniforms speaking Russian for the sake of authenticity. (They switched to English quickly.) The idea wasn’t to turn us all into Communist comrades. It was to help us gain insight into our main rival. And to learn. Period.

I.F. Stone reminded us that all governments lie. Including, of course, your own, wherever you live. I don’t expect Putin to tell 100% of the truth. I expect him to tell his (slanted) side of the story, from which I expect to gain some insight into how he sees the world, and in particular how he sees the United States and its leaders.

Anyone with a functioning brain should be able to listen to Putin without falling under some kind of spell. It’s not like he has the One Ring of Power or any dark wizardry like that. Right?

William J. Astore is a retired lieutenant colonel (USAF). He taught history for fifteen years at military and civilian schools. He writes at Bracing Views.