Freddie Sayers & Konstantin Kisin

What happened to Tucker Carlson?


February 17, 2024
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Freddie Sayers and Triggernometry’s Konstantin Kisin discuss Tucker Carlson, his interview with Putin, and what’s to follow…

 

Tucker Carlson’s recent trip to Moscow, where he filmed an interview with President Putin, seems to have turned into more of a promotional tour. New videos of ornate metro stations and functional supermarkets have been offered by Carlson’s channel as proof of Western decline and Russian superiority.

Is Carlson really suggesting that the Kremlin regime that this week allegedly assassinated vocal critic Alexei Navalny would be preferable to the Western democratic system?

Friend of the show and Triggernometry co-host Konstantin Kisin joined UnHerd’s Freddie Sayers to talk about it.

 

You can watch the full video above.


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Howard S.
HS
Howard S.
2 months ago

The center of Moscow, where the government rulers and the elite live, is a modern day Potemkin Village.

Peter F. Lee
Peter F. Lee
2 months ago
Reply to  Howard S.

and you know that for a fact…………………….

Ellen Olenska
Ellen Olenska
2 months ago

Tucker often offers simplistic views on various issues, but he has an audience that often doesn’t have nuanced views, so he is speaking to people who may have limited understanding or knowledge. Donald Trump does the same thing. But what we contend with here from the mainstream media is so overwhelmingly biased in the other direction that it is imperative that Americans get another view somewhere.
The mood on the right in the U.S. is becoming anti-imperialist, anti-interventionist. The country spends too much on the military and is involved in too many places around the world militarily – whether directly or indirectly. As an American, I see the U.S. as a destructive force around the world. I don’t see Russia that way.
No one can say that Russia’s invasion of Ukraine was a good thing. But it was understandable. Whatever Ukraine’s aspirations were regarding democracy or open markets (both terms are highly politicized these days), they could not turn their country into a NATO base, no matter how Western they wanted their society to become. That was simply not tolerable from a Russian standpoint. And, that’s what was happening in Ukraine. There may have been other things Russia objected to about the trends in Ukraine, but hostility to Russia also could not be tolerable to Russia. Ukraine’s leadership was taking them in that direction. Russia appealed to the West on numerous occasions that they were not taking Russia’s concerns seriously. The West ignored them and persisted in their expansionist aims.

Obadiah B Long
Obadiah B Long
2 months ago
Reply to  Ellen Olenska

Regional hegemony, with buffer countries, worked pretty well for 45 years. Putin does not “deserve” it, but he has 1500 nukes, so we should give it to him. NATO, and specifically NATO fear, is the real adversary of stability in the region, imho. If the roles were reversed and Ukraine were Mexico …..

j watson
j watson
2 months ago
Reply to  Obadiah B Long

Dreadful deduction, no doubt from someone safe and free.
If it worked well for 45yrs what happened? Are you suggesting the east European states that finally got out from under Totalitarian control should have stayed as they were? Is Poland any further from Russia than Ukraine?
That said when sentiments like this are voiced, and not uncommon, it shows how Appeasement can get such a hold as it’s done in the past, and we know where that ended. The ‘I’m alright Jack’ instinct strong in many.

El Uro
El Uro
2 months ago
Reply to  Ellen Olenska

That was simply not tolerable from a Russian standpoint. And, that’s what was happening in Ukraine. There may have been other things Russia objected to about the trends in Ukraine, but hostility to Russia also could not be tolerable to Russia.
Is that the reason do destroy Ukraine or to kill Ukrainians? That’s Russia who is invader, not Ukraine and it’s not a Ukraine’s leadership, but Ukrainians themselves who made this decision!

Ellen Olenska
EO
Ellen Olenska
2 months ago
Reply to  El Uro

The loss of Ukrainian lives is a tragedy. The vast majority of those lives have been men in the military. I blame the U.S. and UK, and the corrupt Ukrainian leaders for this. The draft treaties that Russia put out in December 2021 were entirely reasonable demands, in my opinion. Only a nation (or military alliance) intent on military domination would object to those demands. And the United States and NATO objected.
John Mearsheimer said the U.S. led Ukraine down the primrose path, and I believe he was right.

El Uro
El Uro
2 months ago
Reply to  Ellen Olenska

I blame the U.S. and UK, and the corrupt Ukrainian leaders for this
It’s nice! Putin & Russia have nothing to do with that… This is all the result of the colonial policies of the US and UK.
Nowadays this is called “critical thinking”: #Staywoke with minus sign, but the same #Staywoke or Woke Rightist as Kisin said

Sensible Citizen
SC
Sensible Citizen
1 month ago
Reply to  El Uro

Deflect at will. Ellen is right.

Jim Veenbaas
Jim Veenbaas
2 months ago
Reply to  El Uro

I downvoted you because calling someone an asshole is bad form.

El Uro
EU
El Uro
2 months ago
Reply to  Jim Veenbaas

Removed (before I saw your comment and upvoted you)

j watson
j watson
2 months ago
Reply to  El Uro

To vast majority of Russians it was entirely tolerable and they want the sort of freedoms the Ukrainians aspire to.
What’s intolerable is the potential for yet another free liberal democracy with a growing economy on Russia’s doorstep undermining the Autocrats and their Mafia simply by it’s existence.
Let us not conflate what Russians might want, were they ever in a position to give a risk-free view, with what is crucial for a Dictator and his clan.

El Uro
El Uro
2 months ago
Reply to  j watson

Unfortunately you are wrong. Imperial thinking and contempt for foreigners are one of the basic features of the Russian national character

Sensible Citizen
Sensible Citizen
1 month ago
Reply to  El Uro

Then don’t travel to Russia. Why can’t Russians be Russians without recrimination from those who have never even been there?

LEON STEPHENS
LS
LEON STEPHENS
2 months ago
Reply to  j watson

Free liberal democracy? In the control of openly fascist Right Sector, Azov Batallion, etc.? Can we have some details on this free liberal democracy in Ukraine? Anticipated elections had been agreed on, Yanukovich was barred from running for re-election, why did there have to be a coup? Because those who carried it out could never have been elected. And because Victoria Nuland liked “Yats”, her little puppy, for President, and the State Department was paying for the whole show.. All very liberal, very democratic, yes sir.

Sensible Citizen
SC
Sensible Citizen
1 month ago
Reply to  LEON STEPHENS

Now Leon speaks some truth that is rarely seen in these comments. Let’s not forget the murder of US journalist Gonzola Lira in a Ukrainian prison a few weeks ago. Don’t look for an in-depth analysis of that atrocity in the US press — it’s not there. Zelenskyy brazenly put Lira’s name on a website that is essentially a Zelenskyy “kill” list.

Sensible Citizen
Sensible Citizen
1 month ago
Reply to  j watson

I would agree if Russia had 600 military bases around the globe with missiles pointing at London, Paris, Berlin and DC. Only America does that, except the missiles all point towards Moscow. Putin wants Russia to be open for business and America fears a trade alliance between Germany and Russia more than any other threat around the globe, including the faux fear of China’s influence.

UnHerd Reader
UnHerd Reader
2 months ago
Reply to  Ellen Olenska

Russia feels having NATO right smack on their border is not good. When Kruschev placed missles in Cuba to counter US missles near Russia, the US reacted. Having the old Warsaw Pact across the border from Eagle Pass might not make us happy. Also Gorbachov was promised NATO would move “not one inch” toward Russia and we did not move one inch but several thousand miles toward Russia. And the West keeps poking Russia with sharp sticks. Democrats always want war from firing on Fort Sumpter, to WWI and WWII and Korea and Vietnam always started by democrats. except Afganistan and Iraq which was a Dubya thingy.

Sensible Citizen
Sensible Citizen
1 month ago
Reply to  UnHerd Reader

100% correct. I hope you wear body armor. “Truth is treason in an empire of lies.”

Jerry Carroll
JC
Jerry Carroll
2 months ago
Reply to  Ellen Olenska

You mistake what you deride as “simplistic views on various issues” is actually clear thinking on complicated issues with the help of guests steeped in their subjects. Get your face out of the NYTimes and other organs of left wing opinion and do your own thinking.

Sensible Citizen
Sensible Citizen
1 month ago
Reply to  Jerry Carroll

Both are true Jerry. There is a subset of Trump voters who are intellectuals in the egalitarian sense of the word. There are also hourly workers who simply understand that millions of illegals coming over the border every year are not helping with wage growth at the bottom. These are also the families that send their boys to die in these endless wars. No need to understand complex ideas when the lives of your children hang in the balance.

LEON STEPHENS
LEON STEPHENS
2 months ago
Reply to  Ellen Olenska

Hostility to Russia came on full force in 2014 immediately after the coup, when for example the former President whose surname I’ve forgottten, Lydia X, suggested that an atomic bomb might be a good solution to the Uktanian “Russian problem” and the billboards were filled with a campaign comparing Russians and Ukranian Russian-speakers to insects and picturing cans of bug spray. So the Ukrainian government was not “moving in that direction”, it had been on that road at full speed for some time. Many Crimeans may have viewed annexation by Russia as undesirable, but with the Ukrainian coup government’s fascist threat as the alternative…well, it’s hard to believe that the publicly released referendum results were invented by Russian propagandists and the real results suppressed, as some critics of Putin claim.

Sensible Citizen
Sensible Citizen
1 month ago
Reply to  LEON STEPHENS

True. So far, the referenda in Ukraine have all been internationally monitored by the same countries who monitored the Romanian referenda that separated them from Russia. Somehow the press fails to mention that.

Sensible Citizen
Sensible Citizen
1 month ago
Reply to  Ellen Olenska

Ellen, that was the most sober assessment I have heard yet. You clearly understand the heart of the center right movement and you write well.
I would add one nuance. I know a number of interesting center-right men in the US that I call “Blue Collar Intellectuals.” They all have difficult and complicated jobs in the trades, like electricians and millwrights, who listen to three-hour podcasts every day while they work and have a deep understanding of geopolitics compared to the average American. These guys get it, and they deeply care about the country. They would crawl through glass to re-elect Trump.

Jim Veenbaas
Jim Veenbaas
2 months ago

I really like Konstantin Kisin. He’s so level-headed and thoughtful. His comments about Carlson were spot on. Although I have no issue with Carlson’s interview with Putin, his fawning over Russian stores and the subway was almost unhinged. Sure Russia has some nice sites, but it’s still an authoritarian regime, where alcoholism is rampant and living standards are generally crappy.

I’ve never listened to Carlson or watched him on Fox, but I’ve heard him on a few podcasts and he seems like a genuinely nice guy, whose judgement may be compromised by his contempt for the west. Like Kisin, I largely share this contempt, but it’s still important to recognize that we are among the most privileged people in the history of the world.

I don’t fear Russia as much as Iran. Putin is a rational, self interested, garden variety dictator. Iran is guided by religious zealots willing to unleash hell on earth to achieve their ideological goals.

Sensible Citizen
Sensible Citizen
1 month ago
Reply to  Jim Veenbaas

Tucker was making the point that Americans are being lied to with regard to sanctions crippling Russia. The little tour of the subways and grocery stores was not to compare Moscow to Western capital centers. He could have done the same tour of Stockholm, and NYC would have looked like a failed civilization in comparison there as well. But Americans are being lied to about Moscow — not Stockholm. It is an error to extrapolate America’s disgust with the current state of America with a broader criticism of the West. The citizens of London, Stockholm, Berlin and Paris all live in beautiful cities. NYC and DC are now hellholes, and that’s the point Tucker was making. There is no need to tell Americans that rural Russians have diminished standard of living compared to rural Americans. That is well understood.

Skink
Skink
2 months ago

Who is saying the regime “allegedly assassinated Navalny? Only people who cannot know, generic westerners hostile to Russia. Could have been any number of things. Could have been “myocarditis.” Could have been the West who paid Navalny to be a thorn… and so on. This makes this article highly suspect.
It’s nice to know Tucker likes Russia, of what he has seen in the few days he was there. There is much to be liked. We’ll see if he talks about the downsides as well.

Stephanie Surface
SS
Stephanie Surface
2 months ago
Reply to  Skink

I would say to be poisoned makes it pretty possible, that Navalny died of the consequences. Read up on how bad this stuff is and how people die some years later. The Northern Gulag isn’t a spa and didn’t help to recover from it either.,

Martin Rossol
Martin Rossol
2 months ago
Reply to  Skink

“Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when there is the log in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye.” Matthew 7:4-5
Might we get out the scales of justice? On one side place the death/murder [let us assume] of Navalny; on the other side the death of +/- 10,000,000 individuals by a little tested gene therapy, ‘mandated’ on millions. Hmm.
So, even if Navalny was murdered on direct orders of Putin, is he more guilty than the faceless administrative actors who shamelessly claim it really wasn’t they who set the mandates, signed the restrictions; approved the arrests; ad nauseam? Where would you spend the most energy assigning guilt requiring accountability? (Conversely, we might look at it from the standpoint of the innocence or guilt of he/those who died.)

AJ Mac
AJ Mac
2 months ago
Reply to  Martin Rossol

You quote Jesus merely to follow it up by spattering relativistic apologetics all over the page.
Of course the one who makes the direct order for a de facto execution (gradual or sudden) is more guilty than those in the Archipelago of Complicity you’ve constructed. True enough that there are many passive and active co-conspirators in such a state crime, but no full equivalence with the tyrant Putin himself is thereby established.
Your series of rhetorical evasions reminds me of Trump deflecting Putin’s guilt: “we’ve got a lot of killers…what, you think our country’s so innocent?
“‘What is truth’, said jesting Pilate; and would not stay for an answer ” -Francis Bacon

Saul D
Saul D
2 months ago

Tucker Carlson isn’t my cup of tea but in some ways what he’s doing is asking the question as to why isn’t the US clean and safe? Obviously a country with a megalomaniac president who kills people for stepping out of line will have methods to enforce certain behaviours and the image of his regime (North Korea, DDR do/did the same). A harsh government can enforce compliance.
But he could have gone to Switzerland or Denmark or Japan and made the same points. In past times old West Germany, or pre-WWII Britain – the image of proud house-owners cleaning their steps.
Leaving aside Russia, which is just a dictator-compulsion story, there’s a sense in which mutual pride and duty have been diminished. If you despoil your neighbourhood with litter or graffiti, it’s not government or society you’re cursing or rebelling against, it’s your neighbours and your family and your community – mutuality and respect mean helping and working together. By removing agency – ‘leave it to the council’ – we encourage people to think it is someone else’s issue. It’s not. Society is us, together, improving things in small ways all the time.
It will come to a head if Russia pushes the West into a war. If that happens, the woke and the based (the rightwing version of woke) will demand a government response. But the government is us (or at least it used to be), and the response will need to be us. Our parents, and their parents fought and struggled to make a better county. We have to know that it is our duty too to keep what they gave us safe and to keep making it better for our mutual benefit. “For the people, by the people” as someone said.

Sensible Citizen
Sensible Citizen
1 month ago
Reply to  Saul D

You make some excellent points. When you refer to a megalomaniac president who kills people for stepping out line, I thought you meant every US president this century. All of them have conducted highly publicized illegal assassinations of individuals hostile to the US, including Bin Laden, Solomone, and hundreds of Al Quida leaders who were not charged or tried for any crimes. These were all bad guys, but so were Proghosyan and Nelvany. The US persecution of Julian Assange is an affront to freedom-loving Americans. As is the indefinite holding of prisoners in Guantanamo Cuba, which has been all but forgotten. Every American president has ordered assassinations of their enemies without trial and without legal authority. Let’s not forget that.

Jerry Carroll
Jerry Carroll
2 months ago

I think Tucker did a good job showing the world this dominant figure in a leisurely setting far from the hurried and shallow sound byte world of the Anglosphere and its built-in rapid-fire gotcha rhythm. But you had to watch the two full hours or so to fully appreciate Putin’s suspicion and paranoia, both strains of Mother Russia’s national psyche from earliest tsarist times,. They came through clearly as did his grandiose views of its role in history. And also clear was the self-pity felt that the rest of the world doesn’t share his rapturous feeling for Russia and keeps it at arm’s length in light of its sinister and barbaric past and present. Subways in America are sewers of drugs, criminals and scuttling rats; far from Moscow’s glorified temple to worker solidarity. But that appears to be one of the tradeoffs when you choose a permissive society where mobs ransack the stores, math is deemed racist, and now reading and writing are seen in the Seattle schools as just more white supremacy aimed at keeping down the oppressed classes.

j watson
j watson
2 months ago
Reply to  Jerry Carroll

A ‘good job’?? Good grief. One born every day.

Nik Jewell
NJ
Nik Jewell
2 months ago

‘Woke rightists’ WTF? Guys, that was an unnecessary discussion. If you don’t like Tucker’s observations on the subway, then ignore them rather than draw attention to them. Nobody realistically thinks it’s better over there; they just think the direction of travel here is towards authoritarianism.
I don’t think most of the Unherd readership is taken in by the beatification of Navalny in the corporate media.

Stephanie Surface
Stephanie Surface
2 months ago
Reply to  Nik Jewell

Nor is Kisin as he pointed out in this interview. Nevertheless Navalny was a brave man.

laura m
laura m
2 months ago
Reply to  Nik Jewell

Agreed. Furthermore, the comparison with a functioning subway system where the rule of law applies is a worthwhile comparison. Tucker merely asked the question, what are the policies difference and is our federal government focused on the quality of life in our major cities, Tucker is right, DC is focused on global issues. Freddie is over reaching here and ignoring the Dems strategy of stoking hostility against Putin to deflect their policies failures.

Andrew Fisher
Andrew Fisher
2 months ago
Reply to  laura m

Erm. Putin started the war, not the Democrats. As he invaded Crimea in 2014 and the Donbass etc by proxy a few years after that. Why on Earth would Biden want a conflict with Russia? The war is not hugely popular in the US.

Andrew Fisher
Andrew Fisher
2 months ago
Reply to  Nik Jewell

Ok, you just ignore the “woke” lot then, if that’s the answer!

It isn’t “beatifying” Navalny to point out that he was treated incredibly brutally and cruelly, and bumped off probably on Putin’s orders.

Some on the Right are indeed aping elements of the Left – pretty much any regime is deemed better than, say, the Democratic Party in the US. This is grotesque. Christopher Hitchens, whom I’m just reading, loathed this form of dishonest relativism.

UnHerd Reader
UnHerd Reader
2 months ago

I am a big fan and supporter of Unherd and appreciate all of the content and hearing views from smart people on a variety of topics from a variety of points of view.
I don’t think this episode really measures up to the normal expectations I have of Unherd and Freddy in particular. I watched the entire Putin / Carlson interview as soon as it was available. I thought it was fascinating and valuable.
I thought it was very whacky for the whole thing to start off with a long Russian history lecture by Putin. I have never seen anything like that with a political figure in an interview before and it has garnered much attention from folks commenting on it. One thing that really irks me is people saying time and time again that it was “an hour long.” It starts at 2:31 and, in my opinion, ends when he starts to engage with Tucker (and not solo lecture) about the break up of the Soviet Union at the 27:00 mark. That’s 25 minutes. That’s a freaking long time on an esoteric topic and pretty weird but folks exaggerating its length inevitably exaggerate its importance. The interview was about 2 hours with many other things of interest. The second thing is that folks are saying the point of the history lecture is that it reveals THE big reason why Putin invaded Ukraine. I think the rest of the interview makes it clear that were other reasons, (including this one perhaps), much less whacky, or hard to understand from my American point of view. I hope I don’t have to say to Unherd folks that my noting them as easier to understand or more coherent does not mean I agree with them or think Putin is a great guy.
Which brings up the really disappointing thing about this Unherd video: Freddy and Konstin seem to be asserting that Tucker is clearly  “on Putin’s side” and thinks “Russia is better than the US/west.” I would expect Freddy to challenge assertions like these with his guest and ask for hard evidence. I certainly didn’t come away from the Putin interview thinking that, but I might have missed something. I didn’t hear much from Konstin other than his opinion on what he characterizes as Tucker’s point of view  and the so called “woke right.” I agree that Tucker criticizes establishment and elite (if those are not redundant) power centers. I don’t agree that he promotes dictatorship. In fact, I hear him extol the virtues of democracy and free speech. I think it is his point that the establishment has stolen our democracy and that’s why we see ourselves pursuing policies (especially abroad) that do not benefit the vast majority of citizens but greatly benefit the tiny number of folks in power. One can look at the Ukraine war, as well as other misadventures abroad, in this way without thinking Putin should or has the right to invade another country or that his undemocratic control of the Russian government is something to be emulated. I think of Unherd as a place where that is axiomatic but somehow feel the need to say it after this latest Unherd episode.
Sorry for the long post and I hope Unherd gets Tucker on, if possible, or Glenn Greenwald or some other strident critic of the establishment and challenge them to say why they should not be viewed as far-right fascists. Konstantin could be there too, and I am sure would be up for it! Can’t wait to see that and I am not a fair-weather supporter: I am still team Unherd!

Sensible Citizen
Sensible Citizen
1 month ago
Reply to  UnHerd Reader

Well said. I would add that Tucker’s comparison of Moscow to NYC was not an indictment on “the West,” writ large; it was an indictment of the US and the willingness to send $130B to Ukraine while US cities crumble and 60% of the country is without healthcare. Freddie and Konstantine continuously referred to “the West;” Tucker is uniquely American and is only concerned with America.

J Bryant
J Bryant
2 months ago

I would guess that Tucker had to agree to all sorts of conditions before he was allowed to interview Putin. I’m sure there were many questions he wasn’t allowed to ask.
I do agree, though, with Freddie that Tucker seems to have developed a darker view of the West since he left Fox. I wonder if his firing from Fox (let’s call it what it was) has, to some extent, embittered him? Or perhaps he feels he must develop a more extreme persona to attract viewers to his new venture.
As an aside, the comments function for the videos is now very strange. It’s a dark background and the names of the commenters don’t appear. The comments for the print articles seem to work normally.

Jerry Carroll
Jerry Carroll
2 months ago
Reply to  J Bryant

If you don’t have a darker view of developments in the US, you are an anchorite on a desert somewhere. On another subject, it wasn’t broke so why the decision to change the look of UnHerd? White on black looks like something dreamed up by a committee in a thick bureaucracy.

Martin Rossol
Martin Rossol
2 months ago
Reply to  J Bryant

Not sure the “hiding” of names is intentional (poor UI design, yes.). Take your curser and highlight the text and you will see the name who posted.

J Bryant
J Bryant
2 months ago
Reply to  Martin Rossol

Thanks.

ChilblainEdwardOlmos
ChilblainEdwardOlmos
2 months ago
Reply to  Martin Rossol

No good on a touchscreen iPad though…

Stephanie Surface
Stephanie Surface
2 months ago
Reply to  J Bryant

Agree. This new comment section is very weird. Why can’t we see the names of people, who reply to comments and why black background?

Robert Pruger
Robert Pruger
2 months ago

Loved this interview, even or perhaps mostly, when I disagreed.
It’s helpful to know your biases. I like and admire all three men: Sayers, Kisin and Tucker. So I’m inclined to defend Tucker’s posts interview shorts, one of their criticisms. Tucker’s first point was to make clear that the West’s sanctions failed. Tucker’s second point was basic services (such as public transport) are important to average citizens; I can’t get my wife to ride the NYC transit because of the feces, smell of urine and random if not rampant crime. U.S. big city political leaders manifestly don’t care, which indicates their level of contempt for the average Joe. You don’t or shouldn’t have to live in a dictatorship to get decent basic services.
Their second criticism had some substance. Tucker mostly did not cover the Putin’s human rights abuses. Fair enough. But that line of questions may not be fruitful for 2 obvious reasons: 1) Zelensky/Ukraine are dictatorial, grossly corrupt, and also imprison opponents – Putin would have quickly pointed that out; 2) the U.S. also uses law fare to silence/punish its opponents — Julien Assange for example. So it’s the interviewer’s choice whether to go down that lane.
What did disappoint me was Kisin’s claim that Tucker’s producer warned him off discussing Ukraine when being interviewed by Tucker. A real disappointment. Would like to know Tucker’s response to Kisin’s claim.
Conclusion: Tucker gets a B on performance and an A for pissing off many of his critics in the MSM. Sayers and Kisin also get As for a meaningful discussion.

Martin Rossol
Martin Rossol
2 months ago
Reply to  Robert Pruger

Well said, Robert. I’m surprised neither Sayers nor Kisin mentioned the completely political imprisonment (first) and then trials of J6 people. Even people who were simply there, outside the capital building. Agree, Russia is not better.
What of the Russian journalist to come and interview Biden? What need is there? I don’t believe [don’t know for a fact, thought] that Russia is censoring media from the West, but the West is censoring much/most of info coming from Russia. Likely that Russia allows it to let its citizens see the sorry excuse of the President of the US, while the West does it to prevent its’ citizens from seeing the contrast next to Putin?
If Unherd wants another excellent interview– yes, I think this one was very good –interview Mike Benz, as Tucker recently did. Would be a great opportunity for Freddie to show us how to really challenge the interviewee?!

Jerry Carroll
Jerry Carroll
2 months ago
Reply to  Martin Rossol

The Benz interview was jaw dropping. The extent of surveillance and censorship going on in the US is astonishing, as is the number of government agencies, big name universities and NGOs involved. The deep state is far deeper than people realize. Its metastasis-like spread began with the Arab Spring when the Pentagon realized power can come more easily from social media than the gun barrel. Watch it if you want to count yourself as informed.

Andrew Fisher
Andrew Fisher
2 months ago
Reply to  Robert Pruger

Zelensky was elected in a reasonably free election, Russia is more corrupt and essentially a gangster state run by Putin as the chief mafioso. Ukraine is actually fighting for its existence so demanding it actually as a paragon liberal democracy now is a bit much.

Sensible Citizen
Sensible Citizen
1 month ago
Reply to  Robert Pruger

All good points. Another example, the lawfare being used against Donald Trump to interfere in a presidential election is an affront to all that Americans hold dear. The flagrance of it is astonishing, and the press’ ability to brainwash half the country is equally jaw dropping.

j watson
j watson
2 months ago

‘Woke Rightists’, love it. That’ll stick, and so true.
The contortions Woke Rightists pull to try and defend Tuck on this fawning obsequiousness comical. Freddie clearly embarrassed and a usual defender. Konstantin speaking alot of sense made interview worthwhile.
But Tuck knows alot of schmucks out there. Ker-ching.

Andrew Boughton
AB
Andrew Boughton
2 months ago

If Freddie had lived broadly in the US for any extended period he might share at least some of Carlson’s insights. It’s as one friend remarked somewhere between first and third world, but not first world. Unless one values ideology over fact.

Gordon Beattie
Gordon Beattie
2 months ago

Freddie Sayers and Konstantin Kisin are right to be sceptical about Tucker Carlson. He has undergone a metamorphosis since his days at FOX I got the impression that the interview with Putin was scripted. Was Trump involved in setting up the interview. Make Biden look bad and make Trump look good

Martin Rossol
Martin Rossol
2 months ago
Reply to  Gordon Beattie

I’m sure it takes a lot of time, effort and even work to make Biden look bad.

UnHerd Reader
UnHerd Reader
2 months ago

If Tucker has never experienced a shopping cart where you had to insert a coin in order to use it, it means he has never shopped at an Aldi, which means he’s also an out-of-touch elite who has never gone grocery shopping in a flyover state.

Skink
Skink
2 months ago
Reply to  UnHerd Reader

Of course Tucker is part of the elite. But he doesn’t live in a flyover state. Not likely to have gone shopping there. Neither have I, so I wouldn’t know that those carts they use in Europe are in the US as well.
Where I am, Kroger has put some sort of electronic brake on the carts. Really annoying, beeping at the door, and braking when you are in the middle of the parking lot trying to get to you car. But even in this smaller town, they keep losing their carts wholesale.

Prashant Kotak
PK
Prashant Kotak
2 months ago

There is an outpouring of outrage at Putin now that Nevalny is dead, unlike what happened when Pragozhin was killed – understandably, because that was just one mafioso terminating another mafioso.
But, there is no reason to take seriously the opinions of anyone who couldn’t see all these years, from Checheniya days onwards, that Putin is just a high-end mafia lord. Tucker Carlson falls firmly into this category of people not to be taken seriously, probably not in any capacity, except how to get a large following for a chat show. At the other end of the intellect and seriousness scale, Mearsheimer is, I would say, right on the edge of tipping into this bucket based on everything he has been saying, not so much about Putin’s actions and motivations, as about the West’s culpability in causing Putin to behave as he has. Because from my perspective, cartoon media provocateur or heavyweight geopolitic realist, if you cannot bring yourself to acknowledge that Putin ultimately reduces to a bog standard butcher who will kill as often as needed to maintain his grip on power, I cannot take what you have to say without large doses of salt. Mearsheimer after all, had nothing to say about Pragozhin and I doubt he would have anything to say about Nevalny other than to observe that he was not exactly a western style liberal.

One more speculation or intuition or whatever you want to call it, about Putin. There are touches of the old ‘Michael Corleone’ about Putin over the last few years, but inverted in parts, which were not there when he was younger – he is now a sick old man in a hurry, because he wants to ‘secure his legacy’ in the eyes of Russian history (a laughable goal in my view). I doubt there is anyone or anything else he actually cares about in this world at this point. As such, he is completely capable of triggering Nuclear Armageddon if sentiment starts to turn openly against him within Russia itself and he becomes embittered.

Sensible Citizen
Sensible Citizen
1 month ago
Reply to  Prashant Kotak

American presidents kill their opposition much more flagrantly than Putin, who is at least subtle. Soleimani was assassinated in Iraq, without charges or a trial, and at a time when the US was not at war with Iran or Iraq. Same for Osama Bin Laden. There is no international treaty that allows for “wanted, dead or alive,” nor is it legal to send a hit squad into a foreign country without the permission of that government. No one called Trump or Obama murderer for that. Had Putin done exactly the same thing, he’d be pilloried — and rightfully so.
You may not have heard, because it was barely covered in the press, but a US journalist, Gonzalo Lira, recently died in a Ukrainian prison after Zelenskyy put him on his infamous “kill” list. Yet the US sends that guy $130B with no accountability, and there were crickets about “murdering political opponents” in Ukraine by the American press.
The case of Julian Assange is an example of a string of American presidents holding a man without charges indefinitely in solitary confinement, which Amnesty International has called torture. Assange was a journalist who uncovered government lies which embarrassed those who were exposed. No one died as a result, and the information was benign in the big scheme of things. Yet, in prison the man languishes, where he’ll likely die unless Trump pardons him. I think he will next time around, if there is a next time around.
American politicians who live in glass houses should not throw stones.

Prashant Kotak
PK
Prashant Kotak
1 month ago

‘Sensible Citizen’, but of which country?

Sensible Citizen
Sensible Citizen
1 month ago
Reply to  Prashant Kotak

USA

Carlos Danger
Carlos Danger
2 months ago

Did Tucker Carlson cross a line? No, I don’t think so.
Contrary to what is said here, Tucker Carlson didn’t offer videos of a Moscow subway station and supermarket as proof of Western decline and Russian superiority. Nor did he suggest that the Russian regime that (may have) assassinated Russian dissident Alexey Navalny is preferable to the Western democratic system.
To do and say those things would be stupid, and Tucker Carlson is not stupid.

Prashant Kotak
PK
Prashant Kotak
2 months ago
Reply to  Carlos Danger

So you are accusing FS and KK of lying re the videos are you?

UnHerd Reader
UnHerd Reader
2 months ago

Tucker was trying to give Americans a glimpse of Putin and Russia. In the interview Putin came across as having deep roots in Russia, knowing his country’s history. He is patriotic, and has a sense of humor. Those ideas of Putin are at odds with the picture painted in the West that Putin is some sort of snaggle toothed, knuckle dragging ogre.
Tucker also pointed out that Russians do have grocery stores at least in Moscow. He compared New York’s subway to that in Moscow. No druggies nor crazies allowed in Moscow subway. Is freedom worth the horror of NYC subways? well, yes, but…
Our daughter has spent time in St. Petersburg and prefers it to Paris. She tells us Russians are friendly, Parisians are not. St Petersburg is clean, the food is very good and everything is cheaper than here at home and cheaper than Paris.
Tucker was simply trying to give Americans some perspective.

Peter F. Lee
Peter F. Lee
2 months ago
Reply to  UnHerd Reader

One of the reasons why many people are upset is that they have been promoting a different perspective of Russia and its living standards and Tucker attempted to balance that out with a slightly different picture. What is it they say ‘Know ones enemies’. The world has consistently suffered because of the many lies told about their adversaries.

Alex Lekas
Alex Lekas
2 months ago

What happened. An American journo talked the leader of Russia. That’s what happened. Meanwhile, no one is proclaiming Russian superiority, just noticing that things like clean subways and stores not being ransacked by roving mobs are absent in America. Is someone making the case that the West is NOT in decline? That’s true irrespective of Russia or Putin or anything else, and it’s largely a self-inflicted condition.

Nancy Kmaxim
Nancy Kmaxim
2 months ago

Video not accessible.

Nancy Kmaxim
NK
Nancy Kmaxim
2 months ago

The video is not accessible. “You can watch the full video above “ is the prompt, but where?

Ana Cebrian
Ana Cebrian
2 months ago

It was interesting to see a very long form conversation with the Russian Leader – I’m hoping for something similar with the Indian PM.
It would be equally interesting to see similar interviews with Western leaders – 2 hour conversations with Biden, Trudeau, Scholz, von der Leyen, Macron, and the rest.
Over the past 4 or 5 years, all we’ve had is a non-stop stream of bad news from Russia (and China, come to that), accompanied by little more than sound bytes and teleprompts from our own leaders.
For example, it would be fascinating to hear a good solid, 2 hour discussion with the German Chancellor, about recent policies, and hopes and plans for the future.
As to how much you’d believe, or how much you’d believe it, that would be up to you.

Sensible Citizen
Sensible Citizen
1 month ago

Two points regarding a fundamental misunderstanding:
First, Tucker had a narrow agenda which was to discredit the messaging from the news media regarding the effect sanctions have had on Russia, the notion that Russia destroyed their own pipeline, and that Russia is losing in Ukraine. He did a good job with that agenda. If others believe he should have asked other questions, or pushed him harder, then they are entitled to their opinion and are welcome to interview Putin themselves. He also pushed relatively hard on releasing the Wall Street Journal prisoner, who may have been collecting classified information — knowingly or unknowingly. Tucker did more than Biden has done on that front and has gotten zero credit for doing so.
Second, Tucker was comparing Russian infrastructure in their capital city with NYC and other world-class American cities, which are falling apart while the US just sent $130B to a foreign government for a failed military operation that has likely killed a half million young men. He was not comparing Moscow to “the West” nor was he making generalized statements comparing “the West” to the Russian system. The subway in Stockholm and London look nothing like the NYC subway system, which is horrific. Tucker is vehemently anti-communist and is not pro-Russia. His agenda is focused on freedom of the press and corporate-sponsored disinformation — same as Unherd. Extrapolating that as a larger statement on the West was incorrect, and the crux of the criticism in the discussion. Also, there was a tinge of jealousy in the discussion that we’ve heard in all of the criticism of Tucker by other journalists.