Who Sponsors Tucker Carlson’s Propagandistic Messages in Georgian Media?

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Reading Time: 8 minutes

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American journalist, and former Fox News host, Tucker Carlson is the first Western journalist to interview Russian President Vladimir Putin after Russia’s full-scale military intervention in Ukraine. The two-hour conversation with Putin was published on Carlson’s website and social networks on February 8. The Russian president’s press secretary confirmed that Carlson was honored to interview Vladimir Putin out of loyalty to the Kremlin. According to Peskov, unlike other journalists, Carlson is not biased and his position is not pro-Russian or pro-Ukrainian, but quite pro-American, although he still “confronts the position of the traditional Anglo-Saxon media”. According to Tucker Carlson himself, most Americans have no idea why Putin invaded Ukraine or what his goals are now – Americans have never heard Putin’s voice. That is why Tucker Carlson decided to once again become the mouthpiece of the Kremlin’s traditional messages and allow the Russian president to spread the famous narratives and myths that justified Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

In an interview with Tucker Carlson, Putin once again mentioned that Ukraine is an artificial state, which was founded thanks to Soviet leaders Joseph Stalin and Vladimir Lenin; that in 2014 Ukraine “created a threat” to Crimea and Russia had to protect it; that the conflict in Ukraine is a “civil war” and the war was not started by Russia, but by Ukrainian neo-Nazis after the 2014 coup. Putin also said that the United States provided political, informational, and financial support to terrorists in the North Caucasus and that the American government spent $5 billion to organize a coup in Ukraine.

Since the early days of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, Tucker Carlson has been opposing the provision of American aid to Ukraine. At the same time, Carlson called the president of Ukraine, Volodymyr Zelenskyy, a dictator, accusing him of an attempt to overthrow the government in Russia with the help of the US. Tucker Carlson’s statements have been amplified in a coordinated manner first by the Kremlin media, and then in the local Georgian context by pro-Kremlin media outlets (Alt-Info, Sezoni TV), pro-government media (PosTV, Pia.ge, Lider.ge, Imedi) and other anti-Western and anti-liberal platforms (Georgia First, i Ucnobi, Publicist.ge, Georgia and World, Politicano). For several years now, the anti-Western and in some cases pro-government media have been portraying Carlson as an influential journalist who is the voice of Americans.

Sponsored Posts and the Coverage of Tucker Carlson in Pro-government and Anti-liberal Media

The “Georgia First” platform founded by Vato Shakarishvili, a former member of the ruling “Georgian Dream” party, started spreading and sponsoring the narratives of American anchor Tucker Carlson in Georgia as early as November 2022. From 2022 to date, as of February 15, 34 sponsored materials related to Tucker Carlson can be found on two Facebook pages of the platform (Georgia First NEWS; Georgia First), most of which are fragments of Tucker Carlson’s interviews, Carlson’s own opinions and posts published on his platforms. Among them, some posts have been sponsored several times. The last two materials are the full versions of Tucker Carlson’s interview with Putin (1,2), and three of them (1,2,3) deal with Tucker Carlson’s interview with Vladimir Putin and the dangers associated with it. In earlier materials, the statements of Tucker Carlson and his guests are presented, which are aimed at criticizing both the administration of the US president and the president of Ukraine.

Posts sponsored in 2024

Posts sponsored in 2022-2023

In addition to “Georgia First”, Tucker Carlson’s interviews are also sponsored by POSTV – a media with a pro-government editorial policy. In February 2024, the Facebook page POSTV News published and sponsored a video in which Tucker Carlson explained the reasons why he considered it appropriate to interview the Russian president. The post also notes that Carlson has come under scrutiny in the US for this decision. It should be noted that POSTV-Analytics also sponsored a video in 2023, in which the former Fox News host criticizes the President of Ukraine and says that Zelenskyy himself is a dark force that banned the Christian faith in his country.

In December 2022, the POSTV program “Conservatory” sponsored Tucker Carlson’s assessment of Zelensky’s visit to the US Congress. After Tucker Carlson’s interview with Vladimir Putin, the hosts of “Conservatory” themselves evaluated the interview between Carlson and Putin and even sponsored the post. In the program, it was noted that there is a problem of spreading and receiving objective information in the West, therefore Putin’s thoughts will be “unrecognizable and new” for the Western media.

takeri1 Who Sponsors Tucker Carlson’s Propagandistic Messages in Georgian Media?

In July 2023, agency Pia.ge sponsored a quote by Tucker Karlsson in which he criticized Volodymyr Zelenskyy for arresting the Kremlin propagandist Gonzalo Lira.

An article about Tucker Carlson has also been sponsored by the Communications Regulatory Commission’s Media Criticism. The article discusses the role of Tucker Carlson in the American media, and at the end, it is noted that after his dismissal from Fox News, “whatever path Tucker Carlson chooses, he will, in any case, remain one of the strongest critics of the modern American political system and the establishment with many supporters and like-minded people in the US.

takeri2 Who Sponsors Tucker Carlson’s Propagandistic Messages in Georgian Media?

In March 2022, the Facebook page “Politicano,” which is affiliated with the Primakov Russian-Georgian Center, sponsored a segment of Tucker Carlson’s program, where Tulsi Gabbard, a former member of the US Congress, was invited as a guest. According to Tulsi Gabbard, Biden could have avoided the war if he had given Russia a guarantee that Ukraine would not become a member of NATO.

takeri3 Who Sponsors Tucker Carlson’s Propagandistic Messages in Georgian Media?

Fragments of Tucker Carlson’s interview with Vladimir Putin were also distributed on the Facebook page of “Alt-Info“, a media outlet openly supporting the Kremlin policies (1,2,3,4).

takeri4 Who Sponsors Tucker Carlson’s Propagandistic Messages in Georgian Media?

In the article entitled “Russians are not giving up!” The author of the online outlet “Georgia and World,” Valeri Kvaratskhelia discussed four important moments of Tucker Carlson’s interview with Vladimir Putin. According to Kvaratskhelia, no leader in the world could have caused interest on this scale, as it happened in the case of Putin, and Tucker Carlson himself is a patriot who has an important role to play – he should be able to wake up his country. Kvaratskhelia called the story with which Putin ended the interview with Carlson of high artistic value:

“The Ukrainian group is surrounded. From the Russian military unit, as is often the case at such times, an order containing the demand for surrender and the guarantee of life preservation was issued. – Русские не седаться! – was heard from there in pure Russian. […] – Russians are not giving up! You know that in such a case “not giving up” means death. They were killed. Today, the fight of Ukrainians against Russia is a fatal mistake, but the fight of this one squad or unit even had the justification that, although at the cost of their own lives, they still said (admitted) the truth that Ukrainians and Russians are one. “

takeri5 Who Sponsors Tucker Carlson’s Propagandistic Messages in Georgian Media?

“Myth Detector” wrote about Tucker Carlson’s manipulative and false messages that were spread in Georgia in the past as well:

Manipulative message/Disinformation voiced by Carlson Dissemination in Georgian media
Zelenskyy banned opposition parties in Ukraine; SPNews, Tia.ge, i ucnobi
Biden said he would blow up the Nord Stream 2 pipeline; “Summary of the Day with Mzhavanadze
US Senator Jamie Raskin said that Russia is an Orthodox state with traditional values and the US should destroy it, no matter the cost; “Alt-Info”, “Georgia and WorldImedi, POSTV, PIA.GE, Kvira, “Info 9, Lider.ge
Zelensky is fighting orthodoxy and alternative opinion in the country, and in addition to fighting faith, he also banned all opposition parties; აი უცნობი • i ucnobi
Lloyd Austin threatened American lawmakers with sending their family members to war if they refused to support Ukraine;  Publicist.ge, “Georgia First
  • In December 2023, based on Tucker Carlson, the news portal “Georgia First” and “Publicist.ge” disseminated information about the meeting held by US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin with congressmen. According to them, Austin threatened American lawmakers with sending their family members to war if they refused to support Ukraine. In fact, Austin warned congressmen that if the United States fails to find additional aid for Ukraine, Russia’s next target could be a NATO ally, forcing the United States to take military action to defend Europe;
  • In October 2022, a monologue by Tucker Carlson was aired on the Alt-Analytics program of the pro-Kremlin Alt-info TV, according to the Georgian translation of which, American Senator Jamie Raskin said that Russia is an Orthodox state with traditional values and the US should destroy it, no matter the cost. The statement on behalf of Congressman Jamie Raskin regarding the destruction of Russia due to Orthodoxy was initially reported in the Russian propaganda media. Later on, Goga Khaindrava’s post on the same topic with an emphasis on the “quote” of Congressman Jamie Raskin was disseminated by the following pro-government media outlets in a coordinated manner: Imedi, POSTV, PIA.GE, media holding “Kvira”, news agency “info 9“, Lider.ge. In fact, the quote belongs to Tucker Carlson himself, and it was an assessment of Ruskin’s pro-Ukraine statement;
  • In April 2022, there were claims that Volodymyr Zelensky “banned all opposition parties” and “closed all opposition channels” in Ukraine. In fact, after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the right to party activity in the country was suspended not for opposition parties in general, but for 11 parties connected with Russia;
  • In December 2022, a fragment of the program Tucker Carlson Tonight (1,2) was published on Gia Gachechiladze’s Facebook page “i ucnobi”, in which Tucker Carlson claimed that Zelensky is fighting Orthodoxy and alternative opinion in the country, and in addition to fighting faith, he also banned all opposition parties. In fact, messages that Zelenskyy is banning Orthodoxy in Ukraine are manipulative and present the situation with Orthodox churches in Ukraine without full context.
  • In October 2022, on his show Tucker Carlson Tonight, the host aired Biden’s February announcement about Nord Stream 2 and, ignoring the context of the time, interpreted Biden’s words as a quote, “We’re going to blow it up.” In fact, Biden said that military aggression by Russia would be the end of Nord Stream 2, which meant the suspension of the project in cooperation with Germany. Biden did not mention the pipeline explosion or damage. Biden’s statement was voiced by pro-Kremlin TV host Nikoloz Mzhavanadze with a wrong interpretation.

About Tucker Carlson

Tucker Carlson began his journalism career as a fact-checker, writing for both liberal and conservative publications. Since 2000, he became a participant in the political talk show Crossfire on CNN. In the following years, he moved to PBS and MSNBC, and in May 2009 he started working at Fox News. Tucker Carlson hosted Tucker Carlson Tonight from 2016 to 2023. He gained fame for his conspiracy theories, especially regarding the Covid-19 pandemic. In late 2018, major advertisers refused to run ads on Carlson’s show because of his racist remarks. After the election of Donald Trump, Carlson became his ardent supporter. However, Carlson admitted in private correspondence that he hates Trump. Fox News fired Carlson in April 2023, possibly related to Dominion Voting Systems’ lawsuit with Fox News that cost the station $767 million. This company’s vote-counting devices were used in the 2020 presidential election, and Tucker Carlson and his show guests claimed that the company rigged votes in favor of Joe Biden. Dominion Voting Systems sued a television company whose host accused them of distorting the will of voters.

Back in 2017, Carlson said that Vladimir Putin is not a threat to the United States and accused the “leftists” of seeing the Russian leader “behind all the problems” that afflict the country. Also, Tucker Carlson warned the American public not to follow “propaganda” aimed at “hatred of Russia”. It is worth noting that Tucker Carlson was offered cooperation by Russia Today soon after his dismissal from Fox News.

Country: Russia, Ukraine, USA

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