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Putin Says He Was Not Impressed by Tucker Carlson

Tucker Carlson did all that he could to impress the Russian authoritarian Vladimir Putin: he asserted that Russia is not an expansionist power, claimed that Moscow is better than any American city, posed in a Buryat costume and lobbied against continued US aid to Ukraine.

Nevertheless, Putin was not impressed. He told interviewer Pavel Zarubin this week, “Sincerely speaking, I didn’t fully enjoy this interview.”

“Frankly, I thought he would behave aggressively and ask tough questions. I wasn’t just prepared for this, I wanted it!” Putin insisted.

The Russian president complained that Carlson’s failure to ask pointed questions “didn’t give him an opportunity to do what he was prepared to do” and therefore, this interview didn’t turn out to be as engaging or substantive as it could have been.

When Zarubin queried the Russian president as to what he thought about negative reactions of Western leaders, Putin evasively replied that it’s a good thing they’re watching and listening. He added, “If today, due to their own reasons, we are unable to conduct direct dialogue, then we should be grateful to Mr. Carlson for the fact that we can do this through him as an intermediary.”

Putin Nearly Bores Tucker Carlson to Death With Two-Hour History Lesson

For years leading up to Tucker Carlson’s interview with Putin, he was a darling of the Russian state media. Top Russian propagandists gushed about him, featured translated clips of his Fox News segments and even described Carlson as “the only American they wouldn’t want to kill.”

Head of RT Margarita Simonyan recounted that Carlson repeatedly contacted her since 2021, pleading for an interview with Putin—and his attempts intensified after Russia invaded Ukraine. Simonyan said that she went “from office to office, begging for what we [RT] believe is important for the country.” State media’s talking heads predicted that the interview would blow up the US elections and stun gullible Americans.

Instead, the sit-down was more of a monologue than a conversation, with Putin droning on about ancient and modern history, deliberately twisted to justify Russia’s revanchist aspirations with respect to Ukraine. The outcome was clearly underwhelming. Carlson’s softball endeavor was not only ridiculed in the West, but also rejected by Russian audiences.

The interview, showcased two times during primetime hours on Channel One, received dismal ratings. It ranked 19th in the nationwide lineup and 11th in Moscow, against the lineup of the most popular television programs for that week, barely beating out a competition of psychics.

Even Simonyan, who was so instrumental in laying the groundwork for this fiasco, couldn’t conceal her initial disappointment. She wrote on X (formerly Twitter), “It’s a shame that Tucker didn’t bring up conservative values. This is his strong point—as well as the strong point of the Boss [Putin], first and foremost.”

Russian propagandists anticipated questions about Satanism, LGBT issues and American biolabs. The closest they got was when Carlson asked Putin, “So do you see the supernatural at work as you look out across what’s happening in the world now? Do you see God at work? Do you ever think to yourself, these are forces that are not human?” Putin failed to take advantage of the leading question and delivered a very Soviet-minded response: “No, to be honest. I don’t think so.”

Despite her initial frustration about wasted propaganda opportunities, Simonyan quickly bounced back and was soon praising the interview on Vladimir Solovyov’s show, Sunday Evening With Vladimir Solovyov. With fervor rivaling the infamous North Korean “woman in pink,” Simonyan declared, “This was the most successful, the most significant and a truly historic media event in journalism in the history of humanity!”

To spice things up, Simonyan claimed that herself and her husband Tigran Keosayan were so moved that they wept while watching the interview.

Now that Putin has revealed his disappointment with the outcome of her pet endeavor, Simonyan may be crying for other reasons—or quickly changing her rhetoric to match that of “the Boss.”

Read more at The Daily Beast.

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