Fox News’ far-right talking points undermine American democratic ideals

Luke Bourgeois , Staff Writer

Earlier this week a video from 2019 surfaced of Tucker Carlson saying “Why shouldn’t I root for Russia, which I am.” The video received negative attention all around the internet but some right-wing sites came out in support of Carlson’s comments. Carlson and the Fox network responded to this controversy by doubling down and introducing even more pro-Russian talking points on their network. His supporters have argued that Carlson was well within the line to pick sides in the Russian-Ukrainian war, just like you and I may pick between two clashing football teams. However, this isn’t football, is it?

Russia’s attempt to steal the sovereignty of an independent nation is a gross attack on the people of Ukraine and the democratic principles on which their government is run. Vladimir Putin’s authoritarian and autocratic dictatorship is the antithesis of the principles the United States was built on. This leaves me puzzled as to why a figure supporting  a movement that prides itself on “making America great again” is siding so clearly with a hostile dictatorship. 

This isn’t an equal race, picking sides is literally picking between democracy and dictatorship. The scary thing is, Carlson has real influence in politics. Tucker Carlson’s show is the second highest rated program on cable television and the show boasts some very influential fans such as the twice impeached former president Donald Trump, former KKK grand wizard David Duke, oh and Russia’s current foreign minister-Sergei Lavrov. Earlier this month, Lavrov went on Russia’s state news network and denounced US media for being uniformly anti-Russian, but then went on to say “If you take the United States, only Fox News is trying to present some alternative points of view”. Lavrov’s praise seems to have made it all the way to the Kremlin, with a leaked memo sent to Russian TV asking for Tucker Carlson to be played more on Russian networks.

I don’t think there is any reality that exists where this can be seen as anything less than incredibly concerning. The fact that the ultra right wing point of view on this matter seems so pro-Russian that the Kremlin wants it on Russian TV is not a normal political event. The same people who supported supposed “America first” policies are now shilling pro-Russia and distinctly anti-American ideals. Fox News even pushed the popular Q-Anon-based “Ukrainian Biolab theory” live on air, a theory which has also found circulation on the Russian propaganda network RT News.  Four of Tucker Carlson’s Fox News colleagues were shot and killed earlier this month by Russian forces as they were reporting on the war, which is a war crime. Meanwhile, stateside, Tucker Carlson spews pro-Russian rhetoric while sitting on his millions that he inherited from his father’s TV dinner empire. At this point what does Carlson stand for? He has no morals other than being a mouthpiece for the ultra right’s most vile opinions and standpoints. It is time to change the channel for America’s sake.