Tucker Carlson, the controversial conservative Fox News host, has sparked international intrigue and speculation over his surprise visit to Moscow this weekend. Carlson was spotted attending the ballet on Saturday night, fueling rumors that he may be in Russia to interview President Vladimir Putin.
Carlson Photographed in Moscow, Kremlin Quiet on Purpose of Visit
Carlson’s presence in Russia was first reported by Russian media outlet Meduza on Saturday night. He was photographed attending a performance of Spartacus at the Bolshol Theatre in Moscow. The Managing Director of RT (Russia Today), Margarita Simonyan, tweeted the photo and welcomed Carlson to Russia.
The purpose and full itinerary of Carlson’s Moscow visit remains unknown. The Kremlin has declined to comment on his visit. When asked on Monday if Carlson would interview Putin, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters “We’ll see.”
Carlson himself has remained vague when asked about the possibility of a Putin interview, replying with a smile “We’ll see what happens.”
Speculation Mounts Over Potential Blockbuster Interview
Rumors and speculation have been swirling that Carlson may have traveled to Moscow specifically to interview Putin. If the interview comes to fruition, it would be a journalistic coup for Carlson and a PR win for Putin.
Some Russia experts have warned that the Kremlin could use an interview with a popular Western media figure like Carlson as propaganda to justify its war in Ukraine.
“This risks being an inflection point towards making Putin’s war normal, or even popular, in the US,” said political risk consultant Ian Bremmer.
Right-Wing Figures Rally Around Carlson Amid Controversy
Carlson has received support from several right-wing Republican figures in the wake of the Russia visit controversy.
Congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Greene took to Twitter to defend Carlson, saying he has “a right to go wherever he wants” and dismissing criticism as “fake outrage.”
Some conservative media voices have argued that Carlson interviewing adversarial foreign leaders is part of responsible journalism.
“There is a strong public interest argument that favours engagement with Putin, not censorship,” said British TV host Andrew Neil.
Visit Seen As Further Embrace of Pro-Russia Stance
The Moscow trip is the latest evidence of Carlson’s increasingly pro-Russia posture since the start of the Ukraine invasion last year. He has frequently echoed Russian talking points on his hit Fox News show, including casting doubt on evidence of Russian war crimes and regurgitating Putin’s raison d’etre that he is “denazifying” Ukraine.
Carlson has also promoted the conspiracy theory that the US is secretly behind funding Ukrainian biological weapons labs. The US government has categorically denied these accusations as Russian disinformation.
Carlson’s Future Media Plans Draw Focus
Speculation has also intensified around Carlson’s future media plans now that he has exited Fox News. There were previous reports that Carlson was planning to take time off, but this Moscow trip hints he may be actively exploring new projects.
Some Russia observers have half-jokingly speculated that Carlson may be scoping out a new gig with Russian state media outlet RT. While seen as unlikely, it underscores perceptions that Carlson has become increasingly embedded in pro-Kremlin circles.
Interview Would Present Communication Challenge for West
If the Putin interview goes ahead, it presents a predicament for the US and its allies on how to respond. Efforts to censor or rally against it may play into Carlson and Putin’s hands by feeding narratives around “cancel culture” and anti-Russia hysteria.
Yet Western leaders will also be wary of handing Putin an unfettered propaganda platform, especially at a sensitive time in the war. Much may depend on the interview questions, and whether Carlson challenges Putin or gives him free airtime to spin his side of the war.
All Eyes on Moscow As Waiting Game Continues
For now, Moscow watchers around the world are waiting with bated breath to see if Carlson emerges with his prized Putin interview. The Kremlin is staying silent, and Carlson himself is simply smiling coyly when asked the question.
Carlson is expected to remain in Moscow until at least the middle of the week. If he secures the Putin interview, it would likely air in the coming days or week on his social media accounts or a friendly media outlet. It promises to be a geopolitical media event like no other.
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