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Tucker Carlson interviewed Putin. How is the media covering the story?

Feb 9

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Former Fox News host Tucker Carlson interviewed Russian President Vladimir Putin in a video released Thursday, Feb. 8. It was the first time Putin agreed to sit down with any member of the Western media since the Russia-Ukraine war began.

The interview is getting a lot of attention with different takeaways depending on the outlet reporting it.

Here is how the coverage varies:

Throughout the interview, Putin pointed at Ukraine for failed negotiation talks and claimed the U.S. and Britain had influence over Ukraine’s decision to put an end to the talks. Putin said Russia still has that line open.

This was the focus of several outlets coverage of the interview.

  • The Hill: Putin says he’s open to negotiating with US over Ukraine war.
  • The New York Times: Putin calls on U.S. to ‘negotiate’ on Ukraine.
  • Newsweek: Putin Tells Tucker Carlson that Zelensky has the power to bring peace.

Another exchange gained wide coverage after Carlson asked Putin about Wall Street Journal reporter Evan Gershkovich.

Gershkovich has been detained in Russia since March 2023.

  • CBS News: Putin signals he’s open to prisoner swap for Wall Street Journal reporter Evan Gershkovich’s release.
  • Sky News: Tucker Carlson grills Vladimir Putin about imprisoned journalist.

While some headlines centered around what was said during the interview, others focused on interviewer Tucker Carlson as the first 30 minutes of the interview consisted of Putin giving a Russian history lesson that dated back to the 8th century. The lesson was meant to provide context for why Russia believes it has a claim to portions of Ukraine.

Carlson admits he was annoyed and interrupted Putin. However, Putin interrupted back. Media outlets picked up on their dynamic.

  • The Washington Post: Putin, in rambling interview, barely lets Tucker Carlson get a word in.
  • BBC News: Tucker Carlson: Putin takes charge as TV host gives free rein to Kremlin.
  • The Daily Beast: Putin Nearly Bores Tucker Carlson to Death With Two-Hour History Lesson.

Carlson largely got praise from the media for the portion of his interview that pressed Putin on the release of Gershkovich. Other outlets didn’t shy away from criticizing the interview in its entirety. 

  • Business Insider: Putin likely chose Carlson because of his ignorance of Russia, it showed.
  • CNN: Putin walks away with propaganda victory after Tucker Carlson’s softball interview

The interview is a controversial one. Scouring the internet, there are a lot of conversations and split opinions over how much Putin told the truth and how much America should be involved.

Straight Arrow News strives to provide unbiased, fact-based news in addition to offering a comprehensive look at how the media is covering stories that matter most. Learn more about the Media Miss™ tool and decide for yourself. 

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[KARAH RUCKER]
BY NOW – YOU LIKELY KNOW TUCKER CARLSON INTERVIEWED RUSSIAN PRESIDENT VLADIMIR PUTIN.

YOU PROBABLY KNOW IT WAS THE FIRST TIME PUTIN AGREED TO SIT DOWN WITH ANY MEMBER OF THE WESTERN MEDIA SINCE THE RUSSIA-UKRAINE WAR BEGAN.

IT’S AN INTERVIEW GETTING A LOT OF ATTENTION –

BUT WITH DIFFERENT TAKEAWAYS DEPENDING ON THE MEDIA OUTLET REPORTING IT.

FOR THE PURPOSE OF THIS STORY –

WE’RE GOING TO SHOW YOU HOW THE MEDIA IS TALKING ABOUT TUCKER’S INTERVIEW.

WHAT MOMENTS HEADLINES ARE HIGHLIGHTING.

AND WHAT THEY ARE CRITICIZING.

THE FOCUS OF COVERAGE – SHIFTING FROM HEADLINE TO HEADLINE.

ONE OF THE COMMON THEMES THROUGHOUT THE INTERVIEW –

WAS PUTIN POINTING AT UKRAINE FOR FAILED NEGOTIATION TALKS.

AND CLAIMING THE U.S. AND BRITAIN HAD INFLUENCE OVER UKRAINE’S DECISION TO PUT AN END TO THEM.

PUTIN SAYS RUSSIA STILL HAS THAT LINE OPEN.

THIS WAS THE FOCUS OF SEVERAL OUTLETS COVERAGE OF THE INTERVIEW.

THE HILL – PUTIN OPEN TO NEGOTIATING.

THE NEW YORK TIMES – PUTIN CALLS ON THE US TO NEGOTIATE.

NEWSWEEK – ‘PUTIN TELLS TUCKER THAT ZELENSKY HAS THE POWER TO BRING PEACE’

ANOTHER EXCHANGE GETTING A LOT OF MEDIA ATTENTION.

WHEN TUCKER CARLSON ASKED PUTIN ABOUT JOURNALIST EVAN GERSHKOVICH DETAINED IN RUSSIA.

THE WALL STREET JOURNAL – THE OUTLET GERSHKOVICH WORKS FOR –

‘PUTIN SAYS HE IS OPEN TO EXCHANGE’

CBS NEWS – PUTIN SIGNALS HE’S OPEN TO PRISONER SWAP.

SKY NEWS – TUCKER GRILLS PUTIN ABOUT IMPRISONED JOURNALIST

WHILE SOME HEADLINES CENTERED AROUND WHAT WAS SAID DURING THE INTERVIEW –

OTHERS FOCUSED ON THE INTERVIEWER. 

TUCKER CARLSON.

THE FIRST 30 MINUTES OF THE INTERVIEW –

IT’S LARGELY PUTIN GIVING A HISTORY LESSON OF RUSSIA DATING BACK TO THE 8TH CENTURY.

MEANT TO PROVIDE CONTEXT FOR WHY RUSSIA BELIEVES IT HAS A CLAIM TO PORTIONS OF UKRAINE.

BUT IT WAS UNORTHODOX – AND TUCKER – ADMITS HE WAS ANNOYED AND INTERRUPTED PUTIN AND PUTIN INTERRUPTED BACK.

THIS WAS PICKED UP ON BY THE MEDIA.

THE WASHINGTON POST – PUTIN, IN RAMBLING INTERVIEW, BARELY LETS TUCKER GET A WORD IN.

BBC – PUTIN TAKES CHARGE AS TV HOST GIVES FREE REIN.

THE DAILY BEAST – PUTIN NEARLY BORES TUCKER TO DEATH WITH TWO HOUR HISTORY LESSON.

TUCKER LARGELY GOT PRAISE FROM THE MEDIA FOR THE PORTION OF HIS INTERVIEW PRESSING PUTIN ON THE RELEASE OF GERSHKOVICH.

BUT OTHER OUTLETS DIDN’T SHY AWAY FROM CRITICIZING THE INTERVIEW IN ITS ENTIRETY. 

THE ASSOCIATED PRESS. PUTIN USES TUCKER INTERVIEW TO PRESS HIS UKRAINE NARRATIVE.

BUSINESS INSIDER. PUTIN LIKELY CHOSE CARLSON BECAUSE OF HIS IGNORANCE OF RUSSIA AND IT SHOWED.

CNN – PUTIN WALKS AWAY WITH PROPAGANDA VICTORY AFTER TUCKER’S SOFTBALL INTERVIEW.

TUCKER’S INTERVIEW IS A CONTROVERSIAL ONE.

SCOURING THE INTERNET – THERE ARE A LOT OF CONVERSATIONS AND SPLIT OPINIONS.

HOW MUCH PUTIN TOLD THE TRUTH.

HOW MUCH AMERICA SHOULD BE INVOLVED.

IT’S A MAJOR STORY.

AND A MAJOR WAR – NEARING ITS TWO YEAR ANNIVERSARY.