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SAU Peers Say The Putin Interview Was Pointless

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In early February, ex-CNN reporter and talk show host, Tucker Carlson, interviewed Russian President, Vladimir Putin, in Moscow. He posted this interview on his own, “Tucker Carlson Network.” 

SAU junior Abram Anderson said, “The interview was really confusing. It just felt like Tucker Carlson would ask Putin a question and Putin wouldn’t give him an exact answer, then he would just start rambling about Russian history and random facts.”

SAU Director and Professor of the Art History Program, Terri Switzer, added, “I haven’t seen the interview, and I don’t have any plans to see it in the immediate future. In my opinion, neither party has any credibility, and each has an agenda for participating that has nothing to do with telling the truth.” 

SAU senior Christian Grems stated, “I feel like Carlson didn’t get what he wanted from this. Putin didn’t expose much about what his plans are with Ukraine or the United States. I think people expected a lot more from this than what we actually got.” mentioned, “In the West, there was an outrage at Carlson giving a platform for the person responsible for unleashing a brutal and devastating war in Ukraine.”

Carlson received backlash from his interview with Putin. People felt that Putin dominated the interview and Carlson didn’t get as much as he should have out of Putin. Carlson was questioned at the World Government Summit in Dubai on why he didn’t ask Putin about Alexei Nalvany, freedom of speech in Russia, or his thoughts on the upcoming election. 

Carlson responded saying, “I didn’t talk about the things that every other American media outlet talks about.. I have spent my life talking to people who run countries, in various countries, and have concluded the following: Every leader kills people, some kill more than others. Leadership requires killing people, sorry, that’s why I wouldn’t want to be a leader.” 

Two times during this interview, Putin accused Carlson of not asking him sufficiently serious questions. The first thing they talked about was Putin’s intentions on the war in Ukraine. When the war first began, Putin said he was going to “demilitarize and denazify” Ukraine. The interview showed us these are still his goals. When Putin talked about his idea to demilitarize, he guaranteed Carlson that Ukraine will never join the NATO alliance and that he will limit the United States’ future security relations with Ukraine. 

But when the topic of denazification came up, Carlson was confused. Putin explained to Carlson, “We haven’t achieved our aims yet…what Russia wants is the prohibition of all kinds of neo-Nazi movements.” 

Carlson also asked Putin about Evan Gershkovic, a Wall Street Journal reporter imprisoned in Russia. Putin mentioned that they want something in return for Gershkovic. He wants the U.S to help with the release of Vadim Krasikov, a Russian “patriot,” who is serving a long prison term in Germany for murder. Carlson mentioned to Putin that these cases are completely different. An American journalist who didn’t commit a crime for a Russian hitman in jail for murder? Putin admitted Carlson was right, but he still wants U.S. help for getting his own hired man out of jail. stated, “The main message Putin sought to convey to Americans: There’s no point helping Ukraine with more money and weapons…and Carlson, who has himself previously questioned U.S. support for Ukraine as it seeks to defend its people and its land in the face of Russia’s assault, was all too happy to help deliver that message.”