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– A propaganda victory for Putin

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– A propaganda victory for Putin

The short version

  • The American journalist Tucker Calrson broadcast a more than two-hour long interview with Russian President Vladimir Putin last night Norwegian time.
  • NUPI researcher Jakub Godzimirski believes the interview was an exercise in Russian propaganda and an attempt to reach a new audience in the West
  • At the same time as Tucker Carlson was in Russia to interview Putin, the conditions for critical and independent journalists in Russia are cruel. Several are imprisoned and prosecuted.

Sea view

For over two hours, Russian President Vladimir Putin was allowed to unfold during the interview with the American TV profile Tucker Carlson.

Carlson was for a number of years one of the TV channel Fox News’ biggest stars.

But in April last year, he was separated from the TV channel. The Putin interview was therefore broadcast on Tucker Carlson’s own website.

– The interview contained a lot of what you could expect to hear, says Russia expert Jakub Godzimirski at the NUPI Norwegian Foreign Policy Institute, a research institute that works on questions related to international politics. to VG.

Putin began with a lengthy explanation of Russian history, portraying Ukraine as an “Artificial State” – as the researcher predicted the day before.

– It is difficult to call this an interview, is the Russia expert’s conclusion.

– Massive propaganda acid

He is on Friday morning going through the controversial interview. He believes it is clear that Carlson had no control over his interviewee.

– He did not ask Putin a single critical question. It was probably part of the deal beforehand. He was probably given a list of questions he could ask, and not ask, believes the NUPI researcher.

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For example, he calls for critical questions about Russia’s massacre in Bucha in Ukraine.

– After watching 45 minutes of this, you see that it is President Putin’s platform, says the well-known foreign correspondent Clarissa Ward about the interview to own channel.

CNN describes the interview as a massive propaganda victory for Putin. It’s a statement Godzimirski agrees with.

CONTROVERSIAL INTERVIEW: TV anchor Tucker Carlson’s interview with Vladimir Putin is controversial – and has caused a stir. Photo: SCREEN DUMP

– Exercise in propaganda

– It is a very clear exercise in Russian propaganda – and an attempt to reach a new audience in the West. It had little to do with honest journalism. It was rather a way of reaching a new audience in the West, he says.

And adds:

– It did not only apply to Putin, but also to Carlson – who has lost his audience at Fox News, and is now interested in getting more attention in connection with the election in the USA.

He believes the controversial interview must be seen in the context of the upcoming election in 10 months.

NUPI RESEARCHER: Jakub M. Godzimirski Photo: Thomas Andreassen / VG

– It is obvious that there are many Americans who do not watch Russian propaganda on a daily basis, who will watch it, he says.

When VG spoke to Godzimirski on the same day that the interview was to be broadcast, he encouraged viewers to take it with a grain of salt and show healthy skepticism about what was said.

– Carslon plays the same role for Putin as Leni Riefenstahl played for Hitler. It is a way of getting this message out to reach a new audience, he says.

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Riefenstahl made several propaganda films for Nazi Germany and Adolf Hitler. including “Triumph des Willens” – which is considered one of history’s most influential propaganda films.

Recorded the imprisoned journalist

At the same time that Carslon was in Russia to interview Putin, independent Russian journalists are being persecuted and imprisoned in Russia. The American Journalist Evan Gershkovich from the Wall Street Journal is one of them.

– He is a young man (kid, journ. note), maybe he has broken their laws in one way or another, but he is not a super spy” and everyone knows that, said the former Fox anchor during the interview with Putin.

It is a statement colleagues in the Wall Street Journal have reacted to.

– Carslon knows that Evan is a law-abiding, respectable reporter who is being held hostage to gain political influence. He should be released immediately, writes the reporter Ted Mann at X.

JAILED: WSJ journalist Evan Gershkovich is imprisoned in Russia without trial. Photo: AP / NTB

He is reacting to the suggestion that Gershkovich has broken the law

– It is a way for Carlson to legitimize this interview – to show that he is interested in the fate of an American journalist. He did not ask questions about all the other Russian journalists who are either imprisoned or have been forced to leave the country, says Godzimirski.

US expert Hilmar Mjelde says The daily newspaper that Tucker Carlson became a microphone stand for Putin.

– Bringing up the situation of an imprisoned American was perhaps the least sensitive thing he could bring up, if he were to challenge Putin. Releasing a fellow countryman is something everyone in the US can get behind, he tells the newspaper.

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– Everyone knows it’s a lie

Conditions for independent, critical journalists in Russia are dire, and several new laws have been introduced in Russia since the start of the war that make it possible to prosecute them.

– They are called foreign agents and seen as someone who plays on other people’s interests – like Western interests. In Putin’s world view, there is no independent journalism or objective information. There are always other interests behind it, Inna Sangadzhieva of the Helsinki Committee told VG yesterday.

RUSSIA EXPERT: Inna Sangadzhieva in the Helsinki Committee Photo: Ole Kristian Strøm / VG

The journalist Olesia Krivtsova was prosecuted in Russia for activism against the war. Today she lives and works in exile in Norway.

– I think Putin has conducted these interviews to show that he is open to the press – including the Western press. In its own way, the Kremlin is trying to show that it is open to mass media and does not censor. But everyone knows that this is a lie, she told VG yesterday.

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