Tucker Carlson's Comments On Russia Have The Internet Seeing Red

Tensions between Russia and Ukraine have started to escalate again following new security demands from Russia this week. The demands included wanting NATO to "pull troops and weapons from eastern Europe," reports Reuters, as well as ban Ukraine from joining. Russian President Vladimir Putin has also deployed more than 100,000 troops and is performing military exercises on Ukraine's land and sea borders, The New York Times reports. This is no ordinary exercise either; both Defense Department officials and experts on Russia have warned that a Russian invasion of Ukraine "has potential to start a conflict between Moscow and the West that could quickly escalate."

Whether the United States gets involved with the conflict has been the topic of heated debate across the internet and news talk shows this week as pundits weigh in with their opinion. So far, the State Department has only warned families of Americans working at the U.S. Embassy in Kyiv, the capital of Ukraine, to evacuate and urged U.S. citizens not to travel to Ukraine.

Fox News host Tucker Carlson is one of the loudest pro-Russia, anti-war voices on the right and has been for some time. Three years ago, of the conflict happening between Russia and Ukraine, Carlson asked, "Why do I care ... what is going on in the conflict between Ukraine and Russia? And I'm serious. Why do I care? Why shouldn't I root for Russia, which I am?"

This is why Tucker Carlson's pro-Russia stance has people angry

Much like he did a few years ago, Tucker Carlson is again asking why Americans should care about what's happening in Ukraine. He described the second largest country on the continent of Europe as "a pretty small country" in his show Thursday, going on to ask, "Why is any of this a profound concern of ours? Why would you even consider risking American lives or sending billions of dollars to stop [an invasion]?" His views on Ukraine and Russia haven't changed, and he's starting to get positive attention from Moscow for the support. The Daily Beast reports this messaging is completely in line with what's being broadcast across "Kremlin-funded state television" like Channel One and Rossiya-1.

Channel One, Russia's most-watched television network, and Rossiya-1, the second most-watched network in Russia, both aired a clip in which Carlson argued that Russia had every right to be angry at NATO's alleged involvement in Ukraine. Evgeny Popov, host of "60 Minutes," went so far as calling Carlson one of the "voices of truth and reason" who is being "silenced and marginalized" because of his pro-Russia stance. Ekaterina Kotrikadze of the Russian independent television network Dozhd, or TV Rain, said Tuesday of Carlson that he "is one of the brightest personalities of the American conservative television channel Fox News. Sometimes it seems that he attends advanced training courses at the Russian Foreign Ministry" because of the anti-war message Carlson has been sending to his viewers.

Tucker Carlson viewers are reaching out to the government

Americans who side with Tucker Carlson and the Kremlin on the issue of Ukraine have been reaching out to their government officials. New Jersey Congressman Tom Malinowski tweeted: "My office is now getting calls from talks who say they watch Tucker Carlson and are upset that we're not siding with Russia in its threats to invade Ukraine, and who want me to support Russia's 'reasonable' positions." One Twitter user responded to the tweet, saying only "Propaganda works" while another called Carlson and his supporters "traitors." 

Julia Davis, reporter for The Daily Beast, also responded to Malinowski, posting links to the times recently Russian state-controlled media used clips of Carlson, saying "Kremlin propagandists conclude: 'We hit the mark. Putin was heard. Bullseye.'" Davis continues that they believe this "proves they should continue influencing public opinion in the U.S." Her followers responded as harshly as Malinowski's, saying "Fox established itself as Russian State TV on U.S. soil years ago. They provide nonstop support for the Kremlin and Putin" and asking when the FCC — Federal Communications Commission — would take Tucker off the air.