Tucker Carlson is increasingly inspiring Americans to side with Russia in the brewing Ukraine crisis, according to a US Congressman.
“My office is now getting calls from folks 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,” Tom Malinowski, a Democratic former diplomat and current representative for New Jersey, wrote on Twitter on Monday.
Mr Malinowski blamed the calls on the increasingly partisan news environment, where Mr Carlson regularly draws a massive audience on Fox News for his conservative commentary.
“People get their opinions by watching the news, that’s nothing new,” the New Jersey rep told The Hill. “What is new is we have at least one talk show host with a huge captive audience that is not exposed to any counter-programming elsewhere … I find that very concerning.”
The conservative news host has consistently questioned the need for US engagement in Ukraine, a country promised eventual membership in the US-led Nato alliance.
In an op-ed over the weekend, Mr Carlson said the discussions of a potential war in Ukraine involving the West stem from “a bipartisan coalition of neocons in Washington” that has been “recklessly stoking conflict”.
“We’re really going to fight a war over some corrupt Eastern European country that is strategically irrelevant to us? With everything else that’s going on right now in our own country? No normal person would ever want to do anything like that. How can it really happen?” Mr Carlson wrote in the piece.
The Fox host has also appeared to sympathise with the Russian view of the conflict, that the US is attempting to intervene too heavily in the affairs of one of Russia’s close neighbours, comparing the situation to a hypothetical where Mexico falls under the control of China.
Mr Carlson’s skepticism towards a US role in the situation has earned his clips regular placement on Russian state TV, as Daily Best columnist Julia Davis has noted.
The Independent has reached out to Fox News for comment.
The Pentagon has put 8,500 troops on heightened alert in Europe amid tensions with Russia, which previously invaded Ukraine in 2014 to annex the Crimea region.