Kremlin-friendly media outlets have reacted to the departure from Fox News of Tucker Carlson, with one Russian propagandist saying that he would be “welcome in Russia.”
The story that Carlson and Fox had “agreed to part ways,” in the network’s words, was widely reported in Russia, where he is a frequent point of reference for pro-Kremlin commentators.
Vladimir Solovyov, an anchor on the Russia 1 channel, urged Carlson to “come join us,” writing on his Telegram channel: “you don’t have to be afraid of taking the p*** out of Biden here.” Another message signed by his team on the nightly show said that the U.S. mainstream media “has lost its last remaining voice of reason.”
“You have our admiration and support in any endeavor,” it said in English, “be it running for president of the United States (which you should totally do, by the way) or making an independent media project.”
“We are happy to offer you a job,” as a host, the message added, “you are always welcome in Russia and in Moscow.”
Since the start of Vladimir Putin’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine, Russian state television has praised Carlson, often playing his soundbites—which often mirror Moscow’s rhetoric, criticizing American policy towards Russia and its military assistance for Ukraine.
Rossiskaya Gazyeta, the Russian government mouthpiece, wrote that “the phenomenon of Carlson for Fox News is difficult to overestimate,” and predicted that it will not spell the end of Carlson’s media career because “there are too many fans of his talent in the United States.”
Meanwhile, the Telegram channel of online news platform Mash described Carlson as “one of the most famous moderately pro-Russian commentators,” who “generally said that Russians and Americans have much more in common than differences.”
“Carlson condemned the (special military operation) but still supported the Russian Federation in many matters, considering the Ukrainian conflict to be our internal affair,” the post said.
Kremlin-backed RT, whose editor-in-chief Margarita Simonyan is a regular guest on Russian channels, where she condemns the West, tweeted: “hey @TuckerCarlson, you can always question more with @RT_com,” referring to the channel’s slogan.
It is unclear if Carlson’s departure is related to the recent lawsuit from Dominion Voting Systems, in which Fox News agreed to a $787 million settlement last week.
However, watchdog group Media Matters said in a media statement shared with Newsweek that while Carlson’s departure was significant, the network is still “the central propaganda arm of the GOP.”
“The Fox News audience is primed and ready to believe whatever lies and vitriol the next 8 o’clock hour host comes ready to spew,” Media Matters added.