Russia Is Not Happy About Tucker Carlson Leaving Fox News

Kremlin propagandists are mourning the departure of Carlson from Fox – and offering him jobs on Russian state TV.
tucker carlson russia fox news
PHOTO: AP Photo/Seth Wenig, File

Russian state media is mourning Tucker Carlson’s departure from Fox News, saying his ousting represents a betrayal of the conservative network’s values and suggesting the move was orchestrated by the White House.

Key propagandists said Fox had made a huge error in letting go of the man who had boosted pro-Vladimir Putin narratives, and hoped he would join the race to be US president.

“The United States media has lost its last remaining voice of reason,” read a Telegram message from Vladimir Solovyov, a prominent Kremlin propagandist and host on Russian state TV. 


Solovyov has repeatedly called for Moscow to bomb Western capitals in response to their support for Ukraine following Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine last year.

The Russian presenter continued: "You have our admiration and support in any endeavour you choose for yourself next, be it running for president of the United States (which you should totally do, by the way) or making an independent media project. 

“We'll happily offer you a job if you wish to carry on as a presenter and host! You are always welcome in Russia and Moscow, we wish you the best of luck.”

RT, formerly Russia Today, a Kremlin-funded news channel, repeated the offer of employment. A post on Twitter said Carlson would be able to “question more” if he joined the state broadcaster, echoing an RT advertising slogan.

The sentiment was shared not just by major state broadcasters but also on popular social media channels. 

The account “CarlsonTV” – which dubbed clips of Tucker Carlson Tonight into Russian and uploaded them to almost one million YouTube subscribers – said in a Telegram message that a “journalist of such magnitude” was sure to remain an influential figure.

Carlson enjoys huge popularity in Russia that goes back to well before the start of Moscow’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine, as his anti-White House diatribes have almost exactly echoed the Kremlin’s talking points.  

In December 2021, when Russia was amassing tanks near its borders with Ukraine but denying US warnings that it was preparing to invade, Carlson was adamant that Russia’s President Putin “just wants to keep his Western borders secure”.


As those tanks were preparing to attack in February last year, he repeated Putin’s claim that Ukraine was nothing more than a “client state of the United States State Department… Ukraine is not a democracy.”

Since then he has blamed the continued conflict on NATO and the West, and condemned bipartisan US military support for Kyiv.

“It might be worth asking yourself since it is getting pretty serious: ‘What is this really about?’” he asked in one show. “‘Why do I hate Putin so much? Has Putin ever called me a racist? Has he threatened to get me fired for disagreeing with him? Has he shipped every middle-class job in my town to Russia?’”

Carlson has called Crimea a “Russian port” and said it would be unreasonable for the peninsula to be returned to Kyiv as part of any peace settlement. Putin annexed the region in 2014 and it is internationally recognised as part of Ukraine.

As he echoed Russian talking points, Moscow made a concerted effort to amplify Carlson’s voice in state media.

Shortly after the start of the full-scale invasion, a Russian government agency reportedly instructed media outlets to use clips from his shows.

“It is essential to use as much as possible fragments of broadcasts of the popular Fox News host Tucker Carlson,” read a directive from the Russian department of information and telecommunications support, leaked to US outlet Mother Jones.


The note described the presenter as someone who “sharply criticises the actions of the United States [and] NATO, their negative role in unleashing the conflict in Ukraine, [and] the defiantly provocative behaviour from the leadership of the eastern countries and NATO towards the Russian Federation and towards President Putin, personally.”

But the appreciation goes deeper than just Carlson’s views on the invasion of Ukraine. 

His pronouncements on domestic politics – from Joe Biden’s “mental condition” and conspiracy theories about the January 6 Capitol attack, to condemnation of “woke” culture – play into a Kremlin-friendly narrative that the US is teetering on the verge of collapse, as opposed to stable and authoritarian Moscow.

He regularly uses the Soviet and Russian tactic of ‘Whataboutism’ – deflecting attacks on Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine, for example, by immediately shifting the focus onto other issues, such as the US invasion of Afghanistan. 

Carlson’s statements are often presented as news stories in themselves, framed as if they speak for the American people, such as “Tucker Carlson believes that Biden is lying about the Nord Stream 2 Pipeline sabotage.”

While the reasons for Carlson’s departure were not immediately clear, reports suggest that it is tied to Fox’s legal battle with Dominion Voting Systems, and his messages disparaging colleagues that came to light during the proceedings. 


Despite Carlson’s vocal support for Donald Trump during his presidency, texts released as part of the case showed the presenter saying: “I hate him passionately”.

A former senior booking producer, Abby Grossberg, also filed a suit claiming that she faced sexism and antisemitism while working on his show.

But in Russia, those controversies got little air time. 

According to Solovyov, the Russian state TV presenter, it was Carlson’s own “decision to quit working for Fox Corp.” 

Meanwhile Olesya Loseva, a host on the Russian state Channel 1, said: “It seems that the White House consented [to the departure]. Tucker Carlson demolished Biden’s policies every day.”

In reality, criticism of Biden’s approach to Ukraine is becoming increasingly mainstream – helped in part by Carlson’s show. 

Last month, Florida governor and Republican presidential contender Ron de Santis told Carlson that the conflict should not be a priority for Washington – which should focus instead on securing its own border with Mexico and threats from China.

"While the US has many vital national interests (...) becoming further entangled in a territorial dispute between Ukraine and Russia is not one of them," he said, echoing comments by Trump and some other Republican representatives. 

With Carlson deprived of his platform, for now, the Kremlin is likely to try and amplify those voices wherever it can find them.