While MAGA Republicans play to Donald Trump’s ego by carrying water for Russian president Vladimir Putin, we do things a little differently over here in Europe. Over here, there are real consequences for people who attempt to aid, comfort and provide platforms to psychopaths. Failed and fired former Fox “News” host Tucker Carlson is about to find this out.
I’m reluctant to speculate why we take Putin more seriously here than America does these days. Perhaps it’s because the Russian frontier is perilously closer. Perhaps it’s because Trump has no power here. Maybe it’s a combination of those and other things. But there’s a movement in the European Union to issue wee little Tuckums with a permanent European travel ban, and that travel ban comes with some serious teeth.
One European Parliament member put it this way to Newsweek: “Carlson wants to give a platform to someone accused of crimes of genocide — this is wrong. If Putin has something to say he needs to say it in front of the ICC [International Criminal Court]. At the same time, Carlson is not being a real journalist since he has clearly expressed his sympathy for the Russian regime and Putin and has constantly disparaged Ukraine, the victim of Russian aggression.”
Strong stuff. But wait, there’s more. Another high level source told Newsweek that Tucker Carlson “is no longer a newsman, but a propagandist for the most heinous regime on European soil and the one which is most dangerous to our peace and security. So, for such propaganda for a criminal regime, [Carlson] can end up on the list of sanctions.”
In America, where Carlson is known far better, he’s seen to be treated more as a harmless crank than a notorious, amoral criminal. Europe sees him as he is, an existential threat and an enemy of the people. When he messes with Europe he can expect swift and terrible consequences.
The mantle of naïveté isn’t exclusively American. That pendulum swings with history. For example FDR, far more than Churchill, saw Josef Stalin as the psychopathic monster and murderer that he was. But he also saw negotiations with the Russians as an essential means for ending World War II. Today there’s no reason whatsoever for playing footsie with Stalin’s latter-day moral equivalent.
Anyway, the interview has, as I write this, just been released. Carlson is reputed to be tolerant, often flattering. If you care to watch it (and I do not) you can see Tuckums commit more journalistic suicide on (where else?) that other fascistic outlet of Trump ego-appeasement, Elon Musk’s ex-Twitter “X.” Tucker can now expect to pay for that miscalculation. He’s about to find out what a real Kraken looks like. And, as ever, ladies and gentlemen, brothers and sisters, comrades and friends, stay safe.
Robert Harrington is an American expat living in Britain. He is a portrait painter.