Tucker Carlson may have been let go from his position at Fox News last year, but his efforts to be considered a real journalist and retain relevancy recently drove him all the way to Russia for an interview that's currently garnering massive virality (and memes) across the internet.
Carlson aired his interview with Russian President Vladimir Putin yesterday evening, with many viewers finding great amusement in how Putin took Carlson on a long historical tangent to explain why Russia considers Ukraine to be part of its territory amid the ongoing war.
Carlson has previously been accused of being too sympathetic to Russia, with some news outlets reporting that Russian intelligence is well aware of how they can use Carlson's anti-NATO programming in their favor.
News that Russians are jokingly celebrating "Tucker Carlson Day" is also doing Carlson no favors in dispelling rumors of his alleged pro-Russian and pro-Putin tilt.
When Did Tucker Carlson Announce His Interview With Putin?
Tucker Carlson announced his interview with Russian President Vladimir Putin on Tuesday, just two days before the interview took place. The Kremlin confirmed the news soon after Carlson's announcement, saying that they agreed to the interview due to Western media's supposedly "one-sided" coverage of the war in Ukraine.
Why I'm interviewing Vladimir Putin. pic.twitter.com/hqvXUZqvHX
— Tucker Carlson (@TuckerCarlson) February 6, 2024
Russia's government has previously informally endorsed Carlson's work, with a Russian agency releasing a memo to reporters back in 2022 encouraging them to use broadcasts from Carlson, due to his "sharp" criticism of the United States government and NATO.
When Did Tucker Carlson's Putin Interview Air, And What Did They Discuss?
Carlson's interview with Putin aired yesterday, February 8th, gathering roughly 130 million views on X / Twitter in less than a day.
The interview was two hours long, with Carlson asking Putin questions about his decision to invade Ukraine and his reasoning for doing so. The highly publicized interview was notably Putin's first public media appearance since the war in Ukraine
How Did People React To The Tucker-Putin Interview, And What Is "Tucker Carlson Day"?
Many Russians appeared to have found Carlson's interview with Putin hilarious, with some Russians on the internet sharing memes that joked about Carlson even being a Russian plant.
Some memes even showed Carlson being replaced by the Swedish cartoon character Karlsson, known in Russia as a mischievous, overconfident liar. Journalist David Gilbert posted one such example of such a meme, adding that the character is "much-loved" in Russia.
Why Are People Making Memes About Putin Giving Carlson A History Lesson?
Many viewers fixated on Carlson's opening question to Putin, one that sent the President into a long, rambling "lesson" about Eastern European history that stretched as far back as the 9th century.
Some viewers wondered if Carlson was hoping for a shorter answer that focused more on NATO's actions than it did on feudal times, but almost everyone agreed that Putin talking at Carlson for a large chunk of the interview was an objectively funny happenstance.
Some jokes about Putin's tangents compared his history lesson to someone recounting obscure Lord of the Rings lore, while others likened it to the President trying to explain the start of American Civil War by discussing the Middle Ages.
Jokes about Putin going "way back" did not relent as the day wore on. Some people found Putin's self-proclaimed reasoning for invading Ukraine to be rooted in practically prehistoric happenings, while others joked about his attempt to explain complex Eastern European history using sped-up lore videos.