Tucker Carlson, the conservative commentator who was too much even for Fox News, is drawing scrutiny from European Union (EU) lawmakers following his recent visit to Russia for an interview with Russian President Vladimir Putin.
The interview, released yesterday, has sparked conversations among EU officials about the possibility of imposing sanctions on Carlson, including a travel ban, as suggested by Guy Verhofstadt, a current member of the European Parliament and former Belgian Prime Minister.
Verhofstadt criticized Carlson for being “a mouthpiece” for both Donald Trump and Putin, highlighting the EU’s stance on sanctioning individuals aiding Putin, who is labeled a war criminal due to his actions in Ukraine.
“As Putin is a war criminal and the EU sanctions all who assist him in that effort, it seems logical that the External Action Service examine his case as well,” Verhofstadt told Newsweek on Wednesday.
The EU’s External Action Service (EAS), responsible for foreign policy and sanctions, requires substantial evidence before imposing sanctions, making the process complex and the outcome uncertain.
Diplomatic sources express that proving Carlson’s link to Moscow’s aggression might be challenging. Nevertheless, some MEPs, like Luis Garicano, align with Verhofstadt’s views, condemning Carlson’s journalistic integrity by labeling him a propagandist for Putin’s regime, accused of crimes against humanity by the International Criminal Court.
Carlson, who has made a name for himself spreading hate, racism, misinformation and lies on his now-defunct show, was kicked out of Fox News shortly after the network settled a lawsuit with Dominion Voting Systems for $787.5 million. Following his ouster and a few episodes on Elon Musk’s X, he recently launched his own platform which he called the Tucker Carlson Network.
Carlson defended his decision for the interview, stating his intention was not to endorse Putin but to inform Americans about the complexities of the Russia-Ukraine conflict, urging viewers to seek a deeper understanding regardless of their stance on Putin’s statements.
Critics argue that providing Putin a platform equates to endorsing a regime accused of severe human rights violations. The debate extends beyond EU sanctions to broader discussions on journalistic responsibility and the role of media in international conflicts. It is unclear based on his recent history if he believes that journalistic responsibility applies to him.
Carlson also needs all this free press for his new network. Last week he was in Alberta interviewing the Premier trying to create some chaos.
Carlson’s interview marks him as the first Western media figure, for obvious reasons, to directly engage with Putin since the onset of the Ukraine invasion. He also claims that he requested an interview with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.
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