One thing that is a quotidian experience in the press is the lack of introspection. One would think that an industry charged with analyzing and researching issues and delivering fact-based news items would not be so prone to emotional outbursts and reactionary reporting. Instead we see on the regular these professionals lapsing into petulant screeds rooted in perceived justified outrage.
When Tucker Carlson delivered the announcement that he was going to Moscow and conducting a sit-down interview with Vladamir Putin, the collective media meltdown was something to behold. It has been fun to watch the unraveling taking place, just over the announcement of an interview set to happen – not over the interview results. The “How dare he?!” reaction has been pathetic and mirthful. We are seeing a bevy of journalists suggesting it is outrageous for Tucker to sit with a leader of a totalitarian regime.
[Sidenote: Not to be outdone, Newsweek has announced that it is possible the European Union is seeking to levy travel restrictions on Tucker over this interview.]
Then — in deeply amusing timing — Lester Holt on “NBC News Nightly News” came out Tuesday evening with his interview with Iran’s ambassador. This comes on the heels of Holt having an interview with the President of Iran last fall. The lack of fainting couch gasp-and-swoon pearl-clutching over his meetings has been telling.
At CNN, Abby Phillip appeared to have a near breakdown as she took Carlson to task over daring to sit with Putin, saying he is not a journalist. Phillip might have been outdone, however, by her cohort, Erin Burnett. Just watch as Erin seems to need to check her rage as she delivers this lengthy attack on Carlson’s visit.
COMPLETE MELTDOWN: In case you missed this last night, struggling with the ratings @CNN anchor Erin Burnett (@ErinBurnett) viciously attacked Tucker Carlson for daring to travel to Moscow to interview Vladimir Putin. WATCH! pic.twitter.com/jTErPtCqJx
— Simon Ateba (@simonateba) February 6, 2024
Precious. Just bear in mind when watching that clip or seeing any of the other harsh reactions, all this pent-up anger is over an interview they have yet to witness. Echoing the charge of Tucker lacking journalistic credibility was Anne Applebaum of The Atlantic, calling him a “propagandist.” Here is a question for Anne, those at CNN, and many others questioning his veracity as a journalist: Did any of you hold this same standard for anyone who pushed the Russian Collusion narrative – for years? (In Applebaum’s case, I’ll just assume this is a resounding “No” on the matter.)
I’d like to hear some more about those in the media who are propagandists… https://t.co/kvqKBfmoVs pic.twitter.com/k1YfUxwLFl
— Brad Slager: Flips On The Highbeams In Fog Of War (@MartiniShark) February 7, 2024
It needs to be noted that this outrage festival is not about the interviewing of Putin. Many journalists have come forward to declare they have long been requesting an interview with the Russian leader. This is about it being Tucker who landed face time with the Russian leader, and the assumptions that he will allow Putin to spew his version of the conflict in Ukraine is what rankles so many.
Consider that for a moment, Tucker, in an interview, might allow his subject to speak their mind. That so many in the press lose sight of how that is actually the intent of an interview — to get information from the individual — is revealing. The press feels they need to control the discussion, debate their subject directly, and even manipulate the playback via editing to control the narrative. If Tucker conducts this interview in his noted manner, which is to allow the person to open up and talk freely, it will be perceived he is promoting or supporting Putin’s views.
Of all the journalists I have seen weighing in on this development, Terry Moran has the most sober approach — and possibly he is the lone example. Get this – he suggests we sit back and…wait for the results before delivering commentary. What a novel concept: awaiting the delivery of content before delivering criticism of the content.
For what it’s worth, I’ve got no problem with Tucker Carlson interviewing Putin.
I questioned Putin a few years back at one of his annual “press conferences.” It was a moment.
So let’s see what Carlson gets. The proof of the pudding is in the eating.
— Terry Moran 🇺🇸 (@TerryMoran) February 7, 2024
Seeing as how Mr. Moran is in the minority with this practice, it says as much about the press as they seem to think Putin will say in Tucker’s interview.