Fox News: Putin Propaganda Primetime
Plus, Putin’s Crazy Days.
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WILLIAM SALETAN: Fox News: Putin Propaganda Primetime.
For seven months, Russia has waged a vicious war of aggression in Ukraine, killing thousands of civilians. To make matters worse, in the past two weeks, Vladimir Putin has illegally annexed parts of Ukraine and has once again threatened to use nuclear weapons. A principled American conservative TV network might advocate a muscular response to this behavior. At a minimum, it would tell the truth. But Fox News is unconstrained by such principles. In primetime hours, it has become a platform for propaganda that serves Putin and undercuts Ukraine.
During the day, you can find many Fox News hosts and guests who speak candidly about Putin’s war crimes and the importance of American resolve. But the hosts who control three of the four hours between 8:00 p.m. and midnight on the East Coast—Tucker Carlson, Laura Ingraham, and Greg Gutfeld—are peddling arguments that coincide with Putin’s interests. So are several other Fox hosts. Here’s what they’re telling the network’s viewers.
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CATHY YOUNG: Putin’s Crazy Days.
Every time you think the madness in Vladimir Putin’s Russia has reached its peak, it goes up another notch or two (or ten). The end of September and the start of October saw a dramatic escalation of insanity. First, Putin went on TV to declare that four occupied Ukrainian regions would immediately and irrevocably become a part of Russia after “referenda” conducted quite literally at gunpoint—and to deliver an anti-Western rant that dramatically illustrated the horseshoe theory of politics by rattling off a list of Western crimes that included everything from colonialism and the slave trade to the bombing of Hiroshima to same-sex marriage (“Parent No. 1 and Parent No. 2”) and multiple genders. Then, Putin’s mad dream of Novorossiya triumphant crashed in less than 24 hours when one of its cities, Lyman, was recaptured by Ukrainian troops—and Ukrainian forces continued their forward march to reclaim the lands Putin had just proclaimed to be Russian forever. Meanwhile, the mobilization effort meant to shore up Russian forces in Ukraine continues to be a disaster, with reports of elderly and sick men being called up—as well as female reservists who are single mothers with young children—and with claims that as many as 1.5 million uniforms and equipment packs have gone missing. And since the announcement of mobilization on September 21, as many as 700,000 people have left Russia.
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