The one who states his case first seems right…

…until the other asks the right questions (Proverbs 18:17)

There is a furore over journalist Tucker Carlson’s as yet unaired interview with Vladimir Putin, though you may be unaware of it given its low profile on MSM. Yet social media is full of it, and the Telegraph online had a video of him filmed with a hidden camera by an obvious stooge in Moscow, Project Veritas fashion, as if there were anything secret about the trip. But Carlson expressed a wish to interview Putin back in his Fox News days, and the fact that it was blocked then is sufficient explanation for his determination to do so now he is independent and America’s highest-profile commentator.

Here, though, well-poisoning pieces from state-supporting media remind us what a shady, far-right, racist and transphobic conspiracy theorist and Putin apologist Tucker Carlson has always been, lest we were tempted to try and find the interview. I guess it’s unlikely to be aired on the BBC. But if (as some articles have claimed) Carlson really were the new Lord Haw-Haw or even the devil himself, an interview with President Putin is worthy of our attention.

More significantly than the pre-propaganda, America’s National Security Agency, and their political sock-puppets, have been darkly hinting that Carlson should not be allowed back into the country under some nebulous accusation of spying, or abetting an enemy (despite America’s insistence that it is not a belligerent in the Ukraine War, Ukraine not being in NATO and all). This sanction is not at all implausible nowadays, when one considers the fate of US nationals like Edward Snowden, foreigners like Julian Assange, or Britain’s illegal persecution of our own citizen, journalist Graham Phillips, for reporting from Donbas since 2014. Minor details like a US passport and legitimate visas are of little significance in our rules-based democracies.

I want to draw attention to just one aspect of this today, and that is is why an interview with Vladimir Putin should be major news at all. Given the number of interviews with Zelensky over the last two years, it ought to surprise us instead that we have heard nothing whatsoever directly from Putin since the start of the war, although we keep insisting it’s his war against Ukraine, not ours against Russia. This is, of course, because from the very beginning all news outlets from Russia have been strictly censored in our country. Political censorship in peacetime ought to be an immediate flag that were are not in a free country at all, but a totalitarian one.

This was brought home to me by one of the minority of Russiophobes at The Daily Sceptic constructing an imaginary Carlson interview full of “Putin talking points.” It took a moment to realise that this only makes sense because real Putin interviews, or speeches, are not easily available to us because of our political censorship. Indeed, there’s every chance that the mock-interview will be the closest most Westerners get to the actual one, apart from selected quotes taken out of context in the BBC news.

We are told that Russian people are afraid to voice opposition to their government, that Putin is a communist dictator, and that Russians have no access to non-state media. Friends will roll these facts out as they use Putin as their first candidate for the antichrist. They are unaware (because it is we who have no access to non-state media) that opposition to Ukraine policy is happily voiced in street interviews for Russian TV, that the 80%+ of Orthodox Christian Russians appreciate Putin for his shared support of the national faith (whilst Sunak has only 18% support and was never elected!), and that most Russians, at least in the cities, have full access to Western media.

On Quora, in reply to questions about this last point, it is notable that whilst Westerners reply that Russians are cut off from the world, numerous Russians with open access to Quora deny it. For example:

The usual sources of news are all available (I would be surprised if Western countries would block access to them for ex-USSR).
However, they are of little use – the amount of fake news about Ukraine-related events is overwhelming. As recently invented joke goes, “Google News” should be rebranded to “Google Fakes”.
In any case, other countries’ media is available, and even the fake news have some use – they allow to monitor the trends in those news’ producers’ plans.

Russians say they regularly follow both Western and Ukrainian news outlets as well as Russian – do you? That they are not simply FSB stooges was shown in an interesting series of “Vox Pop” street interviews in Moscow, on Sputnik, in which a number of articulate, and clearly uncoached, citizens showed familiarity with Tucker Carlson and his courage on a whole range on non-Ukraine topics, contrasted with other Western news outlets they followed.

Critics say that Russia has indeed tried to censor western sources like the BBC. But in the first place, we should not forget that Russia, unlike us, actually is in a hot war for its survival. You can be sure that, if the warmongers here managed to kick off a UK war with Russia, you would no longer be granted access to seditious material like this piece, and that I’d be in an internment camp somewhere! But in the second place, the healthy suspicion of State Media engendered under Soviet Communism (would that we had learned it here!) makes Russians the most frequent users of VPNs in the world. Russia could not keep the Western news from its people even if it wanted to. And when only 18% of people even here trust our press, Putin has little to fear from letting his people access it.

The bottom line is this: if we are being told that we (or our grandchildren, in my case) may soon be conscripted to die fighting “the evil Putin,” we surely ought to have been given the chance to assess for ourselves just how evil he, and his country, is. To have selective quotes, mocking photographs, and wild sabre-rattling against “the Soviets” (yes, politicians here failed to notice the collapse of the USSR thirty-two years ago!) fed to us by a state-censored media is just not good enough… but it’s all we’re going to get, it seems. That, and constant news of Putin’s terminal illnesses and his country’s economic collapse. Our regime really does, once more, smack of Orwell’s 1984, in which the endless war against Eurasia/Russia (or was it Eastasia/China?) was only known from a lying press and may not have existed at all in the real world.

Make no mistake, we are being groomed to treat a mythical version of Russia as our mortal enemy. Tucker Carlson’s interview will at least give us the opportunity to see and hear Valdimir Putin “face to face,” as it were, and to compare him with our own thoroughly trustworthy political sages like Joe Biden, Boris Johnson, Ursula von der Leyen, Justin Trudeau and so on. If the CIA don’t take down the channel or mysteriously disappear Carlson, the interview will no doubt appear here first. It will be worth watching.

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About Jon Garvey

Training in medicine (which was my career), social psychology and theology. Interests in most things, but especially the science-faith interface. The rest of my time, though, is spent writing, playing and recording music.
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7 Responses to The one who states his case first seems right…

  1. Robert Byers says:

    Interesting. I didn’t know the story. Yes all leaders should be interviewed. I see putin as the bad guy and tes evil for starting the killing business to get ones way. though I reject any Canadian support for Ukraine as to not be involved in the blood. tHey should stop and negotiate. Indeed if the case is great against Potin then why be afriad of his answeres, its a spirit of censorship once again from the bad people in our nations
    As said before the estanlishment which is left liberal opposition to putin is suspect. They didn’t care about the soviet Union. i imagine they dislike any decisions they are not in control of and opposing Putin is opposing conservatives or anyone they don’t like.
    they are right Putin is the bad aggresor but these are the same people who interfered in south africa to bring results they demanded by some force. Its more then opposition to old fashioned invadors. its a fraud. its about who rules the world.

    • Avatar photo Jon Garvey says:

      Nowadays it seems simplest to ask what the main stream media and our politicians are telling us, and assume the opposite is true. Very depressing.

      That’s of course an oversimplification – one takes into account what those same players are censoring or cancelling, and asks oneself why, usually with the same result.

      Occasionally it’s more complex – Israel/Palestine has certainly split opinions along different lines from most of the other controversies. But as in Ukraine, I’ve asked (and failed to get any coherent answers) from those who say the provocation from Hamas (or NATO) was intolerable, but Israel (or Russia) shouldn’t have responded as they did.

      My question is always simply “What would the correct response have been, to avoid the oft-promised Islamist destruction of the nation of Israel, or the Neocon oft-promised dismantling of Russia?”

      • Robert Byers says:

        yes important questions and about talking . not killing by any.
        In north america the media peopole are the same demographics as the establishment and both influence the political parties.
        there are few conservatives or republicans in the big media in america relative. however the conserrvative republicans are very morally and intellectually independent of the media establishment etc civilization. ur dies make sense when one knows the demographics and their influence on regular people who come from no camp.
        In your country we think here all are left wing except in economic matters. that was thachers accomplishment and a big fight.

  2. Avatar photo Jon Garvey says:

    Well, the full interview is here. It’s long, and very interesting to those not conditioned to the sound-byte mentality. Grab a beer, put your feet up, and listen.

    It says more or less what Putin has said in press-conferences and so on before, but is particularly interesting as a one-to-one with an American, as Putin shares, discreetly, personal conversations with US presidents. Note also the respect he has for his interviewer, even when Carlson is abrasive – compare and contrast to your own country’s leader.

    What intrigues me most is the headlines, “highlights” and so on in the Western press, which to anyone bothered to hear the original are clearly mostly spun as anti-Putin propaganda, even as they accuse Carlson of peddling Putin propaganda.

    An egregious example is GB News, ostensibly (and decreasingly) an “alternative” media channel. Both Anne Diamond and Nigel Farage spun the “Putin propaganda” line to the full, Diamond at least admitting that she hadn’t listened to the actual interview before broadcasting her conclusions. Yet the 2000+ comments (as of now) under the YouTube video of the GB news piece almost universally had taken the trouble to hear out the interview, and called out Diamond and Farage as MSM propagandists.

    It really does seem that the people are becoming able to think for themselves, and to do a bit of legwork in forming their views.

  3. shopwindows says:

    An intriguing watch. Amazing viewing numbers, 138 million with perhaps two people per screening, perhaps representing 1 in 24 adults on earth in about eighteen hours since release? Whatever, X has certainly performed remarkably.

    We must expect each combatant to present their case advantageously with subversive subtlety. How reliable are the narratives fed to us to secure jingoistic patriotism so oft condemned by the liberal elite? I couldn’t possibly conclude but it did jar that Putin appeared to be in fine fettle with albeit patently well thought through prepared arguments a reasonably spiky interlocutor at the end.

    He is clearly skilled at developing his negotiating position and the Mandy Rice Davies comment was of course highly relevant to much of his positioning, indeed he posed the question who benefits in relation to events which muddy thinking but there again this is not a tussle between an ageing leader and an expansionist enemy or is it?!

  4. shopwindows says:

    The bit on Yeltsin was interesting!!

    • Avatar photo Jon Garvey says:

      Not just the viewing figures, but the nature of the comments on all the platforms I’ve seen. In particular Westerners commenting on the vast difference between Putin and their own leaders.

      The supposedly independent TV station GB News did a couple of hit pieces on the interview, and found literally hundreds of commentators on the YouTube clip condemning them, cancelling their subscriptions and so on.

      In short, I’m astounded at how the interview has blown the lid off the whole Western narrative, and across the whole world, not least on a day when Biden tried to prove his mental competence and ended up confusing Mexico with Egypt.

      Related to that, it was interesting how the overwhelming flavour of the thousands of comments was, “Here is a chance for genuine peace.” Our leaders won’t rise to it, of course, but maybe the people will become an irresistible force against the machine.

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