Skip to content

Sour grapes

The former Fox News host Tucker Carlson’s much touted sit-down with Vladimir Putin was many things.

It was damaging to global democracy, giving ammunition to the craven congressional Republicans who want to do Putin’s bidding by denying aid to Ukraine. It was boring, particularly given the Russian president’s long discourse, early in the two-hour slog, on his version of the history of the region.

And it was a priceless propaganda gift, helping Putin in every possible way with his messaging – internally in Russia, and externally to the world – about Ukraine. That started with Carlson’s introductory video message, recorded after the interview, urging his viewers on X (formerly Twitter) to see Putin above all as “sincere”.

If Putin had offered the interview to Margaret Sullivan – but of course he wouldn;t to one so inconsequential – then she’d have leapt at it.

That she wasn’t offered it is what grates, that as a print journo she’s just not important enough. Never, ever, underestimate the egos of American print journalists. They’re the real thing you know, Masters degrees in journalism and all.

12 thoughts on “Sour grapes”

  1. ’…wasn’t really a gesture of journalistic solidarity or a nod to democratic ideals about a free press.

    Instead, it was decency theater, poorly performed.’

    She’s a mind reader too?

  2. Of course, Maggie, as a Graun opinion writer, would have brought all her magnificent journalistic talents to bear and been highly critical and asked penetrating, incisive questions of the Russian leader, like “Who does your hair?” “How often do you work out to get such gorgeous abs?”

  3. To echo TMB, it’s impossible to imagine even some leftish equivalent of Tucker being allowed two hours with Biden. Or Sunak, or Starmer. Those guys, and many others in western politics, could not go two hours without giving themselves away. Nor could Putin. You just have to let them speak. A thing that most of our journalists cannot do, they make it about themselves, asking questions, interrupting.

    The traditional print or broadcast journos have missed the arrival of the long-form interview. Unedited, let the chips fall where they may. People like Joe Rogan are destroying legacy media.

    It remains to be seen how Tucker will be punished for doing proper journalism.

  4. Dennis, Who Doesn't Give A Shit About Your Outrage

    Nothing speaks to the worthlessness of “modern journalists” like this episode.

    Margaret Sullivan is more interested in flaunting her supposed moral superiority than actually doing real journalism. Her and the rest of the twats dominating print journalism.

    Next week in the Guardian: “Why are newspapers dying? It’s a Real Mystery”

  5. Btw, I watched the full interview so you don’t have to.

    It’s boring.

    All these journos are getting their knickers in a twist over nothing. Putin just talks, at length, about the same topics he’s been banging on about since 2007.

    It’s not exactly Frost vs Nixon, though I don’t think David Frost would have been ashamed of that interview. He’d have revelled in the scoop.

    More than anything else, it reminded me of the sort of multi-paragraph discussions Margaret Thatcher used to have on telly in the 1970’s. Putin is no Mrs T, but to Western eyes he comes across as a throwback to the days before politicians were trained to insult you with childish soundbites.

    Remember Parky had other adults on his chat show, and they talked about grown up things without anybody constantly interrupting or clapping like retarded seals? Good times. You could even smoke a fag on the telly in them days, because we were free.

  6. It’s boring.

    And isn’t that just the point? Putin isn’t an interesting man and has little of substance to say. Now that he’s had two hours to say it, we know. Job done.

  7. Longrider – Putin is a boring arsehole.

    I have a theory of geopolitics that rulers break down into either the boring arsehole, or the insane clown posse categories.

    Boring arseholes: Putin, Xi, those turban guys in Iran

    Insane Clown Posse: Biden, Trudeau, the EU, every MP who supports Net Zero, etc.

    Stalin was a boring arsehole, Trotsky was an insane clown. See also Major and Blair, respectively. Hitler was an insane clown. Boring arseholes are mostly content to oppress and rob you in the traditional ways, but clowns also have Big Ideas for you and the global weather system and the gender of your children and war on the Eastern Front and so on.

    Sometimes you get a rare breakthrough and a Magnificent Bastard seizes power (Trump, Milei, Thatcher) but that’s rare in a world dominated by boring arseholes and insane clowns.

  8. Steve,

    “I have a theory of geopolitics that rulers break down into either the boring arsehole, or the insane clown posse categories.

    Boring arseholes: Putin, Xi, those turban guys in Iran

    Insane Clown Posse: Biden, Trudeau, the EU, every MP who supports Net Zero, etc.”

    Power vs ego. Without getting into the economics of why, being the top dog in China, Russia, Iran is still a proper job with lots of real power. You run Iran or Russia, you get to own the oil and gas and dish out money to your friends. You get hot babe gymnasts willing to sleep with you because of the money and power. Lots of people in those countries want the job because of it, so to get the job, you have to be smart and ruthless.

    Powerful people tend not to be frivolous people. It’s in their nature. Frivolous people get destroyed long before the top.

    Western politics has no real money or power now, which is why it’s full of kept men, women and twinks who are either bored or like to make speeches. Men will make more money and shag more women if they run a small engineering company.

  9. Pelosi and co seem to be ok for money, could be nice if there was no money in politics at least then you might end up with people with some sort of principles and beliefs

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *