Now that The Former Guy has been deplatformed for months (hasn't life been grand?) you'd think poor Vladimir Putin has less opportunity to get his propaganda into Americans' ears. Not so, say Clint Watts and Nicolle Wallace. That's right, kids, Vlad still has Tucker Carlson, with his massive audience and penchant for white grievance, that makes him the perfect candidate to pick up the slack.
Wallace asked Watts, former FBI counterterrorism expert, what to make of it when Putin and Carlson "peddle the same disinformation about the insurrection and somehow posit Ashli Babbitt as a victim of something?" Watts explained that Putin is employing something called "active measures."
"The goal of, it's called active measures, is to win through the force of politics rather than the politics of force," Watts said. "The goal is to identify people with outsized audience inside the target (the United States) who can then amplify your message. No one does that currently better than Tucker Carlson does for Putin and his message."
We've been saying for years that getting rid of Trump was only part of the battle. Here's Clint Watts confirming it.
"If I were to rewind four years I would be talking about the Russian system, Putin, the Kremlin and Julian Assange. Today, it's the Russian system and Tucker Carlson. That's that bridge that brings the messaging from Moscow into America," Watts said.
He wondered how Tuckems could think that was a bright idea, given he may actually need the FBI, law enforcement, and the government at some point. "So, they're making conspiracies about the fundamentals of government that they rely on, and oh, by the way, we want to believe in elections next time because let me guess. The GOP is going to win some elections and they don't want that same reverse playbook played against them."
Wallace wanted to understand why Carlson would take Trump's position of subservience to Putin. Watts' guess is that he simply agrees with it.
"It comes down to, does he believe what he's saying or not? Tucker Carlson, in this case. Does he believe what he's saying, or just doing it to play to the message of president Trump's base, which always liked white nationalist messages? Very consistent. The 'America First' strain that came in was a white nationalist message that we could see tracking all the way from Europe back to 2014, 15, 16," Watts said.
"So does Tucker Carlson do it because he just wants to create a lot of churn in the audience, or does he do it because he believes it? The more I watch his show over time I don't think he's just doing it for the audience, I think it's what he actually believes, which is, it is fascist and authoritarian in its outlook and the way it's conducted."
Watts finished up with the conundrum of why Carlson would denigrate the law and order agencies he so desperately has clung to in the past for legitimacy and power, but honestly, do we expect white supremacists to make sense or good use of logic?