This week, Tucker Carlson led a meeting with Vladimir Putin for his show on X. The interview, which lasted more than two hours, was ostensibly an attempt to interview the Russian leader about the war in Ukraine. Instead, Putin launched into a lengthy digression about his own version of Russian history before demolishing Carlson to his face.
I will say this: this interview is by far the funniest thing I've seen all year. Granted, it's only been six weeks since the start of 2024, but Carlson's awkward and weird conversation with the Russian autocrat made me laugh on several occasions.
There are several levels of humor. On the one hand, Carlson was forced to go to the Kremlin to conduct this interview. This context, in itself, is funny. Tucker is summoned to his interview subject's royal palace, hoping, I'm sure, for an informative and exciting discussion that would lend itself well to his style of alternative/right-wing/infotainment web content. Instead, he was treated to a comically boring history lesson on national borders and a steady stream of insults. The stunned and confused look on Carlson's face as Putin kept droning on is truly something to savor:
That said, Tucker did his best to get something commercially viable out of his conversation. However, at almost every turn, Putin has undermined these attempts, choosing instead to mock Carlson and make him look like an idiot.
One of the most memorable examples was when Putin told Carlson, in layman's terms, that he was obviously too stupid to get a job at the CIA (which Carlson ironically attempted to do before becoming an anti-Deep State accomplice):
At another point, Carlson asked Putin if he saw God's design in world political affairs. With a bored look that seemed to imply he was speaking to someone with a below-average IQ, Putin simply said “no” before explaining that international laws governed world events, not a deity.
There are obviously many things that can be said about Vladimir Putin, but the fact that he is unintelligent is not one of them. Putin's attitude throughout the interview with Carlson is more or less that of a man trying to explain algebra to a goat.
The memes inspired by the episode were numerous and hilarious. I liked this one:
And this one:
And this one:
The fact that Carlson wanted to interview an influential world leader currently engaged in a brutal war is commendable, although it's hard not to think that Carlson's content is still beholden to a larger ideological narrative designed to annoy viewers without give them lots of context. I would like to see a good interview with Putin, even if this wasn't the case. Still, it made me laugh.