Tucker Carlson launches new Twitter show with attack on Zelenskyy

In a 10-minute monologue, the former Fox News host peddles conspiracy theories and defends Vladimir Putin

Tucker Carlson was fired from his popular show on Fox News in April. Getty
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Ousted Fox News host Tucker Carlson has made his first appearance on his new show on Twitter, in which he disparaged Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, defended Russia's President Vladimir Putin and peddled conspiracy theories.

In a 10-minute monologue, published late on Tuesday, Carlson kicked off his video by accusing Ukrainian forces of destroying the Kakhovka dam in Ukraine, which flooded nearby cities and villages, forcing thousands to flee.

Ukraine said Russian forces had destroyed it, while Russia accused Ukraine of sabotaging it as part of a war tactic.

“So really, once the facts are coming in, it becomes much less of a mystery what might have happened to the dam,” Carlson said, “and a fair person would conclude that the Ukrainians probably blew it up, just as you would assume they blew up Nord Stream, the Russian natural gas pipeline last fall.”

Carlson went on to call Mr Zelenskyy a “sweaty and rat-like comedian-turned-oligarch” and “a persecutor of Christians”.

He added that, “it's not like Vladimir Putin is anxious to wage war on himself”.

Later, he asked a series of rhetorical questions on issues surrounded by conspiracy theories – potentially in a hint of future show topics.

“What exactly happened on 9/11? Well, it’s still classified,” he said. “How did Jeffrey Epstein make all that money? How did he die? How about JFK and so endlessly on.”

Carlson was fired from his popular show in April after the Fox Corporation settled a defamation lawsuit for $787.5 million with Dominion Voting Systems over the spreading of falsehoods about the results of the 2020 presidential election. The former Fox host decried the election as fraudulent on his show – though privately expressed scepticism.

Last month, he announced he would relaunch his show on Twitter, called Tucker on Twitter.

“As of today, we have come to Twitter, which we hope will be the short wave radio under the blankets,” Carlson said.

“We’re told there are no gatekeepers here. If that turns out to be false, we’ll leave. But in the meantime, we’re grateful to be here.”

As of Wednesday afternoon, the video had been viewed more than 74 million times.

Elon Musk, who owns Twitter, retweeted the video and said it would be “great to have shows from all parts of the political spectrum on this platform”.

But others, such as Matthew Gertz, a senior fellow at progressive media watchdog Media Matters for America, blasted the video.

“That Tucker video is bleak,” Mr Gertz said in a tweet.

“It’s jarring how his schtick just does not work without the Fox bells-and-whistles. He was maybe the most powerful man in rw [right-wing] media; now he’s just another streamer with half-baked opinions peddling conspiracy theories.”

He signed off his first show by promising viewers: “We'll be back with much more very soon.”

Updated: June 07, 2023, 7:47 PM