The recent interview between Fox News host Tucker Carlson and Russian President Vladimir Putin has sparked controversy and critique. In response, fellow Fox anchor Chris Wallace offered sharp condemnation regarding Carlson’s failure to challenge Putin’s narrative.

Wallace suggested Carlson’s passive approach amounted to providing a platform for propaganda rather than accountability. With tensions heightened around the war in Ukraine, media coverage has come under intense scrutiny. The two Fox hosts now find themselves at odds over journalistic standards and integrity in high-stakes interviews.

Chris Wallace Calls Out Tucker Carlson

Chris Wallace, former Fox News host and now with CNN, criticized Tucker Carlson for his softball interview with Russian President Vladimir Putin. Wallace argued Carlson failed to ask Putin tough questions about Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and war crimes.

Source: X

According to Wallace, Carlson “showed up in Moscow to interview Vladimir Putin. It turned out to be anything but an interview.” Wallace noted that “Putin droned on for two hours and seven minutes while Tucker sat there like an eager puppy. Occasionally, but rarely, he got in a question.”

Chris Wallace 2018 Interview vs Tucker Carlson 2024 Interview

Wallace pointed out that when he interviewed Putin in 2018, he directly asked, “Why is it that so many of the people that oppose Vladimir Putin end up dead or close to it?” Wallace accused Carlson of being a “useful idiot” who is “chasing MAGA’s affection for dictators.” He added, “Now he’s made a cynical decision to chase MAGA’s affection for dictators, and what better way to cash in than Putin’s Kremlin.”


In the two-hour interview, Putin defended Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, claiming Russia has historical claims to Ukraine dating back 800 years. Putin also blamed NATO expansion for straining relations with the West. However, when Carlson pushed back, asking what history had to do with “what happened two years ago,” Putin did not directly answer.

Carlson’s Toothless Interview With Putin

Carlson’s interview with Vladimir Putin failed to hold the Russian leader accountable for his country’s actions. Carlson pushed back against some of Putin’s historical claims but did not ask hard-hitting questions about Russia’s recent aggression.

Source: Gavriil Grigorov

As one commentator noted, Carlson failed to ask about “why Putin invaded a sovereign country, nothing about targeting civilians, nothing about Russian war crimes.” The interview stands in stark contrast with interviews Putin has given to other Western journalists, who have directly confronted him about Russia’s annexation of Crimea and support for pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine.

Key Moments From the Controversial Interview

Carlson’s line of questioning enabled Putin to defend Russia’s invasion of Ukraine at length. Putin argued that Russia has a historical claim to Crimea and parts of eastern Ukraine dating back to the 13th century. He cited the expansion of NATO as a reason for increased tensions with Western nations.

Source: Reddit

When asked if he had evidence that the CIA was involved in the explosion of the Nord Stream pipeline, Putin did not provide concrete proof but said, “We should look for someone who’s interested” and “has capabilities.” On the detention of Wall Street Journal reporter Evan Gershkovich, Putin expressed willingness to negotiate his release but reiterated that Russia believes Gershkovich obtained and shared confidential data, essentially acting as an agent of U.S. authorities.

Wallace: Interview Was a “Missed Opportunity

According to Wallace, Carlson’s interview amounted to little more than a “softball” exchange that avoided confronting Putin about Russia’s invasion of Ukraine or human rights abuses. Carlson asked few substantive questions, allowing Putin to deliver lengthy monologues defending Russian foreign policy aims.

Source: Edgard Garrido

Wallace contrasted Carlson’s interview with his own 2018 interview with Putin. Wallace had directly asked Putin about the suspicious deaths of Kremlin critics, pointedly inquiring, “Why is it that so many of the people that oppose Vladimir Putin end up dead or close to it?”

Criticism Mounts Against Carlson

Observers noted Carlson failed to ask Putin tough questions about Russia’s illegal annexation of Crimea or human rights abuses. Chris Wallace, a former Fox News colleague, slammed Carlson for not questioning Putin on “Why Putin invaded a sovereign country, nothing about targeting civilians, nothing about Russian war crimes.”

Source: Russian Defense Ministry Press Service

Some argue the interview gave Putin a platform to spread lies and misinformation about Russia’s objectives in Ukraine. In the interview, Putin claimed parts of Ukraine have “no historical connection” to the country, repeating propaganda he has spread since Russia invaded in 2014.

Critics Suggest Tougher Questions for Putin

Critics argue that Carlson’s interview amounted to a “publicity stunt” intended to generate controversy and increase viewership. By giving Putin an uncritical platform and failing to challenge his propaganda, Carlson acted as a “usefu l idiot” who spread misinformation, according to Wallace.

Source: Fayez Nureldine

The interview came amid Carlson’s repeated criticisms of U.S. military aid to Ukraine. Some analysts argue Carlson’s pro-Russian stance and promotion of Putin’s talking points demonstrate the dangers of prime-time cable news hosts spreading misinformation.

Putin Allowed to Spread Propaganda Unchallenged

The interview between Tucker Carlson and Vladimir Putin amounted to a platform for the Russian leader to spread propaganda unchallenged. According to Chris Wallace, the interview was “anything but”, and Carlson “sat there like an eager puppy” while Putin “droned on” for over two hours.

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The interview demonstrated how Putin exploits any platform given to spread misinformation and false narratives to justify Russian aggression and expansionism. By failing to hold Putin accountable or push back effectively against propaganda, the interview amounted to free publicity for the Russian leader and gave credence to his alternative reality.

Fallout for Fox News and Carlson

Following Carlson’s softball interview with Putin, Fox News and Carlson himself faced backlash and criticism over providing the authoritarian leader a platform to spread propaganda. Carlson’s former Fox News colleague Chris Wallace slammed the interview, calling it “anything but an interview.” Wallace argued that Carlson failed to ask Putin tough questions about topics such as invading Ukraine, targeting civilians, and Russian war crimes.

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The interview also highlights Carlson’s questionable coverage of Russia and Ukraine. Carlson has repeatedly downplayed Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and questioned U.S. support for Ukraine. In the past, Carlson has said he was “rooting for Russia” and that Ukraine is not a democracy.

An Insight into Carlson’s Interview Style

Wallace raised important questions about Carlson’s interview style and approach when speaking with Putin. His commentary highlights issues of accountability in journalism and interviewing controversial world leaders. While reasonable people may disagree on the best methods.

Source: YouTube

As debates continue over political divides and conflicting worldviews, thoughtful examinations of how public figures communicate across differences can provide value to audiences trying to make sense of complex issues.