Even Republicans Are Mocking Tucker’s Russian Propaganda

Tucker Carlson’s trip to a Russian grocery store—something he said “radicalized” him against U.S. leaders—drew critics from across the political spectrum, including a Republican senator and an MSNBC anchor.

After glorifying Moscow’s subway system with a classical music-dubbed montage, Carlson recounted his experience shopping, where his haul apparently ended up costing much less than he had anticipated.

“Coming to a Russian grocery store—the ‘heart of evil’—and seeing what things cost and how they live, it will radicalize you against our leaders,” the former Fox News host claimed. “That’s how I feel, anyway: radicalized. We’re not making any of this up, by the way. At all.”

Carlson has been in Russia to interview Vladimir Putin—the first sit-down the president has had with a Western media figure since he started the war against Ukraine two years ago. Putin has since complained that Carlson was too soft on him.

And Carlson’s shopping experience was more hostile to United States politicians than the one he had just spoken with.

“Everybody [in the crew] is from the United States … and we didn’t pay any attention to cost. We just put in the cart what we would actually eat over a week. We all [guessed] around 400 bucks. It was 104 dollars, U.S., here. And that’s when you start to realize that ideology doesn’t matter as much as you thought,” he said.

“If you take people’s standard of living and you tank it through filth and crime and inflation, and they literally can’t buy the groceries they want, at that point maybe it matters less what you say or whether you’re a ‘good person’ or a ‘bad person,’” he continued. “You’re wrecking people’s lives and their country. And that’s what our leaders have done to us.”

Yet Carlson’s spiel was soon mocked.

Sen. Thom Tillis (R-NC) chimed in sarcastically on X. “Ah yes, Russia is so much better than the U.S. with all those cheap groceries and lavish subway stations!” he wrote, adding: “The Soviets had a term for people like Tucker: useful idiots.”

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton applied that same term to Carlson in an interview last week, saying his Russia-friendly commentary may end up landing him a show on state media.

MSNBC anchor Chris Hayes also alluded to Carlson’s reaction, pointing out matter-of-factly that Americans will find the cost of items in a poorer country to be less than in the States. Tax Foundation Center senior economist Alan Cole did the same.

According to a survey published in July 2021 by Russian state media TASS, more than 60 percent of Russians spend half their income on groceries.

Carlson’s interaction with shopping carts at the store also drew criticism, with conservative group Republicans Against Trump commenting on X: “Man of the people Tucker Carlson flew all the way to Russia to discover shopping cart technology that America has had for decades.”

Matthew Gertz, a senior fellow at media watchdog group Media Matters, summed up on X what Carlson’s overseas visit showed about himself.

Carlson “prefers the aesthetics and policy outcomes of ethnonationalist, illiberal autocracies that punish immigrants and LGBTQ people to pluralist, liberal democracies that do not,” he wrote.

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