Fact Check: Tucker Carlson Did NOT Launch New Show On Russian TV In May 2024

Fact Check

  • by: Uliana Malashenko
Fact Check: Tucker Carlson Did NOT Launch New Show On Russian TV In May 2024 No New Show

Did former Fox News host Tucker Carlson launch a new show on Russian TV? No, that's not true: Tucker and his representatives have been denying that since 2023. Though multiple episodes of his shows, dubbed into Russian, continue to appear on a Russian state-owned streaming platform, they are not a brand-new product for Russia -- those episodes were previously broadcast on Carlson's website or X, formerly known as Twitter.

The story reappeared in a post (archived here) on Threads on May 21, 2024. It opened:

BREAKING: Tucker Carlson launches a show ... on Russian television.

This is not a joke or a parody.

Tucker Carlson is LITERALLY a paid Putin propagandist.

This is what it looked like at the time of writing:

Screenshot 2024-05-30 at 11.21.46 AM.png

(Source: Threads screenshot taken on Thu 15:21:46 2024 UTC)

While the Threads claim did not include any specifics about a purported show, using "BREAKING" and "launches" in the wording of the claim implied that such a production would be new.

The claim resurfaced on May 21, 2024, when Rossiyskaya Gazeta, the official newspaper of the Russian government, published an article (archived here) titled, as translated by Chrome:

Journalist Tucker Carlson's show appeared on Russian television.

The first paragraph stated:

The show of American journalist Tucker Carlson, who became famous when he was a presenter on Fox News, began appearing in translation on Russian television. Episodes can be found and watched on the 'Watch' platform (Smotrim.TV).

The article included a screenshot of the opening banner that appeared before each episode. It implied some form of explicit collaboration between Carlson and one of the Russian state-run TV channels, Russia 24:

Russia 24 and Carlson TV present.

It is not entirely clear why Rossiyskaya Gazeta brought that up in May 2024: by then, dubbed versions of Tucker's post-Fox News shows had been appearing on the state streaming platform Smotrim.ru (archived here) for months. The earliest episode found by Lead Stories was uploaded to the platform in September 2023 (archived here). It showed the logo of X, a social media platform Carlson utilized to distribute his content after being fired (archived here) from Fox News months earlier.

The rumor about Carlson's new show on Russian television also came into existence in 2023. At the time, the Financial Times (archived here) spotted an ad promoting its supposed launch on Russia 24.

Carlson denied any involvement in the alleged project. He told the Financial Times that year:

Of course I'm not hosting a show on Russian television. That's absurd.

In February 2024, the former Fox News host came to Moscow to interview Russian President Vladimir Putin, who later pointed out (archived here) that there were no difficult questions.

Given the tone of the interview and the previously circulated rumor, many online users saw the May 2024 article published by Rossiyskaya Gazeta as a confirmation that previously announced Carlson's new show finally materialized.

On May 21, 2024, Newsweek was one of the first English-language outlets to write an article about Carlson's show on Russian TV. Though the initially published version of the article did say that Carlson's dubbed videos were "not original content for Russian viewers," the article stated that it was a joint project.

But on the same day, CNN's media correspondent Hadas Gold (archived here) quoted Carlson on X, formerly known as Twitter, saying:

It's all fake obviously...

Tucker Carlson Network CEO Neil Patel also denied that on X (archived here):

The Tucker Carlson Network has not done any deals with state media in any country.

Newsweek updated (archived here) its article to incorporate statements from Carlson's side.

Even the Russian state news agency TASS (archived here) published an article refuting the claim that Carlson had launched a new show on Russian TV.

Yet, Carlson's shows continued to appear on Smotrim.ru. As of this writing, the latest available episode (archived here) was Carlson's interview with Eric Prince (archived here) published on Carlson's website on May 21, 2024. It was uploaded on Smotrim.ru four days later.

Lead Stories reached out to Carlson's representatives for additional comments. If we receive a response, this article will be updated as appropriate.

The same claim was previously reviewed by Reuters and USA Today.

Other Lead Stories fact checks mentioning Carlson can be found here.

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  Uliana Malashenko

Uliana Malashenko is a New York-based freelance writer and fact checker.

Read more about or contact Uliana Malashenko

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