Tucker Carlson humiliated by Vladimir Putin not once, but twice

Putin aspired to use Tucker, but it didn't work for him, and he threw him aside, shattering him in the process.

Tucker Carlson's interview with Vladimir Putin was not the media event of the year as many expected. In fact, quite the opposite: it was rather disappointing. Tucker had a great opportunity and blew it, in large part because of his unwillingness to confront someone he clearly wanted to please. And that was Tucker's problem: his admiration for Putin is so evident that his emotions got the best of him. He was not a journalist but a groupie.

His groupie attitude worked against him. Putin knew that by granting the interview to the most important journalist on the American right, he had a great opportunity to persuade an audience frustrated with his government and also very willing to allow itself to be courted by enemies of this White House. For that, Putin needed a like-minded but tough journalist who would give him the opportunity to persuade rather than expose. To the disappointment of everyone–even Putin himself–it did not happen.

Tucker's almost childish exaltation was exposed and Putin, no longer trying to persuade, took advantage of the moment to humiliate him. He did this, of course, as an admirable display of strength and determination in front of a journalist who prides himself on being like-minded. It was a cruel demonstration of superiority in the face of the cordiality of a man who has been diminished, despite being one of the most important journalists in his country (and the world). And he humiliated him not once, but twice.

First, Putin gave the impression over the course of the interview that Tucker was not taking it seriously. He was clearly frustrated by the  questions. Then he challenged him by airing what could be seen as a sign of respect: acknowledging that Tucker Carlson had applied to serve in U.S. intelligence. However, he goes on to say that, fortunately, Carlson was rejected. Though said with a tongue-in-cheek tone, he rather unsubtly called Tucker mediocre.

Later, Putin twisted the knife. In a local interview, he told a reporter that Tucker had done a bad job. That it seemed to him that he had been too complacent, too fragile.

"I honestly thought that he was going to be more aggressive and ask tough questions. I wanted that, because I would have given tough answers back. ... To be frank, I didn't get much pleasure from this interview," Putin said.

Catastrophic. Putin danced on Tucker's grave. Tucker's tone of flattery was of no use to him. Putin aspired to use Tucker, but it didn't work for him, and he threw him aside. He shattered him. He was disappointed, of course, that Tucker was unable to control his impulses and did not understand that sitting in front of him was a man with whom he did not have to be accommodating.

We, the audience, are left wanting a real, intelligent journalist, like Tucker is supposed to be, to stand up to Putin and ask him about every crime he has committed. The despot deserves to explain himself and give those supposedly tough answers that would be provoked by tough questions.