Newsmax’s Grant Stinchfield said Thursday that he doesn’t believe Fox News’ Tucker Carlson is defending Russian President Vladimir Putin of his own free will. Instead, he suggested, Carlson must have “liberal” bosses.
“Fox News’ lurch to the left is maddening for nearly every conservative, including myself, and I wonder now if the leftist leaders of this Trojan horse of a so-called conservative network have compromised Tucker Carlson,” Stinchfield said.
He went on, “Now, Tucker is a man that I have absolute, great respect for. The fact is, Tucker and I agree on most issues, which is why I’m baffled by his defense of Russia’s Vladimir Putin. Unless of course, is Tucker operating under duress? Why else would he proclaim something like this about NATO and Vladimir Putin?”
He rolled a clip of Carlson saying “NATO exists primarily to torment Vladimir Putin, who, whatever his many faults, has no intention of invading Western Europe.”
Stinchfield did say he agreed with Carlson’s assessment, but asked “who cares” what Putin thinks at all.
Carlson is the top-rated host in cable news and has been for some time. He regularly ruffles feathers with his commentary, which leads to the occasional boycott call, but he never backs down on his beliefs, controversial or otherwise. There is no evidence that Fox News executives or management have undergone a “lurch to the left” or that Carlson says anything he doesn’t want to say on the most successful show in cable news.
For a time in early 2021, Newsmax saw a slight ratings bump and former President Donald Trump heralded it as a successor to Fox News in the conservative media space, but by the middle of the year, its ratings had fallen dramatically. In all, Newsmax beat Fox News in just one metric in one time slot: In December of 2020, its 10 p.m. ET program got more viewers between the ages of 25 to 54 than the competing Fox News program at the time.