Renowned journalist Tucker Carlson interviewed Russian President Vladimir Putin Thursday. And in under 24 hours, it has 130 million impressions on X, formerly Twitter.
Tonight, Ezra reacts to the highly anticipated back and forth between the former KGB agent and his freedom-loving counterpart.
According to the censorship czars at YouTube and government-allied media, you're not allowed to hear from Putin because he's evil.
To a degree that's true because he's an authoritarian ruler. It's fair to call him a dictator, as the prospects of fully free and fair elections is negligible in Russia.
In the remnants of the former Soviet Union, the majority of journalists are government-controlled or government-funded. Those who criticize government narratives face incredible pushback from the regime, often 'disappearing' to quell dissenting views.
The war in Ukraine is likely not an exception to the rule. But Carlson braced turbulent waters to ask his justification for the military campaign.
Simply put, Putin asserts that Russia has a historic claim to parts of the Eastern bloc state. He suggests Russia is the rightful keeper of its history - not independent of, but a part of the former USSR.
In addition, Putin clapped back at Prime Minister Justin Trudeau for inviting a Ukrainian Nazi to Parliament. A volunteer of the Waffen SS who followed Hitler's Final Solution to exterminate the Jews, as well as the Russians and Poles, formerly of the USSR.
He also condemned Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskyy for applauding the Nazi foot soldier, Yaroslav Hunka.
A reporter asked Trudeau for his reaction, and he deflected. "Putin decided to invade a neighrbouring, sovereign nation, violating the territorial integrity of Ukraine." Trudeau then called the Russian leader a threat to free democracies around the globe.
"He will use whatever propaganda he can engage in ... but Canadians will not be fooled," claimed the Prime Minister.
On the topic of Zelenskyy, Putin claimed they had a peace deal on the table in the early stages of the war but to no avail. He suggests NATO and the United States kyboshed negotiations in pursuit of war.
The Russian dictator adds that he pulled back his troops to give his Ukrainian adversary breathing room to reach a permanent ceasefire. Two years later, and the fighting has reached a stalemate in Eastern Ukraine.
When asked when Putin had last spoken with U.S. President Joe Biden, Putin curtly said he did not know. "I cannot remember when I talked to him. I do not remember," he told Carlson.
"You don't remember?" posed the interviewer. "No," said Putin. "Why do I have to remember everything? I have my own things to do."
GUEST: Allum Bokhari, Managing director of Foundation for Freedom Online, on the rise of censorship in the media industry.