Newsmax's little war on Fox News has even gone after the channel's current golden boy, Tucker Carlson, calling out his defense of Russia and leader Vladimir Putin for his aggressions toward Ukraine. Former NATO commander (and onetime Democratic presidential candidate!) Wesley Clark went after Carlson in a Dec. 13 column:
Last week, Fox News host Tucker Carlson made the surprising claim that Russian leader Vladimir Putin was justified in mobilizing military forces to threaten Ukraine.
Carlson’s comments betrayed a growing fault line in the Republican Party and American democracy itself.
The host went on to say that the buildup on the Russian-Ukrainian border was really NATO's fault for "tormenting" Putin.
Carlson is not only wrong in his analysis, but his claims have no basis in fact or history.
There are many in the GOP who still see Putin, rightly, as a danger to America and our interests.
But there are a growing number, like Carlson, who are embracing Putin, despite his near dictatorial control of Russia and his brutish menacing of his neighbors.
The next day, Dick Morris played the Hitler card:
Fox News’ lead host Tucker Carlson is behaving like the discredited appeasers of Adolf Hitler in the prelude to World War II.
The lesson of 1930s appeasement is that it does not work, does not gain peace, and leads to even greater tragedy.
Today, Carlson is making excuses for Russian strongman Vladimir Putin and his increasing threats against Ukraine.
Carlson even makes the fantastical claim that NATO has “tormented” Putin. He implies the North Atlantic alliance bears responsibility for a possible Russian invasion of Ukraine.
Morris reiterated this in a Dec. 15 appearance on Newsmax TV, in which he declared: "If Vladimir Putin is the new wave of Hitler gobbling up country after country and threatening everyone else, then Tucker Carlson is the new Neville Chamberlain, the appeaser who makes excuses for him and undermines the will of the democracy — which is to stand up against him."
Morris wrote another column bashing Carlson on Dec. 17, in which he did something he has rarely done in the past two decades, praised his former employer Bill Clinton:
I've been flooded with responses, almost all positive, since my recent column "Tucker Carlson's Putin Play Mirrors Hitler Appeasement."
It's indeed worrisome for many that Fox News’ lead host has become such an ardent defender of Vladimir Putin, criticizing the U.S. while defending the Russian dictator’s territorial ambitions by saying he "just wants to keep his western border secure."
When I advised President Bill Clinton during the 1990s, he always stressed that Ukraine was "the key" to stopping the emergence of a new Russian empire in Eastern Europe.
Clinton grasped that supporting a free Ukraine while admitting Poland and Hungary into NATO created a "land bridge" from Western Europe to the former Soviet empire.
Morris also repeated his Hitler comparison: "Like Putin, Hitler claimed repeatedly that his aggression was 'defensive' because of his need for secure borders. Amazingly, the Carlsons of the 1930s bought Hitler’s fantastical claims hook, line, and sinker, just as the Fox News host does today."
Newsmax TV host Grant Stinchfield took a, um, different approach, arguing that Carlson is "operating under duress" and suggesting that "the leftist leaders of this Trojan horse of a so called conservative network has compromised" him. Stinchfield offered no evidence that Fox News is run by "leftist leaders."