A foreign government secretly ordered media outlets to regularly cover a U.S. TV celebrity on March 3.
Moscow recently made it compulsory for Russian media organizations to circulate one Fox News talk show and current affairs program.
“It is essential to use as much as possible fragments of broadcasts of the popular Fox News host, Tucker Carlson,” a leaked memo said.
In the document entitled “For media and commentators (recommendations for coverage of events as of 03.03),” the Russian Department of Information and Telecommunications Support applauded Carlson for openly resisting the Joe Biden administration’s sanctions to contain Russia’s proposed invasion of Ukraine.
“[Carlson] sharply criticizes the actions of the United States [and] NATO, their negative role in unleashing the conflict in Ukraine, [and] the defiantly provocative behavior from the leadership of the Western countries and NATO towards the Russian Federation and towards President Putin, personally,” the memo said according to PoliticusUS.
The Kremlin then repeated the host’s rhetorical question about whether America would do the same, if a “situation developed” in Mexico or Canada.
“Russia is only protecting its interests and security,” the memo said.
The department separately accused foreign powers of allowing extreme emotion to guide policy decision-making.
“Hysteria of the West had reached the inexplicable level,” the memo said. “They call for the killing of animals from Russia, tomorrow will they call for killing people from Russia?”
The document also encourages Russian media to report on the maximum 15-year jail penalty for spreading so-called “false” information about Russia-Ukraine border tension.
“This portion instructs Russian journalists to emphasize that these penalties apply to anyone who promotes news about Ukrainian military victories, or Russian attacks on civilian targets,” Mother Jones Washington bureau chief David Corn reported.
“Memos like this one have been regularly sent by Putin’s administration to media organizations during the war [and] independent media outlets in Russia have been forced to shut down since the start of the conflict,” he added.