Tucker slams reporters acting as ‘secret flack’ for Pentagon; O’Reilly goes to bat for Jennifer Griffin

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Fox News host Tucker Carlson and former network host Bill O’Reilly had opposite reactions to Fox News correspondent Jennifer Griffin accusing retired U.S. Army Col. Doug Macgregor of being an “apologist” for Russian President Vladimir Putin.

O’Reilly for his part chose to target Fox News for having allowed the so-called “apologist” to push pro-Putin propaganda in the first place. To hear him tell it, the Fox News of the past wouldn’t have allowed this. But sadly, the Fox News of the past is mostly no more, or so he argued.

“One thing that hasn’t changed is Jennifer Griffin, who is a spectacular Pentagon reporter. And Jennifer got a little upset over the weekend,” he said Tuesday, describing the viral scene of her referring to Macgregor as an “apologist.

After playing a clip of her remarks from Sunday, he argued that her “gutsy” pushback contrasts sharply with what usually happens these days on Fox News and other establishment networks.

It used to be that propagandists would be slapped down hard, and now they’re not. Not just on Fox, but on every television news program,” O’Reilly said.

“It doesn’t matter whether it’s the network morning shows, the late-night comedians, the cable news across the board – two left, one right – propaganda is just spat out there and the people running the shows are just sitting there going like this,” he continued, nodding his head in mock agreement.

“You can’t do that! That’s a disservice to the American people. You’ve got to know enough about the subject that you are involved with as an anchor or a host, that if somebody says something that’s propagandistic, you challenge. And that is what Jennifer Griffin was doing.”

Carlson responded quite differently. While inviting Macgregor back onto his show during the Tuesday edition of Fox News’ “Tucker Carlson Tonight” late Tuesday, he seemingly suggested that Griffin is the real propagandist — a propagandist for the military industrial complex, that is.

“We always start with retired Colonel Doug Macgregor. Unlike so many of the TV generals you see all day long, McGregor is not angling for a board seat at Raytheon. Unlike so many of the so-called reporters you see on television, he is not acting secretly as a flack for Lloyd Austin at the Pentagon,” he said.

“No, Doug Macgregor is an honest man. So we’re gonna start, in place of a long script tonight, with a conversation with Doug Macgregor about what is actually going on in Ukraine.”

Dovetailing back to Macgregor, was what he’d said actually “propagandistic,” or was it merely a truth that O’Reilly, Griffin and others like them refuse to acknowledge?

Speaking on Fox News’ “Sunday Night in America,” Macgregor had pointed out that Russian President Vladimir Putin has long complained about NATO’s encroachment into the territories adjacent to Russia.

“Well, Vladimir Putin is carrying through on something that he has been warning us about at least for the last 15 years, which is he will not tolerate U.S. forces or missiles on his borders. Much as we would not tolerate Russian missiles or troops in Cuba. And we ignored him and he finally acted. He was not going to allow Ukraine, under any circumstances, to join NATO,” he’d said.

Listen:

Despite O’Reilly’s complaints about “propaganda,” Macgregor’s point has been echoed dozens of times in the past by a spate of national security experts.

These experts include renowned diplomat and historian George Kennan, Nobel Peace Prize winner Henry Kissinger and “leading geopolitical scholar” John Mearsheimer, among many, many others:

Yet these days, anyone who dares to make this point is automatically labeled a Putin “apologist” or even a traitor. The accusations are stunningly similar to those that were leveled during the Russian collusion delusion hoax and conspiracy theory.

Another point that’s been dismissed by critics is the fact that last December, Russia requested written “security guarantees” from U.S. officials.

According to non-establishment journalist Michael Tracey, Putin’s “core grievances” were “Ukraine’s potential accession into NATO, the already-existing moves to facilitate ‘interoperability’ between the Ukraine military and the US/NATO, and the conversion of Ukraine since 2014 into a de facto US military outpost.”

Writing for Substack, Tracey argues that U.S. President Joe Biden could have allayed these concerns and thus potentially prevented the ongoing conflict in Ukraine. Yet the president chose to completely ignore Putin’s request.

This, the journalist writes, raises the following question: “[W]hy did the Biden Administration refuse to even consider giving Putin a ‘security guarantee’ on this key issue, to the point that they would evidently prefer to see a war of the kind that’s now been unleashed?”

And why, Tracey adds, have “the relevant decision-makers in the Biden Administration, the think tank-industrial complex, the war-drumming media” and others like Griffin and O’Reilly “been so adamantly opposed to even contemplating the possibility of giving Putin an assurance that NATO would not expand to Ukraine?”

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