Recently, there has been a growing concern around the world of Russia’s aggressive plans to potentially invade Ukraine, a former Soviet republic. Russian officials argue that Ukraine had been rightfully theirs ever since the fall of the soviet union in 1991. Currently, Russia has sent approximately 100,000 soldiers to the Russia-Ukraine border, despite Russian President Vladimir Putin claiming that Russia was not planning on attacking Ukraine. Historically, Russian communications with the U.S have been murky and rarely transparent, so it is explainable why U.S officials distrust Putin’s recent claims.
It is understandable for most to see why the U.S is siding with Ukraine; however, American right-wing news outlets such as Fox News, have argued in favor of Russia. In recent years Fox News, a conservative television network, has moved towards the fringe of the conservative movement, with news anchors like Tucker Carlson questioning the vaccine and Sean Hannity calling the 2020 election stolen. At this point, Fox News is no longer sharing “Conservative ideologies,” instead spewing conspiracy theories and misleading statements. On his late-night talk show, Tucker Carlson Tonight, Carlson said, “Why is it disloyal to side with Russia but loyal to side with Ukraine?” It is insane how it has been normalized for networks such as Fox News to spread lies and illogical rhetoric in the past few years. Even more frightening is that Carlson’s millions of viewers consume their news in a vacuum and wholeheartedly believe the information fed to them on Carlson’s show. 20% of Republicans only consume news that is right leaning, such as fox news. (Pew Research Center) This move to radicalize the right had caused the GOP to quickly become more and more extreme, while still claiming to preach conservative ideals.
The Ukraine-Russia conflict is quickly changing every day, and it will be essential to make sure we get our news from a variety of credible sources. After all, consuming your news in a vacuum can create volatile conspiracy movements, as we all learned on January 6th of last year.