- In September, Tucker Carlson interviewed Javier Milei, strengthening his candidacy.
- Milei is a far-right instigator and showman, who has been compared by some to Donald Trump.
- Carlson’s seeks to promote cooperation among conservative movements around the world
After Sunday’s election of far-right outsider Javier Milea as president of Argentina, former Fox News host Tucker Carlson emerged victorious.
Carlson posted a photo of himself posing with Milei, whose candidacy he boosted by interviewing him for his September show on X.
In the interview, Milei echoed former US President Donald Trump’s rhetoric, questioning the climate crisis, calling on right-wingers to wage culture wars against liberals and promising to cut government spending to curb Argentina’s skyrocketing inflation.
The interview was part of a broader promotion plan for Carlson cooperation of conservatives from all over the world, AJ Bauersaid the assistant professor of journalism at the University of Alabama Reuters Institute.
Milei, a libertarian economist and television personality, was considered an outsider when he announced his candidacy to lead South America’s second-largest nation.
Conspiracy theories, media stunts and a promise to deal with Argentina’s growing economic problems through radical measures, such as adopting the US dollar as the national currency, contributed to his victory.
His candidacy was initially compared to Trump, another outsider with a quirky personality who defied all odds to win the 2016 US presidential election.
Since being fired by Fox News in 2022, Carlson has been building his own media brand at X, interviewing candidates and far-right leaders including Viktor Orbán of Hungary, Jair Bolsonaro of Brazil and Nayib Bukele of El Salvador.
While he doesn’t attract as much attention from mainstream conservative audiences as he did during his time at Fox, he is still among the most influential far-right media figures in the world, and his interview with Milei has been viewed 423 million times at the time of publication.
“He probably knows he’s reaching a more niche audience,” Bauer told the Reuters Institute. “Even in this position, he can still play a really important role in setting the agenda, saying, ‘Hey, you may not have heard about what’s going on in Argentina, but this guy has some interesting ideas that maybe we should apply here in the US .'”
Carlson maintains a close relationship with Trump, who is eager to return to the political stage in 2024 and chose to be interviewed on Carlson’s show rather than participate in August’s Republican primary.
In an attempt to fan the flames of the global far-right, Carlson will likely hope that Milea’s victory will be the first of a new wave of victories similar to the one that brought Trump to power in 2016.
Critics, however, claim that Milea’s radical solutions are unlikely to survive contact with reality. He could suffer the same political fate as his allies and political soul mates Trump and Bolsonaro, and could be removed from office after one term.
“Hold on to your hat,” Benjamin Gedan, director of the Latin America Program at the Wilson Center in Washington, told The Associated Press.
“Milei has recently toned down his anti-establishment rage and downplayed his more outlandish proposals, but it’s going to be a wild ride given his combative style, inexperience and the few allies he has in Congress.”