With Tucker Carlson out at Fox, what remains are the usual neocon "talk radio personalities" drawing large viewership at the network, namely Sean Hannity, Mark Levin, and some other lesser names. While long advancing conservative domestic policies and fighting the "culture wars", their foreign policy messaging really hasn't changed in decades—having more in common with George W. Bush, Hillary Clinton, Tom Cotton, or even Barack Obama.
So when someone with the 'outsider' views of the fiercely independent Democratic presidential candidate Robert Kennedy Jr squares up against someone like Hannity (who for years has donned a CIA pin while on air) in a one-on-one interview, fireworks ensue. That's exactly what happened when the issue of Ukraine became a focal point during a town hall event Tuesday. It also didn't take long for RFK Jr. to win over the crowd. Hannity wasn't happy that RFK was "blaming America's role in this" for the Ukraine crisis...
Bobby Kennedy Jr had the Fox News audience on his side all night.— Citizen Free Press (@CitizenFreePres) July 26, 2023
"You do not need to make an enemy out of Russia. We won the Cold War." pic.twitter.com/q6iiZ4n18M
Kennedy Jr. focused his comments on exposing NATO's role in pushing Moscow into a corner, given its historic expansion east and turning Ukraine into a proxy, but Hannity sought to interrupt him multiple times
"Because of our pushing the Ukraine into the war—" RFK had begun, before the Fox host interrupted with, "We pushed them into it or did Putin invade?"
According to the response:
"Well, let me answer your question," replied Kennedy Jr., who then accused the U.S. of sabotaging the Minsk agreements in 2014 and 2015, which aimed to end the Donbas war yet largely failed to stop the fighting between Russian separatists and Ukraine’s armed forces.
"Putin, in good faith, began withdrawing troops from the Ukraine. What happened? We sent Boris Johnson over there to torpedo it because we don’t want peace. We want the war with Russia," he argued, drawing applause from the audience.
Kennedy then harped on the clearly documented history of NATO expansion east, and further highlighted that Ukraine is undergoing NATO militarization right on Russia's border. There was also this moment:
Hannity: "Do you trust Putin? Why are you blaming America's role in this? Putin to me is an evil murdering dictator thug."
RFK Jr: "On two occasions the Russians tried to sign a peace agreement. You do not need to make an enemy out of Russia. We won the Cold War."
He also emphasized that Russia is going to do anything not to lose. "It would be like us losing a war to Mexico," RFK Jr. said. "They are not going to lose the war."
Hannity is not used to handling foreign policy arguments which break free of the narrow MSM parameters and establishment group think dialectic.
Hannity is so blatantly stupid it is astonishing. Nothing in his brain beyond memorized bumper stickers. How embarrassing that this is the best the MSM has to offer... https://t.co/QFhRoMcbkX— Daniel McAdams (@DanielLMcAdams) July 26, 2023
Left-wing activist and academic firebrand Cornel West, who is also running for president, recently made a similar argument on CNN, stunning the mainstream media show host Kaitlin Collins.