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Why did Tucker Carlson make a star turn at Madrid's political protests?

The journalist Tucker Carlson and Santiago Abascal, leader of Spain’s far-right Vox party
The journalist Tucker Carlson and Santiago Abascal, leader of Spain’s far-right Vox party Copyright X Social media, formerly known as Twitter
Copyright X Social media, formerly known as Twitter
By Laura Llach
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Tucker Carlson, hero of the alt-right press and former Fox News host, made a star appearance at the Spanish protest along with Santiago Abascal, leader of Spain's far-right Vox party.

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It took an hour for Tucker Carlson, the "guru" of the ultra-right-wing press, and Santiago Abascal, leader of Spain’s far-right Vox party, to cross Madrid's Calle Ferraz.

It was the 11th day of protests against plans by acting Socialist Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez to secure another term in office by granting an amnesty to those who took part in the illegal and failed Catalan independence bid.

The former US anchor, who was fired by Fox News for spreading hoaxes and supporting the Capitol attack, surprised all the protesters gathered in Madrid.

No one was expecting him.

"Shall we take a picture with him?" was the most repeated phrase among the young people who recognised him.

His presence came on a key day for the Socialist Party, which had just registered the amnesty law in Congress and had announced the dates for the debate on Sánchez's investiture for next Wednesday and Thursday.

But why did Tucker Carlson make a star appearance at the Madrid protest?

US conservative political commentator Tucker Carlson speaks at the Turning Point Action USA conference.
US conservative political commentator Tucker Carlson speaks at the Turning Point Action USA conference.GIORGIO VIERA/AFP or licensors

What is Carlson doing in Madrid?

Before his dismissal in April, the American host of the most-watched show on cable television had become a major figurehead of the alternative right.

The 54-year-old journalist is one of its most controversial figures, having uttered phrases such as: "We have to be honest: running a country means killing people".

Since his dismissal, Carlson has had his own talk show on the social network X, formerly known as Twitter, where he has interviewed former president Donald Trump, among others.

It was on the same social network that Carlson announced that he was in Madrid, publishing a picture with the head of Vox in which he can be seen wearing a small microphone.

Vox sources told El Español that Carlson will interview Abascal this Tuesday and that their presence at the demonstration will be part of the images that will be broadcast alongside the interview.

"He wanted to see what was happening here and that is why they came. They contacted us because of the series of interviews he is doing," the Vox source told the Spanish media outlet.

On Monday, while Carlson and Abascal were being filmed, around 1,200 people took part in the demonstration, according to the government delegation. This was a decrease in comparison with the previous week.

Who has Carlson interviewed before?

Abascal is not the only ultra figure the host has wanted to meet.

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The interview he recently conducted with the controversial ultra candidate for the Argentine presidency, Javier Milei, became the most viewed interview in the history of the X social network.

During the interview, the Argentinian politician accused Pope Francis of "siding with bloody dictatorships".

He also met with Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán, who claimed that the only way to end the war in Ukraine was to re-elect Donald Trump as US president.

"The Russians are much stronger, much more numerous than the Ukrainians," the Hungarian prime minister said. "Call back Trump. ... Trump is the man who can save the Western world."

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