Eddie Scarry of the Federalist corrects the record regarding American statements praising Russian strongman Vladimir Putin.

What is it about Russia and Vladimir Putin that forces the American national media to lie, make things up, and blurt out statements that have no basis in reality? The latest fiction is that Republicans and conservatives have a newfound affinity for Putin.

If you only watched MSNBC or read The New York Times, you’d be forgiven for holding the impression that all of Fox News and the Republican party have draped themselves in Russian flags and set up GoFundMes for the invasion of Ukraine. …

… [New York Times writer Emily Tamkin’s] argument might have been a little stronger if she included more searing examples of praise for Putin, like the time Trump called him a “master tactician.” Wait, sorry. That was actually how The New York Times itself described the Russian president in mid-February. And also in October 2020.

But Tamkin could have mentioned the time Tucker Carlson said in a monologue that there was a legitimate argument as to “whether Mr. Putin’s grievances had bases in fact, whether the United States and its allies were too cavalier in expanding NATO, [and] whether Russia was justified in believing that its security was compromised.” My bad. That was also the Times on Feb. 23.

J.D. Vance definitely did say, though, that Putin was “the most influential human being on the planet,” and also described him as “brilliant.” Never mind, that was David Brooks, one of the Times’ marquee columnists.

Thomas Friedman, another one of the paper’s dumb-but-still-famous writers, asserted last week that “America is not entirely innocent of fueling his [Putin’s] fires.”

If it’s “fawning praise” when Trump calls Putin “savvy,” what is it when our country’s most important (even if compulsively dishonest) news outlet calls him a “master tactician” and employs writers who blame the U.S. for instigating Russia’s invasion of Ukraine?