Demonstrators assembled outside a venue in California at the weekend in protest against Tucker Carlson and his views on Russia.
The group took a stand outside the Awaken Church in San Marcos, near San Diego, where Carlson was holding a live event on Sunday evening.
Demonstrators held Ukrainian and American flags as well as placards with statements attacking Carlson for his comments on Russia and Ukraine in recent months. Children and adults were at the protest.
The conservative talk show host has long been accused of sympathizing with Russian president Vladimir Putin and his war against Ukraine, after alleging that Ukraine is “not even a democracy”.
“Why would we take Ukraine’s side and not Russia’s side? It’s a sincere question,” Carlson asked in November amid the Russian build-up of troops on the border with Ukraine. “Why would we take Ukraine’s side? Why wouldn’t we be on Russia’s side? I’m totally confused.”
Carlson, who said in 2019 that he was “rooting” for Russia, has also attacked Ukraine’s president Volodymyr Zelensky and described support for the country as “the largest political flash mob in American history” after war began on 24 February.
“He needs to change, he needs to show to the public and to the world and to himself that he is for life, for humans, for people, and [that] he has empathy and decency to take a right side,” one protester told reporters outside the Awaken Church.
“Your heartless message to [the] American people, who are the cradle of democracy, home of the brave, land of the free, is completely unacceptable, is completely unacceptable to anyone,” another argued.
Children’s shoes and baby strollers were displayed outside the San Marcos venue to represent the more than 150 confirmed children killed in the war by Russia, although analysts suggest that toll could be higher.
One sign read “Stop defending Putin’s lies”, while another said: “Zelensky is not a dictator”.
“A lot of the victims of this war are actually children,” another protester said, arguing: “Just last week we had more than 300 children that perished in this war and lost their lives, but this week is much more, we cannot even quantify.”
Of the four million or more Ukrainians who have fled their homes since war began on 24 February, more than half are children. Many have made their way to Poland.
“I’ve been watching Tucker quite a while now and I just feel his viewpoints are, you know, spot on”, said a woman attending the Awaken Church event in defense of the Fox News host.
Carlson has been forced to roll back some criticism of Ukraine and last month described Mr Putin as somebody who “seems to be evil”.
Russia’s foreign minister, Sergei Lavrov, has meanwhile praised Fox News for its coverage of the conflict and said: “If you take the United States, only Fox News is trying to present some alternative points of view”.
The Independent has approached Fox News for comment.
George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.