Premier Danielle Smith to join controversial right-wing commentator Tucker Carlson on Calgary stage

Fired for being too controversial for FOX News, which former U.S. Television personality is coming to Calgary to chat with Alberta’s Premier Danielle Smith? Henna Saeed finds out.

Premier Danielle Smith is set to join the stage in conversation with controversial right-wing political commentator Tucker Carlson in Calgary come January.

According to Carlson’s website, an iteration of ‘Tucker Carlson Live’ will come to Calgary’s TELUS Convention Centre on Jan. 24, 2024.

The itinerary shows the event will have a lunch, remarks by Carlson, a live question and answer with the commentator and W. Brett Wilson, followed by a conversation with Carlson and Smith.

Carlson was let go from Fox News after the broadcaster lost a defamation lawsuit which cost Fox over $787 million against dominion voting systems for claiming election fraud.

Since then, he has been hosting a show on X, formerly Twitter, where he continues to make controversial far-right allegations about world events.

He’s been accused of amplifying white nationalism and siding with Vladimir Putin over the Ukrainian invasion.

Mount Royal political science professor Duane Bratt says the fact that the premier is joining Carlson on stage doesn’t come as a surprise.

He noted she has a history of aligning herself with controversial figures, such as Take Back Alberta leader David Parker.

But, Bratt said this appearance could be particularly damning.

“He’s a big hero, he gets a lot of airtime on Russia Today. He has been a supporter of Russia’s efforts in Ukraine,” he said. “This is a province with a large Ukrainian population, many refugees have fled the war here — is that the issue that’s going to float up? I don’t know how you avoid that and does Smith get in trouble on that file as she’s done in the past?”

Brad Galloway with the Ontario Tech University Centre on hate, bias and extremism, says his decision to come to Alberta also doesn’t come at a surprise, saying there is definitely a demographic of people willing to pay to se him.

Tickets go on sale through Ticketmaster Wednesday, but the site indicates presales had started Tuesday morning.

Take Back Alberta founder and executive director David Parker said on social media Tuesday he already has some available for purchase.

Prices for the tickets via Ticketmaster weren’t immediately available, although the sliding scale on the website suggests they start at $224.

In a statement to CityNews, the premier’s office says Smith regularly does interviews with people who have beliefs she doesn’t agree with.

“The premier participates in a variety of public and private events and does interviews with dozens of reporters, broadcasters, and podcasters from across the political spectrum,” press secretary Sam Blackett told CityNews. “Obviously, she does not subscribe to every view of every interviewer or reporter she speaks with whether that’s the CBC, the Toronto Star, or Tucker Carlson.

“The premier aims to share Alberta’s message with as many people as possible whether they’re from Alberta, Canada, or around the world.”

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