Welp, he did it. It’s done. Tucker posted his interview with Russian President Vladimir Putin yesterday evening. It clocked in at a whopping two hours and seven minutes, and even that was edited.

The two men mostly avoided incendiary topics, and they discussed nothing anyone could call a conspiracy theory. The closest Tucker got was asking Putin who blew up the Nordstream pipeline, to which Putin answered, “you, of course.” Was Putin joking? Or was he accusing the U.S.? It wasn’t clear, especially after Tucker joked back that he had an alibi that night.

It was amusing, but it was a dodge.

Whatever the intensely-skeptical liberal media was terrified would happen evidently did not happen, causing the high tide of corporate media hysteria to recede a little. I suppose they had fretted Putin would put a hex on them or, Kreskin-like, would mesmerize Berkeley into canceling drag day or something. While most corporate media are still calling the interview ‘propaganda’, at least the wailing that Tucker should be given the old Edward Snowden treatment trailed off. Well, slightly.

For example, the New York Times’s headline was not hysterical, not at all, omitted the word ‘propaganda’, and was almost even-handed:

It’s pretty remarkable, if you think about it, that this might be the very first time since the start of the war that New York Times readers have heard the Russian point of view. Which proved the interview’s profound success, but I’ll get to that in a second.

On the other hand, proving that you can’t please everybody, skeptical conservatives expressed disappointment with the interview, perhaps preferring that Tucker would’ve thrown caution to the wind, opened a ‘Ukraine biolabs’ can of whoop-ass, and broached other salacious subjects. But he didn’t, and Putin was even more restrained than Tucker, tip-toeing around topics that might trigger liberals, such as LGBTQ and trans policy, which Putin is famous for criticizing and usually never misses a chance to get his digs in.

So what was going on? Why all the delicacy?

They were careful because the interview wasn’t aimed at conservatives. Conservatives are already skeptical of the war, and we already disbelieve whatever we’re being told by the Biden Administration. The interview was aimed instead at moderate democrats and independents. Democrat partisans wouldn’t watch it even if Putin had described a secret cure for cancer — although ironically he discussed cancer (denied having it) and joked about a cure.

Here’s the take-away for thoughtful democrats: Putin isn’t a wild-eyed maniac; he’s thoughtful and intelligent. He isn’t crazy; he’s rational and has understandable reasons for what he’s doing, even if we don’t agree with his reasons. He isn’t unreasonable; he offered to negotiate peace and openly invited that discussion. He might be an enemy, but he’s not a chaos demon from the pits of Hell, like corporate media has always described him.

The message successfully penetrated that Putin is a sane leader with whom peace could possibly be negotiated, as the New York Times’ headline proved. Maybe it was just the right time for that optimistic message.

More subversively, and probably unintentionally, the interview also deeply undermined the Biden Administration, by starkly contrasting our two leaders. One leader looks and sounds like Grandpa Simpson, and the other leader looks and sounds like what you would expect a world leader to look and sound like. I won’t spoil it for you; you be the judge. But just:

I mean, right? You see it too, don’t you?