Marking 20 years
of bold journalism,
reader supported.

Please Advise! After Tucker Carlson, What’s Next for Danielle Smith?

It’s clear, says Dr. Steve. Toss in Putin and you’ve got a great vaudeville act.

Steve Burgess 13 Feb 2024The Tyee

Steve Burgess writes about politics and culture for The Tyee. Read his previous articles.

[Editor’s note: Steve Burgess is an accredited spin doctor with a PhD in Centrifugal Rhetoric from the University of SASE, situated on the lovely campus of PO Box 7650, Cayman Islands. In this space he dispenses PR advice to politicians, the rich and famous, the troubled and well-heeled, the wealthy and gullible.]

Dear Dr. Steve,

Alberta Premier Danielle Smith recently visited Washington, where she met with Republicans like senators Rand Paul and J.D. Vance. Vance has said that recent court decisions against Donald Trump have no validity because of “left-wing jurors” and Trump should be able to defy the Supreme Court, while Paul has said that Dr. Anthony Fauci should be put in jail.

This all comes after Smith’s public love-in with prominent Putin asset Tucker Carlson.

What's next for Smith?



Dear Jones,

Premier Smith seems to be getting a nice little vaudeville tour going. With Tucker Carlson making the rounds from Alberta to Moscow, we're looking at a circuit with a parade of right-wing stage acts: Marjorie Taylor Greene with her 101 Tasty Dalmatians; Texas Gov. Greg Abbott making the Statue of Liberty disappear (with dynamite); Rudy Giuliani asking “Is this your card? Yes it is, you liar!”; Pierre Poilievre sawing a woman in half and blaming Justin Trudeau... fun for the whole traditional heterosexual family.

After schmoozing onstage with Smith, Carlson went on to Moscow where he sat down with Russian President Vladimir Putin, who granted him an interview. Although “interview” may not be the right word for that spectacle. Humiliation? Bitch-slap? Prolonged wedgie? Carlson interviewed Putin like a naughty puppy interviews a rolled-up newspaper. Putin talked, Carlson sat. Putin insulted Carlson, Carlson squirmed. The former Fox star is lucky Putin didn't conclude by carving a prison tattoo on his ass with a sharpened toothbrush and the sooty, charcoal remains of whatever credibility Carlson had left.

Carlson then went on to Dubai, where he proclaimed that Moscow is “much nicer” and “safer” than any American city. Putin opponents like Anna Politkovskaya, Alexander Litvinenko and Boris Nemtsov had no comment, because they are dead. Wall Street Journal reporter Evan Gershkovich is currently being kept safe in a Moscow prison for his reporting, but Carlson did not have to worry about that sort of protective custody. Carlson is what Soviet propagandists used to call a “useful idiot,” which is at least half right.

Anyway, thanks to her pal Tucker, Danielle Smith and Vladimir Putin now have only one degree of separation. And separation seems to be on Smith's mind. Her attempts to sever Alberta from the Canada Pension Plan and her beloved Alberta Sovereignty Act feed into the long-standing fever dream of western separatism. Surely that is why Smith is doing foreign policy tours. Her Washington trip could be a blueprint for a forthcoming Alberta presidency.

It even makes some sense, strategically. Candidate Trump just announced that he will “encourage” his buddy Putin to invade NATO allies if they don't pay protection money to future president Trump. Smith will want to make sure that an independent Alberta is all paid up when Trump tells Ottawa, “Nice country ya got here. Shame if anything were to happen to it...”

At the very least Smith could put together a solid Netflix variety series. Now that she has schmoozed with Carlson, Vance, Paul and others, who else will be on her guest list? Maybe Smith could run a 200-metre dash with Sen. Josh Hawley, play a game of Space Laser Tag with Marjorie Taylor Greene or join Speaker Mike “Moses” Johnson to part the Potomac.

As a former radio talk show host, Smith certainly knows entertainment. With Tucker Carlson co-hosting, the Danielle Smith Show could be a ratings smash. And not just in Moscow — there will probably be English subtitles, too.  [Tyee]

Read more: Politics, Media

  • Share:

Facts matter. Get The Tyee's in-depth journalism delivered to your inbox for free

Tyee Commenting Guidelines

Comments that violate guidelines risk being deleted, and violations may result in a temporary or permanent user ban. Maintain the spirit of good conversation to stay in the discussion and be patient with moderators. Comments are reviewed regularly but not in real time.


  • Be thoughtful about how your words may affect the communities you are addressing. Language matters
  • Keep comments under 250 words
  • Challenge arguments, not commenters
  • Flag trolls and guideline violations
  • Treat all with respect and curiosity, learn from differences of opinion
  • Verify facts, debunk rumours, point out logical fallacies
  • Add context and background
  • Note typos and reporting blind spots
  • Stay on topic

Do not:

  • Use sexist, classist, racist, homophobic or transphobic language
  • Ridicule, misgender, bully, threaten, name call, troll or wish harm on others or justify violence
  • Personally attack authors, contributors or members of the general public
  • Spread misinformation or perpetuate conspiracies
  • Libel, defame or publish falsehoods
  • Attempt to guess other commenters’ real-life identities
  • Post links without providing context


The Barometer

Are You Concerned about AI?

Take this week's poll