President Obama recently shared his views about Fox News and the conservative media, claiming they vilified him. He also claimed how they spun him into a president who would “coddle criminals,” which is not at all how Obama sees himself. The media targeted Obama and painted a portrait of a character who didn’t resemble the real Barack Obama at all, the out-going president conveys. Some folks saw Barack Obama as the man who would “take their stuff and give it to black people,” he said in a recent interview.
With just weeks to go before President Obama and his family vacate the White House, he sat down with the Atlantic and opened up about the media and the image they’ve painted of Barack Obama to the public. He also shared how this has taken a personal toll on him. Obama said that even today, “many Trump supporters” see only the “fictional character” Barack Obama, who they hear about on Fox News or the Obama character that Rush Limbaugh is talking about.
According to the Hill, Obama talked about his first run for president back in 2008 when he wasn’t seen as this vilified person yet. Obama said that when he first ran for the office of the president, he wasn’t the target of “concentrated vilification” that he eventually saw coming from the likes of Fox News and Rush Limbaugh. He also cited the “whole conservative-media ecosystem” as targeting him, and because of this his once-70 percent polling, which he came to Washington with as Senator Obama, started to tank.
Obama cites the days when Sarah Palin became the vice presidential candidate and how it was around this time that the white voters started to see him as having a different agenda because of the of accusations coming from the media. Once he was voted back in for a second term, Obama said this new image of him “was deployed in full force.”
Fox News and the conservative media made a big impact on how a “large portion of white voters would see me,” said Obama. This image that many people harbor of the president is only a character spun by the media, he said during the interview. Obama also conveyed that when people today criticize him, they are criticizing that character spun by the media and not the real Barack Obama.
The Daily Beast reports that during the Atlantic interview with Barack Obama, he confessed that being “vilified” by the conservative media did affect his confidence. These interviews are part of the cover story for the Atlantic, which is titled “My President Was Black.” Excerpts from Obama’s sit-down with the magazine were released on Tuesday and Wednesday this week.
When Obama sat down last month for an interview with the host of HBO’s Real Time with Bill Maher, he talked about the vote with the election drawing near. During the 40-minute interview from the Roosevelt Room at the White House, Obama talked about how much the media can impact voters. He then turned it around using himself as an example and said, “If I watched Fox News, I wouldn’t vote for me either,” reports USA Today.
He told Maher that if there were voters out there planning to vote for Trump in protest over the last eight years, this would be something that would “badly damaging for this country and badly damaging for the world.” He also touched on the media leaving folks in a position of having to sort between the truth and what is not the truth when it comes to what they hear and read in the news today.
[Featured Image by Pablo Martinez Monsivais/AP Images]