Obama: Fox News Is Ultimately Destructive To Country’s Long-term Growth

President Obama has not been shy in the past expressing his views of Fox News. It is always encouraging to hear him or his spokespersons articulate clear-eyed perspectives of the network that has made it their mission to destroy his administration and elevate hostility to unprecedented levels. Even before he was elected he knew:

Obama: I am convinced that if there were no Fox News, I might be two or three points higher in the polls. If I were watching Fox News, I wouldn’t vote for me, right? Because the way I’m portrayed 24/7 is as a freak! I am the latte-sipping, New York Times-reading, Volvo-driving, no-gun-owning, effete, politically correct, arrogant liberal. Who wants somebody like that?

In a new interview in Rolling Stone Magazine, President Obama has once again stated the obvious as regards Fox news:

Rolling Stone: What do you think of Fox News? Do you think it’s a good institution for America and for democracy?

Obama: [Laughs] Look, as president, I swore to uphold the Constitution, and part of that Constitution is a free press. We’ve got a tradition in this country of a press that oftentimes is opinionated. The golden age of an objective press was a pretty narrow span of time in our history. Before that, you had folks like Hearst who used their newspapers very intentionally to promote their viewpoints. I think Fox is part of that tradition — it is part of the tradition that has a very clear, undeniable point of view. It’s a point of view that I disagree with. It’s a point of view that I think is ultimately destructive for the long-term growth of a country that has a vibrant middle class and is competitive in the world. But as an economic enterprise, it’s been wildly successful. And I suspect that if you ask Mr. Murdoch what his number-one concern is, it’s that Fox is very successful.

That’s still somewhat more forgiving than I would have been. Fox is not guilty of merely expressing “a point of view.” They shamelessly traffic in lies and personal insults. They have called him a racist, a socialist, and by virtue of their false assertions of him being a Muslim, they imply that he is either a terrorist, or a terrorist sympathizer.

These are the sort of allegations that used to be the exclusive domain of lunatic fringe groups. But Fox has promoted them to the mainstream. They have made it possible for establishment politicians and pundits to parrot the most preposterous rhetoric. And they have provided a platform on television, radio, print, and the Internet, to peddle their invective.

So while Obama continues to be more conciliatory than perhaps he should be, at least he recognizes the basic truth that the Fox model of news can only be harmful to the country in the long-term. I would suggest that it is also harmful in the short-term, and any term in between.


22 thoughts on “Obama: Fox News Is Ultimately Destructive To Country’s Long-term Growth

  1. well, of course he will be saying those kind of things, Come on people! hoooow in this fuckin world a magazine will be able to talk like that of our dearest president?? the hell with those magazine that take pictures of black girls with magnificense work and trying to erase ” the black part”, anyway she is not the president.
    come on, Im latinoamerica I and I know that those kind of things are non democratic at all. we, as citizen and a member of a society, have the rigth to talk! to express ourselves as much as we want! what if HE doesnt like it? I DO LIKE IT and I will not allow anyone to forceme to say something that I dont want, or worst that HE WANTS.
    doesnt matter if I I agree with this kind of news, but I 100% agree about right and free talk.

  2. The quotes included in the article just show more of what most know already – this guy wasn’t ready for this job – he’s a weak leader and can’t take the pressure of his office. no one wants his policies because they stink adn aren’t good for a vibrant middle class -unlees you don’t actually want to earn your living on your own. HE likes dishing it out to GW Bush, but he can’t take it. What a crybaby!

    • Huh? First of all, he was asked a question. Would you prefer he didn’t answer it? Secondly, his answer was indisputably true (albeit overly diplomatic). How does being honest equate to being a crybaby? Thirdly, how does telling the truth about a powerful news enterprise get you tagged as weak?

      If he had NOT said these things he would have been weak. His courage in standing up to his adversaries is evidence that he was fully ready to take on this job and its pressures. It’s all the exact opposite of your comment.

      • he’s the president of the US, what did he expect, a love fest from everyone – fine – he just answered a question, but his default answer for any question as to why things aren’t going so well is that it’s the other guys fault ie GW Bush. What a loser! He has no courage and no new ideas – I would fire someone like him if he worked for me – big baby. It’s a tough job, no doubt, just man up for once. No character whatsoever!

        • That’s totally disingenuous.

          Of course he expected opposition. His response here is to meet it head on. And for that you accuse him of a lack of courage. ???

          His default answer just happens to be that the previous administration got us where we are today. And that just happens to be the truth. So you fault him for giving an answer that is true. ???

          He has plenty of new ideas. He has even proposed them and had them voted on in Congress. But the GOP has embarked on an unprecedented campaign of obstruction – more filibusters than any other Congress IN HISTORY! There has NEVER been a time where it required a super-majority of 60 votes to pass everything, even non-controversial legislation. And you think the GOP’s obstruction to his ideas means that he hasn’t had any. ???

          And now you want him to admit to being at fault for things that are not his fault, and if he doesn’t he has no character. ???????

          That makes no sense at all.

          • The classic left argument on why we’re in this mess – The previous administration did not get us into it. GW Bush did spend way too much and in doing so made it imposssible for the government to do anything because or our debt problem, which B. Obama did NOT create since it was created over many years – in my opinoin GW Bush’s biggest failing was the overspending. With the fiat currency we have, fiscal responsibility is hugely important and neither GW bush nor the Republican congress during his admin were responsible at all on this count – creating another entitlement is also irrisponsible. The push to buy gold is all related to this currency and debt issue – which our president is making worse – not better because he has no other ideas besides Government spending and control. He has no new ideas – stop pushing that nonsense. his ideas are old and, in this case, damaging to our economy through currency devaluation, which is done by the Fed and the market and not by the President. I would say the Federal reserve and government involvement in mortgage buying (ie Freddie and Fannie) are more to blame for our current state of affairs than anyone specific, but GW Bush didn’t help any with his wild spending – which Barak Obama has continued. He has ONE idea – spend more – and no new ideas and isn’t capable of doing better because he doesn’t believe in govenment spending restraint. On our current path, the trouble will be much greater down the road and GOP blocking of his policies are good in this case.

            • The classic rightist argument. And it leaves out the biggest reason for the economic collapse: the deregulation and lack of oversight of Wall Street. If you recall, this all started when companies like Merrill Lynch and AIG were on the brink and the Bush admin sought to bail them out.

            • Mark – do you ever sleep? I’ll take my argument and be happy with it – I didn’t see anyone holding a gun to anyone’s head to sign for mortgages they couldn’t afford. Place responsibility where it belongs! We are most responsible for the economic collapse with some help from the Fed. A little conservatism at a personal finance level would have gone a long way to avoiding this problem. Keep blaming everyone else – it won’t solve the problems.

          • Keep believing all of that…There’s a reason his negatives are so high and it’s not Fox News or the GOP by themselves They both get lots of help fom him and his poor leadership and bad policy. As stated before, no one is buying what he’s trying to sell, accept it. Your belief in this guy makes no sense to me.

            • I don’t have a “belief” in this guy. That’s a right-wing characteristic. I simply stated a few facts. And, by far, the reason for the low approval ratings is that the economy is still in recession. The President’s personal approval ratings aren’t really that bad. But people expect quick fixes and if they don’t get them they turn on you.

              It’s important to note, however, that no matter how low the President’s numbers are, they are still higher than every GOP leader and the GOP congress. People may not like the President very much right now, but they hate the GOP.

            • Steve, you do know, don’t you, that a bulk of the mortgages sold to those who couldn’t afford them were sold by unscrupulous and greedy salespeople who took advantage of those who were in many cases unsophisticated consumers? And before you head back to the Community Reinvestment Act, those mortgages were either (A) already paid off; or (B) failed at a far lower percentage than regular mortgages.

              And here is some further evidence/proof that this crisis was largely created by lax regulation and pure greed: http://www.nytimes.com/2010/09/27/business/27ratings.html?_r=1&pagewanted=all

            • Sammy, thanks for the response. is it the governments respondibiltiy to make sure we’re all smart enough to take out a mortgage we can afford? That responsibility fall squarely on the mortgage applicant – no one else. If a lender doesn’t tel someone what his/her payments will be, then 1 – they are in violation of the truth in lending act adn 2 – the applicant should sign for the mortgage or agree in any way to the mortgage. personal responsibility play a large role here and that can’t be legislated.

            • Steve, I’ll give you that people take to take personal financial responsibility. However, if I’m forced to choose between a naive, unsophisticated consumer who may have made a stupid mistake or an unethical, scumbag salesperson who knowingly sold a product to a consumer who couldn’t afford it and knew they didn’t know, and was pressured and incentivized by his superiors to do so? I side with the former and have disdain for the latter.

            • Sammy, I understand your thinking from an emotional standpoint – no one wants to see people suffer because of things like this, but how far do you (general) go to deal with these issues? sales people can be really pushy, especially when it comes to their commissions, but people need to think about what’s best for them and to not let others talk them into a bad decision.

  3. “I simply stated a few facts….”

    What you said about Fox news contains no facts. You are the one who spouts lies and personal insults. And let’s face the fact: Rolling Stone is not some political force of a magazine. It is a magazine that reviews crappy music and still thinks it’s cool to do drugs. Why Barack Obama or any other politician would bother talking to these yahoos is a mystery.

    • Wow. How old are you?

      Rolling Stone has produced some of the most influential reporting and investigative journalism in the past 40 years. It isn’t just a music magazine. Your hostility toward it says more about you than the magazine.

  4. Well, we agree on something – the desire for quick fixes and the population turning on you – he built the unrealistic expectations so now people are turning on him. A QUICK turn around is not going to happen no matter what any person does or doesn’t do. Tough decisions are required – I don’t see Barak Obama having the inestitnal fotitude to do what’s really necessary to start a turn around – he has no plan except to pump more money into the economy through the government – that’s going to hurt for a long time if he gets his way. The GOP deserves to be disliked a lot – they walked away from the things that got them elected in 1994 in a big way – all in the name of retaining their majorities and power. Hence the tea party rise.

  5. 1. To deny HEAVY, HEAVY bias to the right on faux news is a gargantuan lapse of logic and empirical input.
    2. To deny that it’s viewership tunes in to reinforce irrational fear and hatred already in place after the biggest loss of the biggest fear inducing campaign on the right in HISTORY is just as naive.
    3. To deny that the tea bagger ‘movement’ is everything BUT grassroots established is equally as saddening.
    4. To blame the current president for ANYBODY’S previous prodigious fuck ups only serves to reveal said irrational hatred.
    5. To turn against a leader that took power AFTER the biggest national economic crisis in 70 years after just 2 years of having at the problem amid a congressional minority that has established an unprecedented abuse of it’s powers, also induces palm to forehead masochism.

    Mark, keep pointing out the truth whenever you can, it’s blatantly evident that history will be on the side of logic and rationality. Good work.

    • Wow, someone is angry….Your #3 comment is wishful thinking not sure why it’s so important to anyone, but it has received that kind of comment from others such as the speaker of the house of representatives – must be fear…I haven’t turned against the president – I was never for him and he continues to reinforce my belief that he is the worst thing to happen to this country in my voting lifetime -which is only 20 years. Barak Obabma isn’t being blamed for the financial meltdown, but he can be held accuontable for what he’s done since january 20, 2009, I know many, including him, think he should be immune from criticism, but forget it – he’s worse in many ways than GW Bush from a fiscal standpoint. There is some historical data to support spending vs. surplus in the federal budget, but that was when the US currency was gold backed, not fiat as it is today. He, B. Obama, when you’re in the hole as we are, stop digging. Actually bring some new ideas to the table and show some leadership.

    • BTW – item 5 on your list – thank God for minority power in this case….Unfortunately they didn’t even try to block the 2 supreme court nominees.

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