Politics Obama: Fox News viewers 'perceive a different reality' than other Americans
Obama Presidential Center expected to break ground this fall after years of opposition, concern
The Obama Presidential Center is expected to break ground this fall, and the former president visited with South Side Chicago residents this week."Traditionally I think presidential libraries can be a little backward-looking ... kind of a mausoleum in the sense that not much is happening," Barack Obama said Friday at a virtual event hosted by the Economic Club of Chicago. "Our thought was, well, let’s create an institution that is alive and vibrant and is bringing people together.
Former President Obama says that Fox News and the proliferation of social media have increased the current political divide in America.
"I think a lot of that has to do with changes in how people get information," Obama saidwith The 19th published on Monday. "I've spoken about this before, but if you watch Fox News, you perceive a different reality than if you read The New York Times. And those differences have been amplified by social media, which allows people to live in bubbles with other people who think like them."
Obama's question for the media: how do we start telling a 'common story?'
Obama said elected officials, the media, and corporations all have an "important role" to play. And he brought up the "nationalization" problem, a term I'm hearing more and more often. Obama wasn't talking about the state taking control of private industry. He was talking about what happens when Sinclair, for instance, lards its "local" newscasts with national political stories instead of the community news that binds viewers together. "Part of it is the nationalization of media, the nationalization of politics," Obama said... "You know, you used to have a bunch of local newspapers, local TV stations.
Obama said it has become clear to him that the country today is "more divided than when I first ran for president in 2008."
"America has been fractured by a combination of political, cultural, ideological and geographical divisions that seem to be deeper than just differences in policy," he said.
Obama said President Biden, his former vice president, is the right person to work to close that divide.
"But if anyone can help bridge our divides, it's Joe Biden," he said. "He's spent his life bringing people together. And as president, he's been focused on beating back the pandemic and rebuilding our economy - ideas that Americans from both parties can support."
Since leaving the White House, Obama has attacked Fox News on multiple occasions, using the network as a foil for pushing so-called birther conspiracy theories and drumming up what he often dismissed as needless and partisan opposition to his policy agenda during his eight years in office.
Opinion: Obama is still a 'hope and change' guy. I used to be one, too
Reflecting on Barack Obama's interview with CNN's Anderson Cooper, Issac Bailey writes that after seeing America's overt racism during and after Obama's presidency, it was hard hearing the former president talk about still being hopeful about change. But his ability to hold fast to that vision during a time such as this is admirable and should be emulated. It was particularly poignant watching him sitting across from Cooper and a handful of young Black men discussing the importance of education, maturity and fatherhood. It was a reminder for me of what his example once did for me.
"If I watch Fox News, I wouldn't vote for me,". "I would watch it and say who is that guy? This character Barack was portrayed in weird ways. It is all edited and shaped. ... The point is, you get multiple realities."
Obama most recently attacked the network in an endorsement video for Biden when the former Delaware senator was running for the Democratic nomination.
"The other side has a massive war chest; the other side has a propaganda network with little regard for the truth," Obama. "On the other hand, pandemics have a way of cutting through a lot of noise and spin to remind us of what is real and what is important. This crisis has reminded us that government matters. It has reminded us that good government matters, that facts and science matter, that the rule of law matters, that having leaders who are informed and honest and seek to bring people together rather than drive them apart, those kind of leaders matter. In other words, elections matter."
In his remarks to The 19th this week, Obama said getting all Americans to "agree on a common set of facts" is vital to upholding democracy.
"Until we can agree on a common set of facts, until we can distinguish between what's true and what's false, then the marketplace of ideas won't work," he said. "Our democracy won't work. So, as citizens, we need to push our institutions in the direction of addressing these challenges."
Why there are so few Asian Americans in major U.S. sports .
The cacophonous gyms of Texas were, in many ways, Natalie Chou’s second childhood home. More than a decade ago, with bangs covering her forehead and black hair bouncing, Chou grew addicted to basketball north of Dallas, amid the squeaks of sneakers and the trill of young voices. Dots connected in 2014 at USA Basketball tryouts. Upon being named to the U17 national team as one of the 12 best girls her age in the country, Chou, the daughter of Chinese immigrants, found out that she was the first Asian American to ever make the cut. That’s when she began to realize. “Oh, wow,” she thought. “I really am on a path that no one has walked before.