Former President Barack Obama spoke out on Monday to rip into fans of Fox News, claiming that they “perceive a different reality” than other Americans.
“I think a lot of that has to do with changes in how people get information,” Obama told The 19th. “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 went on to say that he has realized that the country today is “more divided than when I first ran for president in 2008.”
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“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 added that he feels that President Joe Biden is the right person to close this 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.”
Obama has attacked Fox News various times since he left office.
“If I watch Fox News, I wouldn’t vote for me,” he said back in 2017. “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 went after Fox in an endorsement video for Biden last year.
“The other side has a massive war chest; the other side has a propaganda network with little regard for the truth,” Obama said in his video message. “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 interview yesterday, Obama said getting all Americans to “agree on a common set of facts” is crucial 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.”