Democrats were decimated in the 2016 election cycle, losing dozens of House seats, nine Senate seats, more than a dozen governorships and more than 1,000 seats in state legislatures — and according to Barack Obama, it’s all because Fox News was played in “every bar and restaurant in big chunks of the country.”
In a fluff-piece for Rolling Stone and excerpted by Mediaite, publisher Jann Wenner asked the president if he believed America “is still a progressive country?” Obama insinuated that it was once, because he won the white working class vote in 2008 and 2012, respectively, but that all that must have changed with the advent of Fox News in bars:
In this election, [white working class voters] turned out in huge numbers for Trump. And I think that part of it has to do with our inability, our failure, to reach those voters effectively. Part of it is Fox News in every bar and restaurant in big chunks of the country, but part of it is also Democrats not working at a grassroots level, being in there, showing up, making arguments. That part of the critique of the Democratic Party is accurate. We spend a lot of time focused on international policy and national policy and less time being on the ground. And when we’re on the ground, we do well.
After praising Rolling Stone as an outlet that does great “journalism” the president, without a shred of irony, began lamenting the existence of alternative news outlets and even hinted at subsidizing or otherwise “propping up” mainstream media outlets as a way to challenge them:
The challenge is people are getting a hundred different visions of the world from a hundred different outlets or a thousand different outlets, and that is ramping up divisions. It’s making people exaggerate or say what’s most controversial or peddling in the most vicious of insults or lies, because that attracts eyeballs. And if we are gonna solve that, it’s not going to be simply an issue of subsidizing or propping up traditional media; it’s going to be figuring out how do we organize in a virtual world the same way we organize in the physical world.
As Michelle Malkin astutely noted in her response on Twitter, the Left has a monopoly on just about any and every other platform. It’s laughable that the Left cannot tolerate the one dissenting outlet (and Fox is hardly conservative) amidst their sea of music, film, television (drama series, sitcoms and even children’s programming), all mainstream media outlets, public broadcast and radio and academia.
Now, we’re not sure who verified whether Fox News was indeed playing in “every” bar and restaurant, but it made for a convenient excuse. Obama couldn’t, after all, speak the truth about why Democrats had their heads handed to them this election cycle. It couldn’t be because his failed leadership of eight years, or the fact that the Party has shifted further to the Left than at any other time in history. It couldn’t be because Democrats propped up a criminal and corrupt candidate or that the Party’s policies have not ensured our nation’s safety and prosperity.