After spending the past month blaming Hillary’s loss on the rampant spread of “fake news,” because choosing a failed candidate subject to numerous active federal criminal investigations and/or Obama’s failed policies couldn’t possibly be to blame, Mic is reporting that Obama is contemplating starting a propaganda machine media company of his own after leaving the White House.
President Barack Obama has been discussing a post-presidential career in digital media and is considering launching his own media company, according to multiple sources who spoke on background because they were not authorized to speak for the president.
Obama considers media to be a central focus of his next chapter, these sources say, though exactly what form that will take — a show streaming on Netflix, a web series on a comedy site or something else — remains unclear. Obama has gone so far as to discuss launching his own media company, according to one source with knowledge of the matter, although he has reportedly cooled on the idea of late.
According to another source, Obama met privately with Facebook CEO and co-founder Mark Zuckerberg in Lima, Peru, on the sidelines of the recent APEC summit to discuss the matter.
While Obama has been on a crusade against “fake news” of late, we’re not exactly sure how adding yet another MSNBC substitute to the media arm of the democratic party will change anything in a meaningful way. While Obama continues to “rethink his storytelling,” he and other democrats simply continue to prove that they’ve learned absolutely nothing from the 2016 election. The entire election was a rejection of “storytelling” in favor of action, it was a rejection of establishment politicians, like Obama, who have proven time and again that, while they’re great at delivering emotional speeches on “Hope and Change,” they are completely void of any substance beyond their rhetoric.
When Rolling Stone asked the president about his future plans, Obama said he would begin “organizing my presidential center,” where a top subject would be, “How do we rethink our storytelling, the messaging and the use of technology and digital media, so that we can make a persuasive case across the country?”
In recent days — even before Trump’s surprising victory — Obama also mused openly about what he views as the dangerous state of media and his desire to play a role in fixing it. According to the New Yorker, Obama apparently obsessed over a BuzzFeed story that documented how more than 100 pro-Trump websites peddling fake news reports had originated in one small Macedonian town. The president worried aloud that the way stories are displayed on various platforms “means everything is true and nothing is true” and that “an explanation of climate change from a Nobel Prize-winning physicist looks exactly the same on your Facebook page as the denial of climate change by somebody on the Koch brothers’ payroll.”
Obama has been outspoken in recent days about the faux news phenomenon, arguing that the rise of conspiracy theories and the easy propagation of fake stories has made it difficult to establish basic facts to frame a debate. “And now we just don’t have that,” he told New Yorker editor David Remnick.
Of course, if true an Obama media company would threaten a long-standing tradition of former Presidents withholding criticism of their successors.
Depending on what form it takes, a hard dive into media could also put Obama at odds with presidential precedent. For decades, former presidents have followed a tradition of remaining quiet about their successors in public. During his recent visit to Peru, Obama said he would uphold that convention after leaving office, but also hinted he might speak out when he feels necessary. “If there are issues that have less to do with the specifics of some legislative proposal or battle or go to core questions about our values and ideals, and if I think that it’s necessary or helpful for me to defend those ideals, I’ll examine it when it comes,” Obama told reporters.
Remember when Obama scolded Republicans with his “Elections have consequences. Tough luck, you lost. Get over it” line. We guess that only applies when his team wins.