In a recent summit on fighting poverty, President Obama had the audacity to blame the news media for reporting on issues and people that don’t align with his personal assumptions about the world. He went as far as to say that “we’re going to have to change how the media reports on these issues.”
I think that the effort to suggest that the poor are sponges, leeches, don’t want to work, are lazy, are undeserving, got traction. And look, it’s still being propagated. I have to say that if you watch Fox News on a regular basis, it is a constant venue. They will find folks who make me mad. I don’t know where they find them. They’re all like, “I don’t want to work. I just want a free Obama Phone, or whatever.” And that becomes an entire narrative that gets worked up. And very rarely do you hear an interview of a waitress, which is much more typical — who is raising a couple of kids and doing everything right but still can’t pay the bills.
And so, if we’re going to change how Rep. John Boehner (R-OH) and Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY) think, we’re going to have to change how our body politic thinks, which means we’re going to have to change how the media reports on these issues, and how people’s impressions of what it’s like to struggle in this economy looks like. And how budgets connect to that. And that’s a hard process because that requires a much broader conversation than typically we have on the nightly news.
Clearly, Obama would like conservatives who appear on Fox News to be intimidated, not investigative. In a nation that used to celebrate curiosity and skepticism of government, he much prefers a lapdog media that accepts White House claims at face value and echoes them back to readers everywhere. In his world, anyone who pushes back in pursuit of the truth is an enemy, and vilified accordingly.
If he’s waiting for Fox News to join the ranks of MSNBC, I wouldn’t hold his breath….