Barack Obama, Media Critic

This morning, President Obama participated in the Catholic-Evangelical Leadership Summit at Georgetown, where he discoursed on poverty. Incredibly, Obama seems to think the real problem lies with Fox News:

Obama argued if we are going to end poverty, “We’re going to have to change how the media reports on these issues.”

Huh? If the media stopped reporting on poverty, poverty wouldn’t exist? That isn’t quite it, but Obama’s explanation is incoherent:

“Where you’ve got the middle class and question has been, who are you mad at?” Obama said. “If you’re struggling. If you’re working but don’t seem to be getting ahead and over the last 40 years. Sadly, I think there’s been an effort to either make folks mad at folks at the top or to make folks mad at folks at the bottom. And I think the effort to suggest that the poor are sponges, leeches, who don’t want to work, lazy, 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 menu, they will folks who make me mad. I don’t even know where they find them. They are all like I don’t want to work, I just want a free Obamaphone or whatever. That becomes an entire narrative that gets worked up.”

But it is a fact that some poor people don’t want to work. Is Obama suggesting that news organizations should collaborate on covering up this aspect of the poverty problem? Yes, that does seem to be his point. But what good would that do?

“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.”

So Obama claims that poverty could be eliminated if only John Boehner and Mitch McConnell would vote differently? What a shame, then, that the Democrats didn’t abolish poverty when they controlled both the House and the Senate! I guess they must have just forgotten to do it; either that, or the Democrats have been watching that dastardly Fox News, too.