Former President Barack Obama appeared on David Letterman’s new show on Netflix, in which he spent a great deal of time trashing Fox News and social media. The show was filmed last fall, but released on Friday.
Letterman asked Obama whether President Donald Trump’s accusations of “fake news” had a bigger effect on the 2016 presidential election, or the possibility of Russian interference.
Obama replied, “One of the biggest challenges we have to our democracy is the degree to which we don’t share a common baseline of facts. If you watch Fox News, you are living on a different planet than you are if you are listening to NPR.”
Obama has a long history of slamming Fox News and the conservative media, especially during his years in the White House. In 2010, Obama declared that the cable news outlet was “destructive to [America’s] long-term growth.”
This recent attack on Fox however, was the first direct shot at the news outlet since he was replaced by President Trump in January.
Letterman also asked Obama what he thought about social media and the world view influence it wields.
Obama admitted that he relied heavily on social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter for his 2007-2008 presidential race, bragging that it was “the most effective political campaign in modern history.”
The former President stated that his team had no idea of “the degree to which people who are in power, special interests, foreign governments, et cetera can, in fact, manipulate [social networks] and propagandize.”
Anyone who gets all their news off algorithms on their phones are just reinforcing whatever biases you already have, according to Obama.
“That’s what’s happening with these Facebook pages, where more and more people are getting their news from,” Obama explained. “At a certain point, you just live in a bubble, and that’s part of why our politics [are] so polarizing right now.”