**Written by Doug Powers
The portion of Obama’s latest interview with Rolling Stone founder Jann Wenner that generated the most buzz is the president saying that the Dems’ inability to reach voters is because of “Fox News in every bar and restaurant in big chunks of the country.” I’ve run into Hillary during walks in the woods more times than I’ve sat and watched Fox News at a bar, but never mind that, because there was something better: This exchange between Wenner and Obama should win the Pulitzer for overall shamelessness:
Q. Maybe the news business and the newspaper industry, which is being destroyed by Facebook, needs a subsidy so we can maintain a free press?
A. The challenge is, the technology is moving so fast that it’s less an issue of traditional media losing money. The New York Times is still making money. NPR is doing well. Yeah, it’s a nonprofit, but it has a growing audience. The problem is segmentation. We were talking about the issue of a divided country. Good journalism continues to this day. There’s great work done in Rolling Stone. 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. We have to come up with new models.
The suggestion of “a subsidy so we can maintain a free press” is just about the dumbest thing ever uttered, and considering where it came from, that’s saying something. Think about it: Obama cited Rolling Stone, which was just found liable in a $7.5 million defamation lawsuit after getting busted for totally bogus reporting, as an example of “curators” of truth, which is nothing short of hilarious.
Maybe it’s the fault of bars for having Fox News on their TVs, or something.
**Written by Doug Powers
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