President Obama Calls Out Media's Complacency When It Comes To Fact-Checking Trump's Lies
Obama Laments Media's Campaign Coverage Tendency Towards False Equivalence, Frivolous Coverage, And Grading Trump On A Curve
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From President Obama's September 13 remarks:
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BARACK OBAMA: My most important message is we can not take this election for granted, we've got to fight for this thing. There are serious issues at stake in this election. Behind all the frivolous stuff that gets covered everyday. And let me just make a comment about that. Because, look, I'm not running this time but I sure do get frustrated with the way this campaign is covered. I'm just telling the truth. Guys in the back, I'm just telling you the truth about how I feel about this. Do you mind if I just vent for a second? You know, you don't grade the presidency on a curve. This is serious business.
And when we see folks talking about transparency, you want to debate transparency, you have one candidate in this race who's released decades worth of her tax returns. The other candidate is the first in decades who refuses to release any at all.
You want to debate foundations and charities? One candidate's family foundation has saved countless lives around the world. The other candidate's foundation took money other people gave to his charity and then bought a six-foot-tall painting of himself. I mean, I -- you know, he had the taste not to go for the ten-foot version but --. You want to debate who's more fit to be our president? One candidate who's traveled to more countries than any secretary of state ever has, has more qualifications than pretty much anyone who's ever run for this job and the other who isn't fit in any way, shape, or form to represent this country abroad and be its commander-in-chief.
So somehow as things go on because we've become so partisan, our standards for what's normal have changed. And Donald Trump says stuff everyday that used to be considered as disqualifying for being president. And yet, because he says it over and over and over again, the press just gives up and they just say, well, yeah. Okay. They just stop -- "I was opposed to the war in Iraq." Well, actually, he wasn't. But they just accept it.
The bottom line is that we can not afford suddenly to treat this like a reality show. We can't afford to act as if there's some equivalence here.