President Obama isn’t in the habit of returning phone calls from Fox News. If you were him and an entire network was dedicated to twisting your every word into a convoluted version of its former self you’d probably be reluctant to talk to them as well. The president did decide to grant an interview to Chris Wallace, quite possibly the only person who comes close to a reputable journalist on Fox, and almost immediately the political blogosphere jumped into action.
Conservatives did what conservatives do: they called him a liar. He says he believes in the political process of nominating and confirming a SCOTUS justice? He’s lying. He says his number one priority is ISIL? He’s lying. He says Hillary Clinton will get no special treatment? He’s lying. Conservatives don’t use the actual interview, they simply edit short answers to complex questions and publish propaganda.
The reporting on this particular interview was rather disturbing from the liberal side as well, however, with the president’s true message being lost to the sensationalist headlines about who crushed who and why. Within minutes of the interview’s end, blogs were reporting that the President explained the rise of Donald Trump being because “Republicans have their own TV station.” The overused terms “destroyed”, “eviscerated” and “pummeled” were out in force to describe the president’s contempt for a Senate that won’t confirm his nominee. He “schooled” Fox News on his terrorism record and “shut down” Wallace’s attempts to discredit Hillary Clinton.
The way it was reported you’d think there were four different of Obamas sitting on the edge of his seat pointing a finger in Wallace’s face and screaming at the top of his lungs. It made for good headlines and it turned one 15 minute interview into four or five possible clicks, but those of us who took the time to watch the interview know what really happened.
Our president very calmly answered questions from his political rival in the classiest way possible. He was brutally honest and genuine, as usual, with a message that transcended left versus right politics. In fact, it had some pretty harsh warnings about partisanship and the direction its politics will take our country.
He didn’t “trash” Republicans for their obstruction of his SCOTUS nominee. He pointed out that they are playing a dangerous game that will set a precedent sure to carry over to the next president and Senate, regardless of party. How long will it be before there are no Justices left when our confirmation system breaks down? President Obama assured Chris Wallace that he will stand by his nominee through the end of his term, having fulfilled his constitutional duty.
The president’s message was all-around one of cooperation. Yes, he was a Democratic senator who filibustered Republicans, but as President of the United States, he has better things to do than argue moot points and deal with the kind of nonsense that sends good bills back to committee to die or to the congressional dumpster. Seven years later he is still holding out for hope that the stupidity will end and we will start acting like the world’s greatest democracy again.
The centrist tone was, quite frankly, refreshing. That’s why it was so disappointing to see headlines about Republicans having their own TV station across the internet. Yes, he said that, and added “blogs and publications.” He then said, “Democrats…same thing.” Why did nobody report that? Nobody wants to read about a president who spent the better part of two terms being obstructed at every turn talking about the spirit of cooperation. They’d rather hear about revenge.
That is, of course, perfectly justified. If it’s any consolation, the president’s answers on terrorism and Hillary Clinton were pretty straight-forward requests for Chris Wallace, Fox News and conservatives in general, to shut the hell up.
Overall, however, we could all learn a thing or two from this incredible man and his historic administration. After losing the senate in 2014, we experienced a rejuvenated Obama who wasn’t going to take the GOP’s crap anymore. He has accomplished more by executive order and reaching out to the people than anyone would have thought possible, and his “lame duck” last two years will be forever remembered as his most resilient.
Below you’ll see the interview in its entirety. There’s far more to it than the president “skewering” Fox News:
Featured image from screen capture