The era of the Barack Obama presidency is, unfortunately, coming to a close. While President Obama serves out the twilight of his administration, he is no longer pulling punches and has lifted the veil to share what he truly thinks about the conservative media.
Obama had a spirited interview with Ta-Nehisi Coates from The Atlantic, who is one the most renowned black intellectuals working today. Coates recently won the NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Literary Work. During the conversation, Obama launched into a blistering explanation describing a “fictional” variation of him that had been created right-wing media pundits. Obama said:
In 2008 I was never subjected to the kind of concentrated vilification of Fox News, Rush Limbaugh, the whole conservative-media ecosystem, and so as a consequence, even for my first two years as a senator I was polling at 70 percent,” Obama said.
They weren’t seeing some image of me as trying to take away their stuff and give it to black people, and coddle criminals, and all the stereotypes of not just African American politicians but liberal politicians. You started to see that kind of prism being established towards the end of the 2008 race, particularly once Sarah Palin was the nominee. And obviously almost immediately after I was elected, it was deployed in full force. And it had an impact in terms of how a large portion of white voters would see me.
Never before in the history of American politics has an individual been so vilified as Obama and routinely blamed for all of the ills surrounding the nation. This is particularly true regarding instances to which Obama had no hand or influence as he was not president at the time.
Who could forget the poll which rightly found 28% of Louisiana Republicans blamed the sitting president, George W. Bush, for the government’s horrible response to Hurricane Katrina? Conversely, 29% of Louisiana Republicans also blamed Barack Obama even though the hurricane took place in the Summer of 2005 nearly four years before Obama would assume the powers of the Oval Office.
This type of oblivious stupidity is difficult to combat when individuals create their own reality out of pure fiction. Later in the discussion with Coates, Obama continued to analyze the public’s perception of him and why he does not blame certain members of the idiotic public for being bamboozled by the nonstop barrage of inundation from the conservative media:
And so when people criticize or respond negatively to me, usually they’re responding to this character that they’re seeing on TV called Barack Obama, or to the office of the presidency and the White House and what that represents. And so you don’t take it personally. You understand that if people are angry that somehow the government is failing, then they are going to look to the guy who represents government. And that applies, by the way, even to some of the folks who are now Trump supporters. They’re responding to a fictional character named Barack Obama who they see on Fox News or who they hear about through Rush Limbaugh.
One wonders, for example, with Obama leaving office will the prepaid phone program which began under President Ronald Reagan, but were blamed on Obama by calling the phones “Obama phones” will now magically be changed to “Trump phones”? Will Republican commentators suddenly change their tune? One risks asphyxiation by holding their breath to wait and see.
Instead what the American people will be treated to is the Republican party, and its propaganda machine, turning a complete about face. Rather than the criticism towards Obama they will instead praise Donald Trump. All of which was considered evil and detrimental will now be welcomed with open arms. The most unfortunate aspect is the far majority of Republican voters will not notice this change and will never recognize how they were so completely manipulated over the last eight years.
Lou Colagiovanni is an investigative journalist living in Las Vegas who specializes in politics and crime. His work has been highlighted all over the world and he is regularly featured on television and radio.