Barack Obama Swipes at Donald Trump Habit of Watching TV and Social Media

BERLIN, GERMANY - APRIL 06: Former U.S. President Barack Obama speaks to young leaders from across Europe in a Town Hall-styled session on April 06, 2019 in Berlin, Germany. Obama spoke to several hundred young people from European government, civil society and the private sector about the nitty gritty of …
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Former President Barack Obama implicitly criticized President Donald Trump’s media habits in a speech on Wednesday.

During a Splunk tech conference, Obama said it was helpful as president to have a diverse staff offering a wide range of advice on the issues of the day.

“The other thing that is helpful is not watching TV or reading social media,” he added pointedly, according to Axios.

He warned about people living in “filter bubbles” of information, made worse by social media.

“That’s not healthy for a democracy and it’s not healthy between countries,” he said. “That’s how wars get started and bad things happen.”

Obama had a history of purposefully ignoring cable news during his presidency.

During an off-the-record conversation with prominent newspaper columnists, Obama let it slip that he “doesn’t watch TV” and “doesn’t watch cable news,” a comment that leaked to the media.

In an interview with MSNBC’s Brian Williams, Obama criticized cable news for appearing fake.

“I don’t find most of the cable chatter very persuasive,” he said. “I’ve used this analogy before. It feels like WWF wrestling. You know, everybody’s got their role to play.”

White House staff at the time suggested that the former president was particularly frustrated during the campaign.

“You had primarily donors but others, too, who would get fixated by cable and get freaked out and start calling,” former press secretary Robert Gibbs told Politico in 2009.


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