Barack Obama’s new interview with mouth-breathing fan Rolling Stone editor Jann Wenner is most notable for his gooey praise of the “brilliance” of Daily Show host Jon Stewart.
“I don’t watch a lot of TV news. I don’t watch cable at all,” he said, very unconvincingly. “I like The Daily Show, so sometimes if I’m home late at night, I’ll catch snippets of that. I think Jon Stewart’s brilliant. It’s amazing to me the degree to which he’s able to cut through a bunch of the nonsense – for young people in particular, where I think he ends up having more credibility than a lot of more conventional news programs do.”
In actuality, as Jim Geraghty notes, the Obama administration seems positively obsessed with MSNBC (when they’re not watching Stewart), so much so that it’s distorted how they view the news cycle. As Geraghty asks, before quoting a passage from Jodi Kantor’s book The Obamas, “why would President Obama have the erroneous view that the media was obsessed with his birth certificate? What could he be watching that would give him such a skewed perspective that his birth certificate was the “dominant news story”?”
Aside from the one-man birther extravaganza that was Donald Trump, who pushed the birther story hardest? According to data from the Pew Project for Excellence in Journalism reviewed by the Poynter Institute’s Julie Moos, MSNBC had the most coverage, far ahead of Fox or CNN. “While MSNBC’s coverage may have been devoted to questioning or debunking the president’s citizenship issues, that network spent the most time discussing it,” said Moos.
According to the data, MSNBC devoted ten percent of its airtime last week to President Obama, and fully 92 percent of that was “airtime coded ‘citizenship and religion rumors’ and ‘birther’ coverage.” By comparison, CNN and Fox devoted just five percent of their airtime to the president. Of that, PEJ says CNN’s coverage of the president was 100 percent devoted to “citizenship and religion rumors,” while Fox’s coverage was only eight percent.
As we dubbed Mr. Obama in 2010, he really is the Commander in Chief of MSNBC.