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'Angry and resentful': Barack Obama calls out Rupert Murdoch for promoting America’s 'polarization'

Alternet logo Alternet 3/29/2023 Alex Henderson
 Former U.S. President Barack Obama at the White House with President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris in April 2022 © provided by AlterNet Former U.S. President Barack Obama at the White House with President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris in April 2022

Although former President Barack Obama has often been critical of Fox News, he hasn't avoided the right-wing cable news channel altogether. Obama, over the years, has been interviewed by Fox News hosts ranging from Chris Wallace (now with CNN) to Bret Baier to Bill O’Reilly (who Fox News fired in 2017).

Those appearances underscore Obama's belief that it is important for Democrats to have a dialogue with conservatives, disagreements and all — a belief he shares with President Joe Biden, who has bragged about the productive relationships he had in the past with President Ronald Reagan, Sen. John McCain (R-Arizona) and other conservative Republicans.

But when Obama, according to The Guardian, made a late March appearance in Sydney, Australia, he called out Fox News' Rupert Murdoch as a divisive figure whose business model is designed to "make people angry and resentful."

READ MORE: Dominion’s damning revelations underscore the 'full corruption of Fox News': former Reagan speechwriter

Speaking at Sydney’s Aware Super Theater on Tuesday night, March 28, Obama told a crowd of around 9000 people, "Here's the good news about the U.S., though: We're not quite as polarized as we seem. Sixty to 65 percent of the country — let's call it 70 percent — does occupy a reality-based world. And that's true within the Republicans."

Obama continued, "There's one other factor that's led to this polarization — this is global, this is not unique to the United States — and that is the shifts in the media and the story that is told to people. And there's a guy you may be familiar with, first name Rupert, who was responsible for a lot of this."

Murdoch, according to Obama, "perfected" a "broader trend" with "the advent of cable (television), talk radio and then social media."

Obama told the Australian crowd/AlterNet%20Folder%202023%20(PC)/%E2%80%94), "It's now a wild west and a splintering of media. And if all you're doing is — in America, it's Fox News, here I guess it's Sky, whatever it is — if all you're doing is watching one source of news…. we're going to have our own news and our own perspective…. You no longer have a joint conversation and a shared story…. And if you throw in some good old-fashioned racism and xenophobia and sexism and homophobia…. it's very difficult to compromise around identity politics."

READ MORE:'More suffering is likely to come' as Fox reels from Dominion lawsuit

Read The Guardian's full report at this link.

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