During an interview with David Letterman aired by Netflix on Friday, former President Barack Obama said that if you watch Fox News, “you’re living on a different planet” than those who get their news from other sources.
Obama weighed in on the potential consequences of Russian meddling in social media platforms during the 2016 election after Letterman presented Obama with two scenarios: is it more damaging to a Democracy if the head of government routinely criticizes the free press in that country or is it more damaging to have an outside entity influence election results?
“One of the biggest challenges we have in our democracy is the degree to which we don’t share a common baseline of fact,” Obama said.
The former president then described the partisan divide as it relates to media consumption in the United States, and how Russia exploited the differences during the 2016 election. He described the divide by saying Americans are “operating in completely different universes,” and that Fox News viewers are living on a “different planet” than NPR listeners.
“If you watch Fox News, you are living on a different planet than you are if you are listening to NPR.” – Barack Obama
“What the Russians exploited, but it was already here, is we are operating in completely different information universes,” Obama said. “If you watch Fox News, you are living on a different planet than if you listen to NPR.”
The response got a big round of applause from the crowd at the City College of New York.
Trump was never mentioned during the interview, despite the fact that the dominant theme in the episode is racism.