Barack Obama stopped by “The Daily Show” on Thursday night, discussing the midterms, democracy as a whole and more. And, according to the former president, places like Fox News and other right-wing media outlets have created a “filter” that is preventing bipartisanship.
During his interview with Trevor Noah, Obama explained that while he was running for president and re-election, he had an easier time potentially swaying conservative voters because the influence of right wing media wasn’t so prevalent. Obama noted that he could go to towns that were somewhere around 70% Republican, or had a heavy evangelical Christian presence, and at least be given a chance.
“There wasn’t the filter that had been created by Fox News or the media infrastructure, the sort of right-wing conspiracy theory folks,” Obama explained. “And so they came at me with an open mind. And I could listen to them, and they could listen to me.”
He added that there was often some common ground between him and the voters, perhaps because of anecdotes he was able to tell or traits that they shared.
“There was some sense of connection. And I think the filter now has become so thick,” he said, noting how many media outlets have become more extreme and less tolerant of dissenting voices since he first ran for the White House. “It started, I think, with Fox News and some of the other traditional media. And now with social media, that’s gotten supercharged.”
Representatives for Fox News did not immediately respond to TheWrap’s request for comment.
You can watch Obama’s full appearance on “The Daily Show” in the video above.