Barack Obama said it’s difficult nowadays to separate propaganda from journalism as the lines between fake news and factual reporting are becoming increasingly “blurred,” according to his interview that was released early Saturday.
Former President Obama was interviewed by Biographer Ron Chernow ahead of a virtual gala on Tuesday when the 44th U.S. president will accept the “Voice of Influence Award” from free-speech advocacy and literary expression organization PEN America.
Speaking to Chernow Mr. Obama said, “The lines have blurred now between propaganda and what we would consider journalism in a way that has been described as truth decay,”
“You’ve got an epistemological problem where people don’t know now entirely what’s true and what’s not, and the old authorities and curators of what is factual are greatly weakened.”
It raises concern that the former president said the phenomenon is “dangerous for our democracy,” and he does not “think that that’s going to be solved just by a new president.”
“I think, internally, news organizations and all of us, culturally, are going to have to think about what to do about that,” he said.
Mr. Obama also revealed the issues politicians have had to deal with currently in addressing race issues in the U.S. He was recently criticized by progressive Democrats for refusing to adopt the phrase “defund the police,” which was popularized over the summer after George Floyd’s May 25 death.
“What I think has changed, and we saw this summer… is, because of people’s witness of George Floyd, because of what seems like a constant stream of irrefutable evidence of excessive force against unarmed Black folks, that I think white America has awakened to certain realities that even 20 years ago they were still resistant to. That creates a new opening for a different kind of political conversation,” Obama said.