- The Washington Times - Wednesday, November 18, 2020

Former President Obama said he was blindsided by the rise of conservative voices on social media that would undermine “the curators and the gatekeepers for what’s acceptable and what’s not.”

The 44th commander in chief told media mogul Oprah Winfrey during an AppleTV+ interview on his latest memoir, “A Promised Land,” that he had an epiphany or sorts after observing the “conservative media ecosystem.”

“Part of what I write about is the degree to which the media changes in a way that I did not fully anticipate,” Mr. Obama said during the interview, which aired Tuesday. “You couldn’t even see it, but it started just as I’m getting elected the importance of mainstream, the old network. Walter Cronkite, Nightly News, New York Times, Washington Post, them being sort of the curators and the gatekeepers for what’s acceptable and what’s not.

“That starts to break down, and the media suddenly scatters in a million different pieces, and then you get social media and people are just absorbing whatever stories they’re telling in a way that’s unchallenged,” he added.

Mr. Obama said that his electoral success appeared to awaken “a particular paranoia among some segment of that conservative population.”



“It’s always been there under the surface,” he said. “I think what happens is, it becomes more explicit [with my success].”

The Democrat added that social media allows people to absorb false ideas such as that his wife Michelle “hates white people.”

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