Tags: Barack Obama | ISIS/Islamic State | obama | media | ratings | americans | fear

Obama: Media 'Pursuing Ratings' Behind Americans' Fear of ISIS

Image: Obama: Media 'Pursuing Ratings' Behind Americans' Fear of ISIS
President Barack Obama (Photo by BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty Images)

By    |   Monday, 21 Dec 2015 04:35 PM

President Barack Obama told columnists during an off-the-record meeting last week that he wasn't initially aware how much Americans are concerned about terrorism because he doesn't watch cable news.

Now, he tells National Public Radio that a combination of the Islamic State's (ISIS) public relations efforts and a news media in pursuit of ratings is making the public see ISIS (or ISIL, as Obama calls it) stronger than it really is.

"Well, I think what's fair is that post-Paris you had a saturation of news about the horrible attack there. And ISIL combines viciousness with very savvy media operations," Obama told NPR's Steve Inskeep.

"And as a consequence, if you've been watching television for the last month, all you have been seeing, all you have been hearing about is these guys with masks or black flags who are potentially coming to get you," Obama said. "And so I understand why people are concerned about it."

Inskeep asked if Obama was saying the media is responsible for renewed terror fears.

"Look, the media is pursuing ratings," Obama replied, though he admitted it is a "legitimate news story."

"There is no doubt that the actions of ISIL are designed to amplify their power and the threat that they pose," he said. "That helps them recruit, that adds in the twisted thoughts of some young person that they might want to have carry out an action, that somehow they're part of a larger movement. And so I think that the American people absorb that, understandably are of concern."

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President Barack Obama told columnists during an off-the-record meeting last week that he wasn't initially aware how much Americans are concerned about terrorism because he doesn't watch cable news.
obama, media, ratings, americans, fear
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2015-35-21
Monday, 21 Dec 2015 04:35 PM
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