President Barack Obama blames conservative media, especially Fox News and talk radio host Rush Limbaugh for his loss of stature in the public's eyes over his eight years in office.
In a series of interviews with The Atlantic ahead of a long-form feature published in the January/February magazine issue titled, "My President is Black," Obama discussed race, the media, how his views were shaped by his upbringing, and what it took to win the presidency.
Obama, in the first interview, talked a lot about how Americans viewed him from 2008 compared to now, and how Fox News and Limbaugh played a role in that, Mediaite reported.
"In 2008, I was never subjected to the kind of concentrated vilification of Fox News, Rush Limbaugh, the whole conservative-media ecosystem, and so as a consequence, even for my first two years as a senator, I was polling at 70 percent. And it was because people basically saw me unfiltered," Obama said.
"I was at a town-hall meeting, or I was talking to people directly, or they had met me, or I would speak at a university or go to a VFW hall. But they weren't seeing some image of me as trying to take away their stuff and give it to black people, and coddle criminals, and all the stereotypes of not just African-American politicians but liberal politicians.
"You started to see that kind of prism being established towards the end of the 2008 race, particularly once Sarah Palin was the nominee. And obviously almost immediately after I was elected, it was deployed in full force. And it had an impact in terms of how a large portion of white voters would see me."
He also discussed how his experience as an African-American growing up, with loving grandparents and a mother who was white, shaped his views on race.
"I felt that, and I carried that with me," he said.
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