A recently-reinvigorated Rolling Stone published an exclusive 8000+ word interview with President Obama, revealing a commander-in-chief willing to dish out sharper rhetoric a few weeks before midterm elections. The conversation with senior editor Eric Bates and writer Jann S. Wenner, tellingly entitled "Obama Fights Back," touched on the president's stymied efforts to create bipartisan policy, what he believes the GOP stand for, and his musings about the "mixed bag" Tea Party.
But one of the more controversial sound bites to emerge from the interview was the president's characterization of Rupert Murdoch's Fox News. While the White House has had well-publicized prior spats with the conservative-leaning cable-news channel, Obama made clear that he believes the channel's "opinionated" reporting is "ultimately destructive for the long-term growth" of the country. Those are strong words to be uttering about America's "most-watched" news source. For those who want a little more context to the sound bite, here's Obama's full response to the Rolling Stone question:
What do you think of Fox News? Do you think it's a good institution for America and for democracy?
[Laughs] Look, as president, I swore to uphold the Constitution, and part of that Constitution is a free press. We've got a tradition in this country of a press that oftentimes is opinionated. The golden age of an objective press was a pretty narrow span of time in our history. Before that, you had folks like Hearst who used their newspapers very intentionally to promote their viewpoints. I think Fox is part of that tradition — it is part of the tradition that has a very clear, undeniable point of view. It's a point of view that I disagree with. It's a point of view that I think is ultimately destructive for the long-term growth of a country that has a vibrant middle class and is competitive in the world. But as an economic enterprise, it's been wildly successful. And I suspect that if you ask Mr. Murdoch what his number-one concern is, it's that Fox is very successful.