'If It Bleeds, It Leads': Obama Questions Media's Focus on Terrorism
In a new interview, President Obama was asked whether he believes the media "overstates" the threat of terrorism at the expense of other stories, like "climate change and epidemic disease."
“Absolutely," he answered.
"I don't blame the media for that. What's the famous saying about local newscasts? If it bleeds, it leads. You show crime stories and you show fires, because that's what folks watch. It's all about ratings," Obama told Vox.com, adding that many other stories are not "sexy."
He said climate change is occurring so broadly and is so complex that it's difficult for the media to cover it on a day-to-day basis.
Obama maintained, though, that the threat of terrorism is a concern of his administration.
“It is entirely legitimate for the American people to be deeply concerned when you’ve got a bunch of violent, vicious zealots who behead people or randomly shoot a bunch of folks in a deli in Paris. We devote enormous resources to that, and it is right and appropriate for us to be vigilant and aggressive in trying to deal with that — the same way a big city mayor’s got to cut the crime rate down if he wants that city to thrive," he said.
Obama emphasized that it's important for the United States to "right-size" its approach to terrorism, looking back to the Iraq War as being "counterproductive to the goal of keeping our country safe."
Gretchen Carlson discussed the president's comments on "The Real Story" this afternoon with Fox News military analyst Gen. Jack Keane (Ret.), who called the president's view "stunning."
Keane said the president is trying to "change the narrative" about the post-9/11 war on terror and said the media must tell the story of how terrorist groups are expanding.
Watch the segment above, along with Gretchen's "My Take" segment on the president's foreign policy approach.
Watch a portion of the Vox interview below.