President Obama blamed talk radio and other “domestic propagandists” for the rise of “fake news,” including fictional news items published by state-sponsored actors.
“If fake news that’s being released by some foreign government is almost identical to reports that are being issued through partisan news venues, then it’s not surprising that that foreign propaganda will have a greater effect,” Obama said. “It doesn’t seem that far-fetched compared to some of the other stuff folks are hearing from domestic propagandists.”
“To the extent that our political dialogue is such that everything is under suspicion, everybody’s corrupt and everybody is doing things for partisan reasons and all of our institutions are, you know full of malevolent actors and if that’s the story that is being put out there, then when a foreign government introduces that same argument, the facts are made up, voters who have been listening to that stuff for years, who have been getting that stuff every day from talk radio or other venues, they’re going to believe it.”
To remedy foreign influence in America’s elections, Obama called for taking a stricter line with our internal political discourse.
“So, if we — if we want to really reduce foreign influence on our elections, then we better think about how to make sure that our — our political process, our political dialogue is stronger than it’s been,” he said.
Elsewhere in his press conference, Obama chastised the media for its “obsession” with the “gossip” from the DNC emails Wikileaks published.