Barack Obama and Jon Stewart: News in the Age of Social Media

It wasn’t his first appearance on Comedy Central’s Daily Show with Jon Stewart, but it was sure to be President Obama’s last. Stewart is retiring from the show in August – before Obama’s term is up, as the President noted on the July 21 episode. In fact, Obama joked, an executive order that would force the popular host to stay put is currently hung up in Congress.

During the freewheeling segment, Obama answered questions about the proposed Iran deal, public service as a way for young people to make a difference, the picture of America that his job has afforded him and his advice for “future President Trump,” as Stewart put it. And he talked about the press. Offering some fascinating insights into the challenges of re-architecting the way the White House communicates, Obama referred to the changes that social media have brought to the way we produce and consume the news.

“What concerns me most about the media” the President said, “…I think it gets distracted by shiny objects.”

The news media, he said, often fails to focus on “the big, tough choices that have to be made – and part of that is just the changing nature of technology.”

Watch the excerpt below. (You can watch the full show here.)


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