In David Letterman’s recently released Netflix special, “My Next Guest Needs No Introduction,” President Obama remarked that Fox viewers and NPR listeners are on “different planets” in terms of the news that they receive.
In his interview with Letterman, which was filmed soon after he left the Oval Office, Obama spoke about Russia’s meddling in the 2016 election, and said that a large part of the problem is that voters are living in “completely different universes.” He continued, “one of the biggest challenges we have to our democracy is the degree to which we don’t share a common baseline of facts…if you watch Fox News, you are living on a different planet than you are if you are listening to NPR.”
This isn’t the first time that Obama has criticized Fox–or at least commented on their coverage. After the election, he said that the Democrats are failing to reach a large portion of Americans, saying in an interview, “Part of it is Fox News in every bar and restaurant in big chunks of the country, but part of it is also Democrats not working at a grassroots level, being in there, showing up, making arguments.”
In response to Obama’s comments, Fox News’s Sean Hannity said on his program, “There is some truth to what he’s saying in this regard. The mainstream media, they want to destroy Trump, and they loved him. It’s that simple.” Newt Gingrich, who was joining Hannity, remarked that Obama is “living a fantasy life.”
While he’s been critical of Fox News before, Obama did appear with Bill O’Reilly during his tenure in the Oval Office. At one point during a 2014 interview, when O’Reilly asked about an IRS scandal, Obama called his assertion “absolutely wrong” and added, “These kinds of things keep on surfacing, in part, because you and your TV station will promote them.”
Letterman’s segment with Obama began streaming on Friday, and in upcoming episodes, the iconic former late-night host will be welcoming a who’s who of guests, including George Clooney, Howard Stern, Jay-Z, and Malala Yousafzai.