In case you missed it, on January 22nd President Obama did back-to-back interviews with three YouTube personalities (Bethany Mota, Glozell Green, and Hank Green) on livestream. Per usual, President Obama has gotten nothing but negative and skeptical feedback from the mainstream media for doing something groundbreaking and -- let's face it -- dope!
The focus has been more on Glozell Green's "first wife" slip and less on her extremely powerful police brutality question. President Obama sat down with three different Americans of different backgrounds, with homegrown brands and an ever-growing audience. He allowed them to ask him questions that historically only pale, stale and usually male journalists get to. Somehow this has been misconstrued as demeaning to the commander-in-chief position. I would say it's empowering.
Rather than continue the conversation that Hank Green began on drone technology, or the one that Bethany Mota brought up on rising college tuition, sources like HLN have instead opted to discuss whether this was a publicity stunt. From the Between Two Ferns interview with Zach Galifianakis to the YouTube livestream this past Thursday, President Obama doesn't stray from his message. If you recall, in Obama's interview with Galifianakis, he said point-blank, "I wouldn't be with you here today if I didn't have something to plug." The "plug" in this case is an attempt to give young Americans some clarity on the issues that may be troubling them (like cybersecurity and racial profiling) while also reaching those who may never meet an elected official in person. And the public loved it, with over 3 million views and counting!
The truth is that the online audience Obama was able to speak to trust Bethany Mota, Glozell Green, and Hank Green. They do not trust mainstream journalists. But for the mainstream media, rather than taking a look in the mirror, it is much easier to continue with what has become tiresome and played-out Obama bashing.
The bottom line is that we are living in the digital age. What world are some of these critics living in? When Obama goes on YouTube, Between Two Ferns, Reddit, etc., the response should be, "Yeah, of course he did. He is Barack Obama, and it's 2015!"
Richard Fowler is the youngest syndicated progressive and/or African-American radio host in the United States.
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