Obama: Media Overstates Level of Alarm People Should Have Of Terrorism Over Threat Of Climate Change

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In a wide-ranging interview with Ezra Klein and Matthew Yglesias of Vox.com President Obama agreed that the media "overstates the level of alarm people should have about terrorism" instead of focusing on "a longer-term problem of climate change and epidemic disease."

"Do you think the media sometimes overstates the level of alarm people should have about terrorism and this kind of chaos, as opposed to a longer-term problem of climate change and epidemic disease?" Yglesias asked the president

"I don't blame the media for that," Obama said. "What's the famous saying about local newscasts, right? If it bleeds, it leads, right? You show crime stories and you show fires, because that's what folks watch, and it's all about ratings."

"Climate change is one that is happening at such a broad scale and at such a complex system, it's a hard story for the media to tell on a day-to-day basis," Obama also said.

MATTHEW YGLESIAS, VOX: Do you think the media sometimes overstates the level of alarm people should have about terrorism and this kind of chaos, as opposed to a longer-term problem of climate change and epidemic disease?

PRESIDENT OBAMA: Absolutely. And I don't blame the media for that. What's the famous saying about local newscasts, right? If it bleeds, it leads, right? You show crime stories and you show fires, because that's what folks watch, and it's all about ratings. And, you know, the problems of terrorism and dysfunction and chaos, along with plane crashes and a few other things, that's the equivalent when it comes to covering international affairs. There's just not going to be a lot of interest in a headline story that we have cut infant mortality by really significant amounts over the last 20 years or that extreme poverty has been slashed or that there's been enormous progress with a program we set up when I first came into office to help poor farmers increase productivity and yields. It's not a sexy story. And climate change is one that is happening at such a broad scale and at such a complex system, it's a hard story for the media to tell on a day-to-day basis.


(Full interview at Vox.com)

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