After a relatively quiet four years, former President Barack Obama has been thrust back into the spotlight once again. Obama made his way back into the public light last month in order to campaign for his old friend and colleague, now President-elect Joe Biden.
Over the last week, Obama has been on a media blitz to promote his much-anticipated presidential memoir, “A Promised Land.” While the book tour is not unexpected, the way that Obama is using this stage to warn Americans about the dangers of a divided media is somewhat surprising.
Details of the Memoir: The memoir comes out on Tuesday, November 17. With so much information to share, Obama split the memoir into two volumes with the second part scheduled to be released at a later time. The first volume details Obama’s rise in politics with a heavy focus on his presidential run in 2008, culminating with him making history as the first African American president.
The book offers an intense personal reflection on his presidency by Obama, providing the reader with glimpses into some of the most pivotal moments of his time in the Oval Office. Readers will also see an intimate look into the president’s personal life, particularly his relationship with his wife, Michelle.
Obama’s Media Tour: Now that he has the campaigning for Biden in the rearview mirror, Obama has been taking to the road to promote the release of the book. While the initial intention of the book tour was to generate interest, Obama is using this time with the world’s biggest media outlets to warn a nation about the dangers of misinformation.
In an interview with Jeffrey Goldberg of The Atlantic, Obama lamented that a divided media landscape is the biggest threat to democracy that the nation has seen in recent times. Obama acknowledged that President Donald Trump is a mere symptom of this division and spread of misinformation, rather than the single cause. Obama is blaming the alternative worldview presented by some media outlets for being a significant source of division within the country.
The former president points to the failure of today’s media to provide what he referred to as a “common baseline of fact and a common story” as being a detriment to democracy as we know it. Obama also pointed to the divisiveness of the media as a source of major problems in the landscape of America in various other interviews over the last few days. The topic of the media’s role in shaping democracy was a guiding theme in interviews with 60 Minutes and CBS Sunday Morning.