NewsBusters

Nets Disregard Obama’s Call to End Cancel Culture, Acting ‘Woke’

At an Obama Foundation event on Tuesday, former President Barack Obama made headlines by denouncing the purity test his party had set up for their 2020 presidential candidates and called on the left to end their so-called cancel culture, which aims to ruin people’s lives with false activism. But none of the liberal broadcast networks heeded his call and omitted it from their morning and evening newscasts on Wednesday.

Of course, ABC, CBS, and NBC all kept up the pressure for the impeachment of President Trump by eagerly anticipating of testimony from former National Security Adviser John Bolton. Yet, in the past, they’ve gleefully latched onto Obama’s criticisms of President Trump. In September 2018, they gushed about Obama being on the campaign trail to fire up Democrats against Trump.

Meanwhile, on Fox News Channel’s Special Report, they shared Obama’s concerns in a report on the state of the Democratic primary and a panel discussion later on (click “expand”):

OBAMA: If I tweet or hashtag about how you didn’t do something right or used the wrong verb or – then I can sit back and feel pretty good about myself because, “Man, you can see how woke I was? I called you out.” That’s not activism.

(…)

OBAMA: This idea of purity and you’re never compromised and you always politically woke and all that stuff, that is — you should get over that quickly. The world is messy. There are ambiguities. People who do really good stuff have flaws. [Transition] That’s not activism. That’s not bringing about change. You know, it is — if all you’re doing is casts stones, you’re probably not going to get that far. That’s easy to do.

“Former President Barack Obama today talking about this culture and ideological purity in his own party warning Democrats to not be so stuck on being ‘woke,’” anchor Bret Baier noted before returning to the panel.

 

 

Tom Bevan, co-founder and president of RealClearPolitics, didn’t think Obama was specifically talking about the 2020 election but agreed the former President was denouncing “cancel culture,” citing how Obama “mentioned college campuses specifically.”

“And I loved what he had to say. I thought it was nice that someone of his stature on the left was able to say with some clarity, ‘Look, this is out of hand. It needs to stop. We need to get over it and move on and be more civil towards each other.’ And I thought it was a great thing for him to say,” Bevan added.

Senior editor for The Federalist, Mollie Hemingway said she thought Obama’s comments were “brave” “given how that message does not play well in the Democratic primary.”

Hemingway went on to warn that the “moderates” in the Democratic race were in trouble because all “the excitement is definitely with the wing of the party that does not want to be open or tolerant to a wide swath of voters.”

She added: “That concerns people who actually know how to win elections in the Democratic field. But it looks like it’s on a collision course of some kind.”

The segment concluded with Hemingway noting that the former President could be speaking out because he felt threatened by seeing the left’s cancel culture in action. “President Obama probably recognizes that even if he’s on the safe side of things right now, if it continues, he will soon be on the unsafe side of things,” she said.

The transcript is below, click “expand” to read:

Fox News Channel’s Special Report
October 30, 2019
6:15:12 p.m. Eastern

(…)

PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: If I tweet or hashtag about how you didn’t do something right or used the wrong verb or – then I can sit back and feel pretty good about myself because, “Man, you can see how woke I was? I called you out.” That’s not activism.

(…)

6:48:45 p.m. Eastern

OBAMA: This idea of purity and you’re never compromised and you always politically woke and all that stuff, that is — you should get over that quickly. The world is messy. There are ambiguities. People who do really good stuff have flaws. [Transition] That’s not activism. That’s not bringing about change. You know, it is — if all you’re doing is casts stones, you’re probably not going to get that far. That’s easy to do.

BRET BAIER: Former President Barack Obama today talking about this culture and ideological purity in his own party warning Democrats to not be so stuck on being “woke,” so-called.

(…)

BAIER: Tom Bevin, you know, you look at this. Elizabeth Warren has been making that case on debate stages. We didn’t come this far to stop fighting for the ultimate goals that they want to go for. Medicare for all, green new deal, the big-ticket items.

TOM BEVAN: Yeah, I didn’t take Obama’s comments as a rebuke of Democrats running for president as much as the sort of — the cancel culture, social media. He mentioned college campuses specifically. And I loved what he had to say. I thought it was nice that someone of his stature on the left was able to say with some clarity, “Look, this is out of hand. It needs to stop. We need to get over it and move on and be more civil towards each other.” And I thought it was a great thing for him to say.

BAIER: But the question is, Molly, whether the political purity message that he talked about is really going to sink into the Democratic primary. I mean, we haven’t seen that – the progressives are the most fired up of the Democratic voters.

MOLLIE HEMINGWAY: Right. I agree, it was very brave of Barack Obama, President Obama, to say this given how that message does not play well in the Democratic primary. And we — When we look at the poll numbers for what is happening, Joe Biden is not — is struggling in both of the early primary states and that excitement is with Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders. Even among the moderate votes, it’s not Amy Klobuchar that is gaining steam but Pete Buttigieg.

And so the excitement is definitely with the wing of the party that does not want to be open or tolerant to a wide swath of voters. That concerns people who actually know how to win elections in the Democratic field. But it looks like it’s on a collision course of some kind.

(…)

BAIER: Molly, final word.

HEMINGWAY: Right. I would also note that cancel culture is that it never stops, it never relents. And President Obama probably recognizes that even if he’s on the safe side of things right now, if it continues, he will soon be on the unsafe side of things. And just witnessing that can be very threatening even for someone as high profile as President Obama.

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