CNN's John King on Wednesday mocked Barack Obama for calling Fox News a "destructive" force in our society while at practically the same time a White House spokesman was saying MSNBC's Keith Olbermann and Rachel Maddow provide "an invaluable service" to the country.
As NewsBusters reported Tuesday, the President bashed FNC in a just-published interview with Rolling Stone magazine shortly before his Deputy Press Secretary Bill Burton was praising MSNBC during a gaggle held on Air Force One.
With this in mind, on Wednesday's "John King USA," the host surprisingly derided the White House's inconsistency (video follows with partial transcript and commentary):
JOHN KING, HOST: Sometimes you feel sad to be left out of a big debate. This is not one of those sometimes. In an interview with "Rolling Stone," President Obama voiced the opinion that Fox News is a "destructive" force in our society. On the other hand, the left hand in this case, Obama spokesman Bill Burton said the President believes MSNBC commentators Keith Olbermann and Rachel Maddow provide "an invaluable service" to that same society and democracy. So, according to the President this is "destructive."
King then played clips from "The Glenn Beck Show" and "Hannity." After they concluded, King said, "And, according to the White House, this is ‘an invaluable service.'" He then showed clips from "The Ed Show" and "Countdown."
After getting some opinions from his panel, he turned to CNN contributor Gloria Borger and asked, "What happened to this? This is the President of the United States, it's May 1st, it's the University of Michigan, he's giving the commencement speech, and Professor Obama is trying to tell Americans of all political persuasions, ‘Listen to each other.'"
BARACK OBAMA: For if we choose only to expose ourselves to opinions and viewpoints that are in line with our own, studies suggest that we become more polarized, more set in our ways.
After the clip ended, King said to his guests, "I think he's right. In that commencement speech, he's right."
Indeed, but as NewsBusters reported at the time, Obama didn't mean those words.
Quite the contrary, what has come out of this White House in the past week is exactly how he feels, and that commencement address in May was just another in a never ending litany of campaign speeches Americans should take with a grain of salt.
Somewhat surprisingly, King not only seems to be feeling that way, but he's also willing to point out the hypocrisy on the air.
Bravo, John. Bravo.