Comedian Marc Maron landed the interview of a lifetime when President Barack Obama agreed to be interviewed on his “WTF Podcast” (Link to full interview). He had no idea his interview would stir up so many waves, especially for the reasons it did. And anybody who thought Maron, known for his IFC show “Maron”, was going to give an interview full of fluff was shocked at the turn the interview took.
The most controversial moment of the interview came while Obama was speaking about racism and said “… And it’s not just a matter of it not being polite to say nigger in public.” Yup, he dropped the “N” word in a public interview. And the media was sent into a frenzied state, making them miss the point of the entire interview.
They failed to mention what preceded the statement, when he said “We’re not cured of it (racism),” or that it was followed by “That’s not the measure of whether racism still exists or not. It’s not just a matter of overt discrimination. Societies don’t overnight completely erase everything that happened 200, 300 years prior.” He called racism “part of our DNA”.
Obama said some good things in the interview, he made some great points, and pointed out some truths that some Americans still will not admit. But, not surprisingly, the media missed most of it because they were too busy freaking out over one deeply rooted word. This is just another way our society, our media, likes to shift attention from something important to something trivial, just another way to keep deflecting the conversation.
After the interview, all the headlines read “Obama Uses “N” Word” or “President Says Racial Slur” or something along those lines. Truthfully, if the media was doing their job, the headlines would have read “Obama Makes Strong Statement About Racism, Gun Violence” or “President Obama says ‘Racism not dead.'” But Fox News and most Tea Party idiots completely missed the point.
During the conversation about racism, President Obama added:
“The point I made in the immediate aftermath of the killing was that I’ve done this way too often. During the course of my presidency, it feels as if a couple times a year I end up having to speak to the country, and to speak to a particular community about a devastating loss, and the grieving that the country feels is real, the sympathy, obviously the prioritizing, comforting the families, all of that’s important, but I think a part of the point I wanted to make was that it’s not enough just to feel bad. There are actions that could be taken to [prevent] events like this.”
Another issue that was lost in the media frenzy over the “N” word was Obama’s comments on gun violence. He said “I tell you, right after Sandy Hook, Newtown, when 20 6-year-olds were gunned down and Congress literally does nothing – yeah, that’s the closest I came to feeling disgusted during my presidency.”
Throughout his presidency he has pushed for stricter background checks, something that upward of 85% of Americans favor. He has consistently blamed the NRA for their control, their influence and power over Congress. In the interview, he said he did not expect Congress to pass any new laws, saying “The grip of the NRA on Congress is extremely strong”.
Now, I am not surprised that the media dropped the ball on this story. After all, like the Geico commercial says, “It’s What They Do”.