Former President Jimmy Carter on Sunday claimed that Fox News implants "completely false images" of Barack Obama while also distorting the facts about legislation before Congress.
Speaking to Howard Kurtz on CNN's "Reliable Sources," Carter practically blamed all of the current president's problems in the polls on the cable news network (video follows with transcript and commentary):
HOWARD KURTZ, HOST: President Obama is down in the polls, and when your numbers drop the media tend to describe you in more unflattering terms. Jimmy Carter is another Democratic President infinitely familiar with that pattern. I sat down with him to talk about his new book “White House Diaries,” and will bring you the rest of the interview on a future program. But with the midterms just two days away, here is part of my conversation with the former president who was in Seattle.
KURTZ: Let's talk a little bit about the current political situation, Mr. President. Barack Obama in 2008 got the most glowing media coverage that I've seen any candidate get in my professional lifetime. Lately to state the obvious, he's had a tougher time. Do you think the press is starting to treat President Obama to some extent the way it treated you?
JIMMY CARTER: Well, nowadays we have the cable news services, and we didn't have them when I was president. In fact, CNN was formed in 1980, my last year in the White House.
CARTER: And now with the discussion groups, for instance, on Fox News, that are totally biased, and they implant completely false images not only of the facts about legislation that’s passed or doesn’t get passed, but also about the character of President Obama. And they’ve been successful in projecting him as a person who is not a citizen of America, who is not a Christian but a Muslim, and is not a Democrat but he’s a socialist and so forth. And that, those seeds that are planted every day that they broadcast by the discussion, in the discussion groups, have found, you know, harvest place in the minds of a lot of Americans. So I think they have completely twisted around what he has done, what he has accomplished, and his own personal character to his detriment. It's a small portion of the total news media.
KURTZ: Right, I haven't heard anybody who works for Fox News saying the President is a Muslim. Certainly the socialist word has been tossed around.
Actually, Howie, you'd be hard-pressed to find Fox pushing the Birther issue, and would likely find its coverage of the legislation that's been passed since January 20, 2009, has been far more fair, balanced, and accurate than probably ever television news division's including CNN's.
But that's apparently an inconvenient truth when a former President trying to rebuild not only his own image but also that of the current White House resident wants to make unsupportable allegations about one of your competitors.