Obama to Media: ‘You Don’t Grade the Presidency on a Curve’

By
Renowned media critic Barack Obama.Photo: Jessica Kourkounis/Getty Images

This weekend, the Washington Post revealed that Donald Trump used his charitable foundation to rebrand other people’s generosity as his own, purchased a six-foot-tall painting of himself with donors’ money, and made a political contribution to an attorney general who was considering an investigation of his for-profit university.

Meanwhile, Hillary Clinton exaggerated the percentage of Trump supporters who are virulent racists, and then revealed that she has pneumonia.

So, clearly, it was a disastrous weekend for the Democratic nominee’s campaign.

In recent days, the media’s struggle to scrutinize both major party candidates, observe a stance of official neutrality, and convey an accurate sense of the relative severity of each nominee’s shortcomings has been a popular subject among liberal commentators. On Tuesday, the progressive-thought leader-in-chief got in on the action.

“Do you mind if I just vent for a second?” Barack Obama asked, while stumping for Clinton in Philadelphia. “You don’t grade the presidency on a curve. This is serious business.”

Obama proceeded to decry the media’s habit of falsely equating his preferred successor with a scandal-plagued demagogue.

“You wanna debate transparency? You’ve got one candidate in this race who’s released decades’ worth of her tax returns. The other candidate is the first in decades who refuses to release any at all,” Obama noted. “You wanna debate foundations and charities? One candidate’s family foundation has saved countless lives around the world. The other candidate’s foundation took money other people gave to his charity and then bought a 6-foot-tall painting of himself. I mean, he had the taste not to go for the 10-foot version!”

Obama then threw some shade in Matt Lauer’s direction:

Donald Trump says stuff every day that used to be considered as disqualifying for being president. And yet because he says it over and over again, the press just gives up and then you say, well, yeah, you know, okay. They did stuff — I was opposed to the war in Iraq. Well, actually, he wasn’t, but they just accept it.

Finally, Obama concluded by reminding the press corps that American democracy is not a reality show.

“The bottom line,” Obama said, “is that we cannot afford to suddenly treat this like a reality show.”

But some members of the Fourth Estate disagree.

Always important to hear from both sides.