Accuracy in Media

Outgoing President Barack Obama claimed that he doesn’t make politics personal in the Dateline NBC special interview “Reality of Hope.” However, that statement was later debunked when NBC ran his own remarks given after the Sandy Hook shooting, where Obama said, “Are you serious?” in response to the gun rights movement’s opposition to his gun control policies:

Holt: “You have a good game face, you play it cool. But you also learned politics in Illinois, Chicago. Do you have a vindictive streak?”

Obama: “…I tend not to personalize politics that much…a lot of the Republicans, not just early in my presidency, to this day, are decent people who are responding to pressures that they are feeling. In some cases, there are sincere differences on tough issues like abortion, where I don’t question the fact that they sincerely have a different view on these issues. So what I try to do is to get into their mindset and that, I think, dissipates the anger that I have sometime been known to express”

His Sandy Hook speech in the Rose Garden at the White House dismissed gun rights movements and opponents who were not happy with Obama’s optics of inviting Sandy Hook victims’ families to his speech as “an optic”:

Obama: “I’ve heard folks say that having the families of victims lobby for this legislation was somehow misplaced.  “A prop,” somebody called them.  “Emotional blackmail,” some outlet said.  Are they serious?  Do we really think that thousands of families whose lives have been shattered by gun violence don’t have a right to weigh in on this issue?  Do we think their emotions, their loss is not relevant to this debate?”

“So all in all, this was a pretty shameful day for Washington.”

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