This is a bittersweet moment for President Obama. He is about to leave office with sky-high approval ratings and will begin his comfortable retirement without the shadow of failure or scandal that haunted the last three former presidents. But Obama can’t be entirely content because Hillary Clinton’s defeat at the hands of Donald Trump means he failed to earn a figurative third term. And, as he has done throughout his eight years in the White House, Obama will react to this setback—and the likelihood that his dubious achievements will be rolled back—by blaming a familiar straw man: Fox News.

In an “exit interview” with Rolling Stone—a publication that has been among his most slavish and unabashed admirers—Obama let loose on the cable news channel to explain why so many voters don’t do as he bids them:

I think that part of it has to do with our inability, our failure, to reach those voters effectively. Part of it is Fox News in every bar and restaurant in big chunks of the country, but part of it is also Democrats not working at a grassroots level, being in there, showing up, making arguments. That part of the critique of the Democratic Party is accurate. We spend a lot of time focused on international policy and national policy and less time being on the ground. And when we’re on the ground, we do well. This is why I won Iowa.

First, the idea that Fox News is playing “in every bar and restaurant” in much of the country is absurd (it’s CNN, not Fox, that is inflicted on those waiting for planes in airports throughout the nation). So, too, is the condescending idea that he and his followers are so high-minded that they fail only because much of the public is brainwashed. From this frame of reference, Democrats would not lose an election if only all the media were as obliging as the New York Times or MSNBC.

But aside from Obama’s chronic self-congratulatory tone and contempt for those who can’t appreciate his greatness, it’s still worth pointing out that there are a couple of basic problems with this formulation.

The first—and this is a lesson that Republicans need to learn as well—is that the media doesn’t decide elections. Fox may still be the most watched cable news network (more on that in a moment), but its viewership is still a fraction of all those who watch television or get news from online videos. Most of the mass media outside of Fox and a handful of conservative newspapers and talk radio shows, remain tilted to the left. Liberal views predominate on the broadcast networks and the other cable news outlets. Yet that didn’t stop Donald Trump from winning the presidential election. It may be hard for some politicians and journalists to admit, but most voters aren’t as influenced by the media as we often think. All the words spouted on Fox and every other network about candidates may help set the tone for the campaign, but no amount of bias from the media decides the outcome of any election.

Second, it bears repeating that Fox’s popularity is a function of the bias of the rest of the media. It succeeded because it fills a niche that was left unserved by mainstream journalism, in which liberal bias had become institutionalized.

Obama’s attacks on Fox illustrate the cultural disconnect between liberal elites and the voters who just put Trump in the White House. It has become conventional wisdom that, in our bifurcated political world, liberals and conservatives no longer understand each other because they don’t watch, listen, or read the same media. That condition applies as much to Obama as it does to media. A president who thinks those who point out the flaws in his positions are either venal or uninformed is never going to be able to understand the country he governs.

President Obama entered the White House convinced of his own rectitude and exits it living in the same ideological bubble. Despite his amiable personality and the even temperament that helped solidify his popularity, he still has no respect for opponents. But the really sad thing is that the same can be said of many others in the country, to say nothing of most of the media. There’s little doubt that this is likely to get worse during a Trump administration.

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