“I’m not the first to observe this, but you’ve got the Fox News/Rush Limbaugh folks and then you’ve got the MSNBC folks and the — I don’t know where Vox falls into that, but you guys are, I guess, for the brainiac-nerd types,” Obama said in a sitdown with the outlet’s Ezra Klein and Matthew Yglesias published early Monday morning.
Obama said that the “balkanization” of the media, along with gerrymandering, has helped deepen the partisan divide. Tackling campaign spending is another way to deal with polarization, he said, but noted interviews like the ones he gave recently to young YouTube personalities as one way to reach a youth audience more directly.
The president also argued that previous eras of intense partisanship in U.S. history have been worse.
“I think there just wasn’t polling around. As I recall, there was a whole civil war — that was a good example of polarization that took place,” he said.