President Obama criticized cable news networks Thursday morning at the National Prayer Breakfast.
Spiritual, governmental and business leaders gather at the annual breakfast in February each year. The president said that he hoped the topics discussed and lessons learned during the breakfast had a longer "shelf life."
When Obama addressed the guests, he said:
I have to say this now our fifth prayer breakfast and it is always just a wonderful event but I do worry sometimes that as soon as we leave the prayer breakfast everything we’ve been talking the whole time at the prayer breakfast seems to be forgotten, on the same date as the prayer breakfast – I mean you’d like to think that the shelf life wasn’t so short. I go back to the oval office and I start watching the cable news network’s and it’s like we didn’t pray. And so, my hope is that humility – that that carries over every day, every moment.
Obama has criticized the media on a number of occasions and often says that he doesn't watch cable news. In an interview with the New Republic last month, Obama said the media was one of the "biggest factors" in Congress' upcoming budget negotiations. He also called out members of the conservative media for impacting the way Republican lawmakers behave.
"If a Republican member of Congress is not punished on Fox News or by Rush Limbaugh for working with a Democrat on a bill of common interest, then you'll see more of them doing it," the president said.
When Obama addressed Barnard graduates at the college's commencement ceremony last June, he took a moment to criticize the media. "No wonder that faith in our institutions has never been lower, particularly when good news doesn't get the same kind of ratings as bad news anymore," Obama said. "Every day you receive a steady stream of sensationalism and scandal, and stories with a message that suggests change isn't possible, that you can't make a difference, that you won't be able to close that gap between life as it is and life as it should be."