“Fox and Friends” seized on Barack Obama’s use of the n-word during his interview with podcaster and comedian Marc Maron, with host Steve Doocy calling it “beneath the dignity of his office” on Monday.
The president told the “WTF with Marc Maron” host that the country is not cured of racism, saying, “It’s not just a matter of it not being polite to say ‘ni–er’ in public … It’s not just a matter of overt discrimination. Societies don’t overnight completely erase everything that happened 200-300 years prior.”
“Fox & Friends” immediately jumped on the conversation, debating whether it was appropriate for Obama to use the controversial term.
Fox News anchor Bret Baier said Obama was justified, arguing that it was his “prerogative to say those things when talking about racism from his personal knowledge, and he has a unique perspective, obviously, as the first African-American president.”
Still, he doubts the incident will soon fade. “It will raise some eyebrows and you’ll probably have the White House respond,” Baier said.
Fox News host Elisabeth Hasselbeck expressed her concerns over the President’s self control, suggesting he might blurt out the word during a public address.
“I think many people are wondering if it’s only there that he would say it,” Hasselbeck observed, “and not, perhaps, in a State of the Union [address] or more public address, if he’s only doing this because he’s in the ‘podcast,’ that he felt safe to do it there.”
Fox invited left-leaning radio talk show host Garland Nixon and conservative radio host David Webb to ponder the possibilities.
Nixon asserted that Obama was strategic in using the word, considering the recent Charleston church shooting. “What it does is it causes people who would not normally talk about the issue of race to talk about it,” he said.
Webb was unconvinced and denounced the word choice as “beneath the office of the president.
“He says we basically have not evolved as a society, that racism is still institutional in the United States,” Webb continued. “And it’s not because we don’t have codified law, we don’t have social acceptance.”
“As a matter of fact, we have overturned racism,” he continued. “There are always going to be racists, and that’s a difference.”