In fact, according to the president himself, he generally doesn't watch the news because he already knows what’s happening.
“Sometimes,” the president joked with an audience gathered at the home of former Costco chief Jim Sinegal Tuesday evening for a $25,000 per person fundraising event, “when you’re watching the news — which I generally don’t do because I — whatever they’re reporting on I usually know about.
“But it can get depressing, right?” he continued. “It can feel as if, oh, nothing is working and everything is a crisis. And when I talk to interns at the White House -- and we have them in every six months or so -- these amazing young people, hugely talented. They're idealistic, they're optimistic. And I say to them, Don't lose that optimism; don't lose that idealism.' If you had to choose a period in human history in which to be born, and you didn't know ahead of time who you were going to be, and what position or what nationality -- you just had to choose what's the timeframe -- you would choose now.”
Well, this is something.
See, we were under the impression all this time that the president only learns of his administration’s failings after they're reported on the news. And we’re not exaggerating. The White House has used the “only learned about it on the news” defense quite a bit over the past few years.
President Obama found out about the Internal Revenue Service's targeting of conservative groups when you did: He learned about it on the news.
“I first learned about it from the same news reports that I think most people learned about this. I think it was on Friday,” he told reporters at the outset of the scandal.
President Obama learned of the Department of Veterans Affairs' widespread mismanagement and alleged corruption when you did: On the news.
"We learned about them through the reports. I will double check if that is not the case. But that is when we learned about them and that is when I understand Secretary [Eric] Shinseki learned about them, and he immediately took the action that he has taken," then-White House press secretary Jay Carney said.
And then there was the time President Obama said he learned about his administration’s bungled gun-running mission to Mexico, the infamous “Fast and Furious” program: He learned about it on the news.
“There have been problems, you know," he said. "I heard on the news about this story that -- Fast and Furious, where allegedly guns were being run into Mexico, and ATF knew about it, but didn't apprehend those who had sent [the guns]."
But now we're confused about the claims in the above. Apparently, the president already knows what's happening before it gets reported on TV. So either print journalism, which the president prefers, is just that good or TV news is just that bad.
Probably a little bit of both -- and the fact that the president probably does know about the scandals before they're reported.