Obama: With iPods and iPads, information becomes a distraction; imposes new pressures on democracy

Barack Obama lamented Sunday that “with iPads and iPods,” information has become a distraction that is putting new pressures on the U.S.A. and “democracy.”

“‘You’re coming of age in a 24/7 media environment that bombards us with all kinds of content and exposes us to all kinds of arguments, some of which don’t always rank all that high on the truth meter,’ Obama said at Hampton University, Virginia,” AFP reports. “‘With iPods and iPads and Xboxes and PlayStations, — none of which I know how to work — information becomes a distraction, a diversion, a form of entertainment, rather than a tool of empowerment, rather than the means of emancipation,’ Obama said.”

MacDailyNews Note: During the 2008 election, KCAL-TV covered Candidate Obama’s advertisements placed inside eighteen of Microsoft’s Xbox video games:

Direct link via YouTube here.

AFP continues, “He bemoaned the fact that ‘some of the craziest claims can quickly claim traction,’ in the clamor of certain blogs and talk radio outlets. ‘All of this is not only putting new pressures on you, it is putting new pressures on our country and on our democracy… We can’t stop these changes… but we can adapt to them,’ Obama said, adding that US workers were in a battle with well-educated foreign workers. ‘Education… can fortify you, as it did earlier generations, to meet the tests of your own time,’ he said.”

Full article here.

Obama’s commencement address at Hampton University:

Direct link via YouTube here.

[Update: 2:08pm EDT. Pulled the Take because the point we were attempting to make seems to have been either too satirical or not satirical enough. Our fault, not yours. We blame the weekend help.]

[Update: 11:37pm EDT. Added link to 2008 report on Obama campaign’s ads in Xbox video games. Thanks to MacDailyNews readers too numerous to mention individually for the heads up.]

[Update: 11:59pm EDT. Added link to Obama’s commencement address at Hampton University. Thanks to MacDailyNews reader “Algr” for the heads up and the nice compliment.]

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “TowerTone” for the AFP article heads up.]


  1. Informatio……ooo, Keyboard Cat!

    Informa……ooo, what is Kim Kardashian doing now? No….

    Informat…..ooo, so that is how you remove a tree stump…..

    Info…..the new iPhone? Pictures? Whoa!

    In…..They found Noah’s Ark? Really?

  2. The only argument worth having is one where the opposing points of view are sincere, logically constructed and willing to work towards some kind of compromise. If one party is not acting in this kind of good faith then there is nothing worth talking about.

  3. Scary communist-like statements aside….Obama, you just became out of touch with the very people who got you elected. Those people that use technology including iPods and iPads. Also, the iPod and iPad are tools for Education, look at what’s going on in schools around the country, K-12 and HiEd, these are Education tools not just for entertainment. Pretty sad that this guy is giving a speech to a class of graduating university students and does not even know what tools are being used these days to teach. Out of touch. By that way Obama, my two year old knows how to use an iPad!!

  4. roguedog: In a dictatorial government it is essential that there be a single source of information. A single voice espoused from a single, overaching and unchallenged authority. That source is the Democratic party, and it’s voice is Chairman Obama.

    That is sheer stupidity. There is absolutely nothing in the actual article that would support this kind of paranoia.

    Obama was advocating literacy and education as means of self-defense against the constant barrage of information through all channels, some of it being of dubious merit.

    Ironically, the blatantly distorted mis-quote by MDN above is a case in point: If you are lacking in education to the degree that you will fall for any half-baked manipulation (as you obviously have), what is needed is not banning free speech, what is needed is you realizing that you are being manipulated!

    That was his point – and both MDN and yourself have provided prime examples of him being absolutely right about it!

    Get an education!

    Don’t let yourself be manipulated!

    Think for yourself and look for factual, original information instead of being content with regurgitated ideology!

    The point is not that you should come to one specific conclusion – the point is that you should make a real effort to have your conclusions as realistic and as close to the truth as possible!

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