by Chris White
Former President Barack Obama is talking with Netflix about developing programs that could hit back against some of his conservative critics online, according to The New York Times’ Thursday report.
Netflix would pay the former president and first lady Michelle to provide the outlet exclusive content that would be available only on live streaming, the report notes, which relies on sources who are aware of the negotiations. The number of episodes have not yet been discussed, the sources said.
Obama does not intend to directly confront his Republican successor, President Donald Trump, the report notes, but he could use the programs to correct what he believes to be misinformation spread using online platforms. He could also use Netflix to push-back against his conservative critics.
Obama told reporters shortly after the 2016 presidential election the new media landscape made it possible for people to ignore facts. “Everything is true and nothing is true,” he told The New Yorker in November 2016. He’s railed against Fox News and other conservative-leaning news outlets in the past.
“If you watch Fox News, you are living on a different planet than you are if you are listening to NPR,” Obama told David Letterman in January 2018 for the former talk show host’s first Netflix program.
“President and Mrs. Obama have always believed in the power of storytelling to inspire,” Eric Schultz, a senior adviser to the former president, told reporters Thursday. “As they consider their future personal plans, they continue to explore new ways to help others tell and share their stories.”
Obama has a close relationship with Netflix Chief Content Officer Ted Sarandos, who is married to Nicole Avant, an activist who served as the former president’s ambassador to the Bahamas. A Netflix spokesman declined to comment to The New York Times about any discussions.
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