But one of the more controversial sound bites to emerge from the interview was the president's characterization of Rupert Murdoch's Fox News. While the White House has had well-publicized prior spats with the conservative-leaning cable-news channel, Obama made clear that he believes the channel's "opinionated" reporting is "ultimately destructive for the long-term growth" of the country. Those are strong words to be uttering about America's "most-watched" news source. For those who want a little more context to the sound bite, here's Obama's full response to the Rolling Stone question:
What do you think of Fox News? Do you think it's a good institution for America and for democracy?
[Laughs] Look, as president, I swore to uphold the Constitution, and part of that Constitution is a free press. We've got a tradition in this country of a press that oftentimes is opinionated. The golden age of an objective press was a pretty narrow span of time in our history. Before that, you had folks like Hearst who used their newspapers very intentionally to promote their viewpoints. I think Fox is part of that tradition — it is part of the tradition that has a very clear, undeniable point of view. It's a point of view that I disagree with. It's a point of view that I think is ultimately destructive for the long-term growth of a country that has a vibrant middle class and is competitive in the world. But as an economic enterprise, it's been wildly successful. And I suspect that if you ask Mr. Murdoch what his number-one concern is, it's that Fox is very successful.