Fox News outrage machine Todd Starnes used his signature brand of skewed reporting last week to claim that innocuous comments that President Obama recently made to a group of students in Laos mean that the president doesn’t like America and thinks that American workers are lazy.
Starnes told Virginia-based radio host Rob Schilling in an interview at the Values Voter Summit on Friday that liberals “hate America” and that the president “does not believe that we are an exceptional nation, and I just don’t think he likes us.”
As evidence, Starnes cited a recent column of his in which he claims Obama “talked about how lazy American” workers are to the Laotian students. “And this is the guy who’s played golf, what, 180-some-odd times talking about American workers being lazy,” he insisted. “And again, it’s part of a routine with this guy that he goes on foreign soil and he disparages America.”
If you’re surprised that you haven’t heard the news that Obama went to Laos to call American workers lazy, it might be because that did not actually happen. Here’s what Obama actually said:
And I believe that the United States is and can be a great force for good in the world. But because we’re such a big country, we haven’t always had to know about other parts of the world. If you are in Laos, you need to know about Thailand and China and Cambodia, because you’re a small country and they’re right next door and you need to know who they are. If you you’re in the United States, sometimes you can feel lazy and think we’re so big we don’t have to really know anything about other people.
And that’s part of what I’m trying to change, because this is actually the region that’s going to grow faster than anyplace else in the world. It has the youngest population, and the economy is growing faster than anyplace. And if we aren’t here interacting and learning from you, and understanding the culture of the region, then we’ll be left behind. We’ll miss an opportunity. And I don’t want to that to happen.
Schilling, for his part, said that Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg “should have been impeached immediately” after she said that South Africa’s constitution might be a better model for a country writing a new constitution today than the United States’.