Former President Barack Obama railed against the disparity in media coverage between the tragedy of the OceanGate Titan submersible and the migrant boat which sank off Greece’s coast.
Obama made the comments in a pre-taped interview with CNN’s Christiane Amanpour in Athens, Greece, that aired on Thursday (June 22) night.
The 44th President criticized the perceived “inequality” in “democracy,” claiming that coverage of the missing OceanGate sub was dominating the news cycle, comparing it to coverage of the sinking migrant boat in the Mediterranean Sea as an example of the “inequality.”
The former President suggested that “democracy is not going to be healthy” because of what he described as “obscene inequality.”
CNN broadcasted the interview after reports about OceanGate Titan submarine carrying five people on a private exploration of the Titanic wreckage in the North Atlantic Ocean had likely imploded while traveling to the famous wreck.
The news of the implosion came after a week of round-the-clock media coverage devoted to updates about the search and rescue efforts when the submarine lost communication with its mothership on Sunday (June 18).
During the interview, Obama mentioned the capsizing migrant boat off the coast of Greece that had most likely resulted in hundreds of deaths. The boat had about 750 migrants on board and was en route to Italy after disembarking from Libya when the ship began sinking. Only about one hundred passengers could be rescued.
The remaining passengers have been reported missing but are believed to have drowned. Ylva Johansson, EU Commissioner for Home Affairs, described the sinking as “the worst ever tragedy we’ve seen in the Mediterranean.”
Obama denounced the media coverage of the two events to Amanpour.
The former President began by claiming it wouldn’t be “healthy” for “democracy” given “the levels of inequality… generated from globalization, automation, the decline in unions.”
He emphasized the “obscene inequality” before discussing the “24-hour coverage” of the submarine and pointing to how “off the coast of Greece, we had 700 people dead.”
He highlighted the “minute-to-minute” coverage “all around the world.”
Although he described it as understandable before noting “that that’s got so much more attention than 700 people who sank,” concluding that it was “an untenable situation.”