New polling indicates that a majority of Americans believe that news reporters are too critical of President Donald Trump. The media and the president have had a contentious relationship, with Trump asserting that outlets that have been critical of him and his administration are "fake news."
On Feb. 26, a Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll found that 51 percent of respondents believe that the media is too critical of Trump, while 41 percent believe that coverage of the president has been fair, The Hill reports.
While the majority of respondents believe that the media is too harsh on Trump, a slight majority are also not enthusiastic about his job performance so far. 48 percent of respondents disapprove of Trump's performance as president, while 44 percent approve of his first month in office.
On Feb. 24, Trump blasted journalists during his speech before the Conservative Political Action Conference. The president doubled down on his assertion that the media is an enemy of the public, CNN reports.
"I called the fake news the enemy of the people and they are," Trump said. "They're very smart, they're very cunning. There are some terrible dishonest people and they do a tremendous disservice to our country."
The president added that the media "never will represent the people, and we're going to do something about it."
On Feb. 27, former President George W. Bush offered a different assessment of the press during an interview with NBC's Today.
"We needed the media to hold people like me to account," Bush said. "Power can be very addictive and it can be corrosive, and it's important for the media to call to account people who abuse their power."
The former president added that it would be more difficult to convince repressive regimes abroad "to have an independent press when we're not willing to have one ourselves."
On Feb. 23, a Quinnipiac University poll found that a majority of Americans trusted the media over Trump to provide the truth on important issues.
52 percent of respondents said that they would trust the media over the president, while 37 percent said that they believed Trump's word over reporters, according to USA Today.