President Obama late Monday scolded members of the media for their coverage of the 2016 presidential race, calling on them to not "dumb down the news" in a campaign with headlines dominated by Republican presidential front-runner Donald TrumpDonald TrumpHouse intelligence panel Dem: I don't trust Nunes MSNBC's Maddow most-watched among younger viewers for 3rd-straight week Protesters plan 'Tax March' on Washington demanding Trump's tax returns MORE.
"It's always been rough-and-tumble. But when our elected officials and our political campaign become entirely untethered to reason and facts and analysis, when it doesn’t matter what's true and what's not, that makes it all but impossible for us to make good decisions on behalf of future generations," Obama said.
Obama warned about the coarsening of politics and, without naming Trump, suggested that coverage of the presidential race dominated by the outspoken businessman had come up short and focused too often on "flashy" stories. He also called on reporters to "have higher aspirations" and "not dumb down the news."
"The No. 1 question I am getting as I travel around the world or talk to world leaders right now is, 'What is happening in America?'" Obama said. "And it's not because around the world people have not seen crazy politics; it is that they understand America is the place where you can't afford completely crazy politics."
Obama, who also took other swipes at GOP presidential candidates during his speech without naming names, has weighed in on media coverage before and has offered a testy reaction when pressed by members of the press.
During a press conference last year at the White House, Obama slammed the suggestion that he was "content" with Americans sitting in jail in Iran amid negotiations over its nuclear program, telling a reporter, "You should know better."
Obama's latest comments sparked reaction from the White House press corps:
"You are supposed to push those in power for more evidence and more access," says Pres Obama, even though his WH doesn't always provide it.— Mark Knoller (@markknoller) March 29, 2016
After this barnburner from Obama on the responsibilities of robust press coverage, i’m eager to see the spike in On Record WH briefings— Sam Stein (@samsteinhp) March 29, 2016