Veteran reporter Carl Bernstein pointed out on Sunday that fans of Donald Trump were wrong to call the media "fake news" while they supporting a leader who is a "serial" liar.
During an interview on CNN's Reliable Sources, host Brian Stelter asked Bernstein if the press had damaged its reputation with a "string" of recent errors, including a story about the Trump campaign and WikiLeaks that CNN was forced to correct.
"They are damaging in the sense that this is taking place in a cold civil war in this country," Bernstein explained on Sunday. "In which neither side seems to have much interest in the best obtainable version of the truth. Too many people in our citizenry and in our institutions are looking for information that reinforces what they already believe."
"At the same time," he continued, "reporters, journalists make mistakes. Our record as journalists in covering this Trump story and the Russian story is pretty good, especially compared to the record of Donald Trump and his serial lying. There's not another word that describes it." [Ed. note: "pathological" is another apt word]
According to Bernstein, Trump supporters are likely to doubt mainstream media regardless of their records because "there is this suspension of belief and reasonable looking at how the media does its job."
"We are in a hothouse cold civil war atmosphere," he added. "And attacking the press is the basic element that too many demagogues in our culture have used to whip up this cold civil war and especially to appeal to the base of the president of the United States."