President Barack Obama has blamed the media for the rise of Republican Donald Trump as a political force.
Speaking at an event for political reporters, Barack Obama said it was not enough to give “someone a microphone”.
Donald Trump, who has made waves with a series of controversial remarks, is winning the race to be GOP’s presidential nominee.
The New York businessman and the other two Republicans in contention will appear on TV later.
CNN is hosting a town hall event on March 29 ahead of a crucial primary in Wisconsin next week.
Giving a keynote address at a journalists’ award dinner, Barack Obama did not mention Donald Trump by name but his target was clear.
Politicians, journalists and citizens are all responsible for the divisive and bitter political atmosphere, the president said, but reporters should be digging deeper on the 2016 presidential candidates.
In a reference to Donald Trump’s domination of the news cycle, Barack Obama said the job of a political reporter was “more than just handing someone a microphone”.
Billions of dollars in free media should come with serious accountability, especially when politicians issue unworkable plans or make promises they cannot keep, Barack Obama said.
Donald Trump has had a rough couple of days in the state that will next make its choice for Republican and Democratic presidential candidates, Wisconsin.
The Wisconsin primary is on April 5, with Donald Trump and Texas Senator Ted Cruz neck-and-neck in the state’s polls.
First Donald Trump faced a hostile conservative talk-radio host, Charlie Sykes, who grilled him on his donations to Democrats and his insults to women, most recently Ted Cruz’s wife.
“Wouldn’t it be a good way to start off your Wisconsin campaign by saying that wives should be off-limits and that you apologize for mocking her looks?” Charlie Sykes asked Donald Trump during the interview.
Charlie Sykes also wrongfooted Donald Trump on air by revealing he was part of the #NeverTrump movement.
Conservative websites The Federalist and RedState said Donald Trump “fell apart live on-air when asked tough questions”.
Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker said on March 29 he was backing Ted Cruz because he was the candidate most likely to win the election in November.