Obama Scolds Press on Trump Coverage: This Is Not a Reality Show

• May 6, 2016 1:56 pm


President Barack Obama gave his review of the presidential election on Friday during a press conference in the White House and warned that it is not for a reality show.

Obama's comments seemed to be made more specifically toward Donald Trump.

"But most importantly, and I speak to all of you in this room as reporters, as well as the American public, I think, I just want to emphasize the degree to which we are in serious times and this is a really serious job. This is not entertainment. This is not a reality show. This is a contest for the presidency of the United States and what that means is that every candidate, every nominee, needs to be subject to exacting standards and genuine scrutiny."

The comments about the campaign being a reality show can be interpreted as being referenced to Trump's former reality show, The Apprentice.

"It means that you got to make sure that their budgets add up. It means that if they say they've got an answer to a problem, that it is actually plausible and that they have details for how it would work. And if it's completely implausible and would not work, that needs to be reported on and the American people need to know that," Obama said. "If they take a position on international issues that could threaten war or has the potential of upending our critical relationships with other countries or would potentially break the financial system, that needs to be reported on.

"And the one thing that I'm going to really be looking for over the next six months is that the American people are effectively informed about where candidates stand on the issues, what they believe, making sure that their numbers add up, making sure that their policies have been vetted, and that candidates are held to what they've said in the past. And if that happens, then I'm confident our democracy will work. And that's true whether we're talking about Mr. Trump or Mrs. Clinton or Bernie Sanders or anybody else.

"But what I'm concerned about is the degree to which reporting and information starts emphasizing the spectacle and the circus because that's not something we can afford."