The press likes to call itself the “4th Estate”, saying they are just as important as the three branches of government.

But if they are unaccountable to anyone, why are we spending money catering to them?

New polls show that Americans are very divided about how they see the role of the press, with only 42% of conservatives thinking the press has a role in government to act as a watchdog.  It seems that the press is hovering over the White House looking for any small mistake or misspelling.

Tensions escalated even further between the press and the White House after Comey’s firing as FBI Director.

So in response, President Trump tweeted, “Maybe the best thing to do would be to cancel all future “press briefings” and hand out written responses for the sake of accuracy???”

CNN reported:

“President Trump’s White House can’t get its story about the firing of FBI director James Comey straight. Trump offered a potential solution Friday: cancel all press briefings.

“As a very active President with lots of things happening, it is not possible for my surrogates to stand at podium with perfect accuracy!” Trump tweeted. “Maybe the best thing to do would be to cancel all future “press briefings” and hand out written responses for the sake of accuracy???”

Trump’s administration has offered countless different accounts about the timeline of Comey’s firing.

White House Deputy Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said Wednesday that Trump fired Comey only after getting a recommendation from the Department of Justice. Trump, however, told NBC’s Lester Holt on Thursday that he was considering firing Comey for a long time, and he would have fired Comey regardless of the DOJ’s recommendation.

Sanders faced backlash from the press Thursday during her briefing. She said that she presented the timeline as she understood it on Wednesday.

“I didn’t ask that question directly, ‘had you already made that decision,'” Sanders said at Thursday’s press briefing. “I went off the information that I had when I answered your question.”

President Trump is thinking about holding only two meetings with the press a week.

But the underlying issue remains – when so much attention is given to media coverage, not enough is spent on policy and governing.

The press seems to spend more time quibbling about secondary issues and ignoring the big picture.

Pew research shows that America is getting more and more divided about where they get their news and how important big media is in their lives.

“Democrats and Republicans, who already tend to place their trust in different news sources and rely on different outlets for political news, now disagree more than ever on a fundamental issue of the news media’s role in society: whether news organizations’ criticism of political leaders primarily keeps them from doing things they shouldn’t – or keeps them from doing their job.

Today, in the early days of the Trump administration, roughly nine-in-ten Democrats (89%) say news media criticism keeps leaders in line (sometimes called the news media’s “watchdog role”), while only about four-in-ten Republicans (42%) say the same.

That is a 47-percentage-point gap, according to a new online survey conducted March 13-27, 2017, among 4,151 U.S. adults who are members of Pew Research Center’s nationally representative American Trends Panel.

The gap stands in sharp contrast to January-February 2016, when Americans were asked the same question. Then, during the presidential primary season, nearly the same share of Democrats (74%) and Republicans (77%) supported the watchdog role.

Pew Research Center has asked this question since 1985. While Republicans have been more likely to support a watchdog role during Democratic presidencies and vice versa, the distance between the parties has never approached the 47-point gap that exists today.

The widest gap up to now occurred during the George W. Bush administration, when Democrats were 28 points more likely than Republicans to support a watchdog role

This partisan split is found in other attitudes about the news media, though none in so dramatic a fashion as with the watchdog role. Compared with 2016, Democrats and Republicans are more divided on whether the press favors one side in its political coverage, on how much trust they have in national news media, and on how good a job national news organizations are doing in keeping them informed.”

It is becoming obvious to most Republicans that big media is just a tool of liberal Democrats – and they are becoming a distraction, not a solution.