President Trump and the media have been feuding. The public isn’t happy

(Gerald Herbert / Associated Press)

Americans who watch cable news, read their Facebook pages or engage in just about any form of media see the evidence almost daily: The Trump administration and the mainstream news media have a fraught relationship.

President Trump complains frequently about "fake news"; mainstream news organizations accuse the president of skirting the truth, and more.

New polling by the Pew Research Center suggests that Americans don’t like what they’re seeing, regardless of party affiliation, age, income or almost any other demographic marker.

A full 83% of American adults agreed that "the relationship between Trump and the news media is generally unhealthy." Another large majority, 73%, said that tension is "getting in the way of Americans’ access to important news."

The poll does not offer solutions. And it’s unclear that there are any easy ones. Reporters are driven by the mission of holding politicians accountable and are unlikely to soften up to please those in power.

Other surveys have shown an increasing ideological gap in perceptions of the media’s credibility. Conservatives and other Trump supporters distrust the mainstream media far more than liberals and Democrats.

Trump has exploited that tension better than almost any other politician, using the trust gap to build loyalty among supporters and discredit unflattering reports.

A characteristic example came hours before the Pew survey was released Tuesday as Donald Trump Jr. took a shot at the mainstream media on his Twitter feed. The president’s eldest son praised a self-described "alt-right" journalist who has dabbled in conspiracy theories, lauding his coverage of a story that cast an Obama administration official in an unflattering light.

The president, himself, said in a business forum on Tuesday that he was getting "unbelievable credit" for his accomplishments from everyone save "the mainstream media, which just gives us no credit whatsoever."

(Pablo Martinez Monsivais / Associated Press) (AFP/Getty Images) Judge Neil Gorsuch speaks at the White House on Jan. 31 after President Trump announced his nomination to the Supreme Court. Sisi shown in Cairo in 2014 (Associated Press)

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