Former President George W. Bush on Monday morning told NBC’s “Today” that the media is crucial to democracy.
“I consider the media to be indispensable to democracy. We needed independent media to hold people like me to account,” Bush said. “Power can be very addictive and it can be corrosive, and it’s important for the media to call to account people who abuse their power.”
He added that he tried to convince Russian President Vladimir Putin that a free press was important.
“It’s kind of hard to tell others to have an independent free press when we’re not willing to have one ourselves,” Bush said.
However, Bush said that the media landscape has changed since he sat in the Oval Office and argued that the divided media makes it hard to govern.
“It’s hard to unify the country with the news media being so split up,” he said when asked about President Donald Trump’s war with the press.