Veteran journalists Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein hit the news media Sunday for adopting an unnecessarily hostile "tone" in their coverage of the White House.

Appearing Sunday on CNN's "State of the Union," the two longtime reporters said there should be less pettiness and outrage in the media when it comes to President Trump.

"We oughtn’t be too provocative, which we sometimes are with a president who’s putting a lot of bait out there and sometimes we take the bait and get a little petty," said Bernstein.

"The tone is a big issue here," added Woodward. "In lots of reporting, particularly on television commentary, there’s a kind of self-righteousness and smugness and people kind of ridiculing the president. When we reported on Nixon, it was obviously a very different era but we did not adopt a tone of ridicule. The tone was, what are the facts?"

Trump himself has directly criticized the "tone" in the media's coverage of his administration and he regularly calls out what he perceives as "fake news," an attempt to discredit negative coverage.