Former NBC News veteran calls for media to establish ‘Trump-free days’

William Arkin, an NBC News veteran who quit the network last week, appeared on CNN’s “Reliable Sources” on Sunday and told anchor Brian Stelter there need to be more “Trump-free” days in the media.

The irony being that Arkin was on a network that all but dedicates 24/7 coverage to destroying President Donald Trump.

“We need to have Trump-free days,” Arkin told Stelter. “Part of our responsibility as journalists is to cover the government and not just the president.”

The CNN anchor almost fell out of his chair at the very suggestion.

Arkin left NBC with a bang in that he left a scathing 2,228-word farewell, critiquing the media for not being aggressive enough about covering US military engagements and for being caught up in the “Trump circus.”

“I find myself completely out of synch with the network, being neither a day-to-day reporter nor interested in the Trump circus,” Arkin wrote. “Trump got elected and Investigations got sucked into the tweeting vortex, increasingly lost in a directionless adrenaline rush, the national security and political version of leading the broadcast with every snowstorm.”

To be clear, Arkin is not a Trump fan, ripping him as “an ignorant and incompetent impostor,” but he’s somewhat accurate in his assessment that the media often fails to cover real news.

“In our day-to-day whirlwind and hostage status as prisoners of Donald Trump, I think — like everyone else does — that we miss so much,” he said in the memo.

But the question is are they willing hostages, as Larry King said of his former network in a recent interview, “CNN stopped doing news a long time ago, they do Trump.”

Arkin is also very critical of the US military and “perpetual war.”

“I find it disheartening that we do not report the failures of the generals and national security leaders,” he wrote. “I find it shocking that we essentially condone continued American bumbling in the Middle East and now Africa through our ho-hum reporting.”

 

Tom Tillison

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