NBC News Veteran Warns About Cable News’ ‘Trump Circus’

Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images

Amber Athey Podcast Columnist
Font Size:

NBC News’ William Arkin, whose last day at the network is Friday, sent a scathing farewell letter to his colleagues criticizing the network’s singular focus on President Donald Trump.

Arkin spent three decades on and off at NBC News covering national security and brought a healthy dose of skepticism to various international military engagements, especially the Iraq War. (RELATED: NBC News Issues Correction Over Trump’s Robert E. Lee Comments)

The 2,228-word goodbye note, which was shared with CNN, slams the media’s obsession with military conflict and urges reporters to be wary of 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 snow storm.”

He added, “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.”

Arkin also attacked NBC News’ reflexively anti-Trump stances on military issues, noting that while he thinks Trump is “incompetent,” it is a disservice to automatically dismiss any position the president takes.

“Of course [Trump] is an ignorant and incompetent impostor. And yet I’m alarmed at how quick NBC is to mechanically argue the contrary, to be in favor of policies that just spell more conflict and more war,” he asserted. “Really? We shouldn’t get out [sic] Syria? We shouldn’t go for the bold move of denuclearizing the Korean peninsula?”

Follow Amber on Twitter