Veteran journalist William Arkin has an idea for cable news networks — “Trump-free” days.
The NBC News veteran said on Sunday that these news networks need to take a break from constant coverage of Trump’s constant controversies and divisive statements and focus more on actual reporting. In an appearance on CNN’s Reliable Sources, Arkin talked about what prompted him to write a scathing memo this week announcing his resignation from NBC News, saying the media did a poor job of looking more critically of America’s “perpetual wars.”
Arkin said the media needs to focus more on actual policies and coverage and less on the “circus” that comes with Trump.
“We need to have Trump-free days, we need to have actual investigative correspondents working on actual investigations, we need to have some courage to criticize the military and criticize the national security community,” Arkin said.
Arkin went on to say that he believes the media is not able to properly cover national security and foreign policy issues because of “the oxygen being sucked up by Trump.” He went on to say that he would rather see more attention on experts who can provide real insight instead of ones who can deliver the best soundbites.
“I also think it’s the nature of the TV world these days, it’s the nature of social media,” he said. “We just don’t give enough credit to experts, to academics, to people who might not be so conversant with TV, who can’t talk quickly, who can’t give the soundbite.”
Media coverage of Trump has garnered criticism dating back to the 2016 campaign, when networks including CNN would devote long stretches of coverage to Trump, sometimes showing extensive live coverage of his campaign rallies. This allowed Trump to garner significantly more television time than his opponents in the Republican primary, and later, more than Hillary Clinton.
Donald Trump has often obsessed over media coverage of himself and promoted stories that paint him in a good light, and this week, he was caught bragging about a positive media story that was actually written by one of his own aides. As The Huffington Post noted, Trump took to Twitter to rave about a story published in the conservative Washington Examiner called “MAGA list: 205 ‘historic results’ help Trump make case for 2020 re-election.”
But the story even noted that the information came directly from members of the Trump administration, and the list itself was compiled by the White House.