U.S.

Veteran NBC Analyst Says Media Needs 'Trump-Free' Days to 'Cover the Government, Not Just the President'

Veteran NBC News analyst William Arkin on Sunday suggested “Trump-free” media days for cable networks to combat a news landscape he believes to be oversaturated with coverage of the president.

During a segment on CNN’s Reliable Sources, Arkin explained to host Brian Stelter why he believes the media is failing in their coverage of American wars and advocated for less Trump coverage.

"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.

"I think part of what happens when you’re involved in the circus on a day-to-day basis is that you don’t have an opportunity to develop the kind of deep sources that are necessary to do these investigations."

GettyImages-1078326274 U.S. President Donald Trump returns to the White House after a day trip to Camp David on January 6, 2019 in Washington, DC. On Sunday, NBC news veteran William Arkin recommended "Trump-free" news days to combat the "Trump circus" he believes is caused by the mainstream media. Getty/Chris Kleponis - Pool

Arkin's comments come days after he wrote a fiery 2,228-word memo detailing reasons for his departure from NBC News. The decades-long military analyst also penned that news coverage critical of Trump’s foreign policy decisions — including relations with North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un and pulling troops from Syria — made him feel uncomfortable.

When asked whether he thought the lack of national security and foreign policy coverage was due to so much “oxygen” being “sucked up by Trump,” Arkin replied: "I don’t think it’s just the oxygen being sucked up by Trump. I also think it’s the nature of the TV world these days, it’s the nature of social media. 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 sound bite."

"When I started in the world of television, we had a hell of a lot more academics, professors, experts on, and today we’ve basically given up on that," he continued. "Journalists are the ones who speak and journalists are not necessarily the most skilled or the most expert in terms of talking about foreign affairs."

The former U.S. army soldier also revealed that he is “concerned about the world” and stressed that Trump isn’t always the “complete and utter story.” "The national security community itself has gotten stronger and has gained strength under Donald Trump," Arkin said. "And part of our responsibility as journalists is to cover the government, and not just the president."

Arkin had worked for NBC for over 30 years on and off as a military analyst, reporter and consultant. Friday was his last day at the network. The parting memo was shared with CNN, who later reported its contents.

In it, Arkin explained that he was leaving because his expertise seems “to be less valued at the moment.”

“I find myself completely out of synch with the network, being neither a day-to-day reporter nor interested in the Trump circus,” he wrote.

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