Longtime major media reporter William M. Arkin quit over what he called endless Trump hysteria, opposition to his wanting improved relations with Russia, condoning US militarism and belligerence, cheerleading fear-mongering, and “ho-hum reporting,” among other issues.
On January 4, he left NBC News after 30 years with the network, on and off, calling his “parting . . . bittersweet” at a time when “the world and the state of journalism (in America and elsewhere is in) crisis.”
He disagreed with NBC reporting, opposing the daily “Trump circus,” the way virtually all US major print and electronic media operate.
He called himself a lone anti-military, anti-war, anti-nuclear voice. He felt “out of sync” with mainstream news reporting.
He wrote about “the increasing power of the national security community”—at a time when America’s only enemies are invented ones, my comment, not his, a view he likely shared.
His book, titled “American Coup: How a Terrified Government is Destroying the Constitution,” discussed what he called “creeping fascism of homeland security.”
Endless wars rage, no end of them in prospect, “not a soul in Washington” speaking out against them, media like NBC News cheerleading what demands condemnation.
After endless post-9/11 wars, “[t]here is not one country in the Middle East (or virtually anywhere else) that is safer today than . . . 18 years ago,” said Arkin.
The world today is “more polarized and dangerous” than on September 11, 2001. From then to now, airpower isn’t the answer, he said, just an enabler and tool of endless wars.
He’s dishearten[ed] about media failing to report the failures of Washington’s imperial agenda. He’s “shocked” about “essentially condon[ing]” what’s going on in all US war theaters.
He called himself proud about being one of the first reporters to expose the Big Lie about WMD in Iraq—the phony pretext for Bush/Cheney’s naked aggression.
All wars are based on Big Lies and deception. Reporters know what few dare explain, notably ones working for US print and electronic media.
They focus on sanitizing reports, repeating the official narrative, suppressing what’s most important—especially when America goes to war or in the run-up to attacking countries without just cause.
In 2016, NBC prevented Arkin from “break[ing] through the machine of perpetual war acceptance and conventional wisdom to challenge Hillary Clinton’s hawkishness.”
NBC operated like all other major media, supporting America’s war machine, cheerleading mass slaughter and destruction, suppressing the horrors of endless aggression.
Things are worse under Trump than earlier because he stacked his regime with militarists and warmongers, Arkin explained.
Despite restraints placed on him, he called his time at NBC “gratifying.” He’s proud of his work, but called it a “time to take a break”—returning to writing, what he called his “first love . . . writing boring reports about secret (national security) programs.”
US wars continue. “[L]ittle changes” from one to the next. NBC and other US media support what they should oppose, Arkin saying, “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. Really?”
“We shouldn’t get out Syria? We shouldn’t go for the bold move of denuclearizing the Korean peninsula? Even on Russia, though we should be concerned about the brittleness of our democracy [sic] that it is so vulnerable to manipulation, do we really yearn for the Cold War?”
“And don’t even get me started with the FBI: What? We now lionize this historically destructive institution?”
The same goes for the CIA, NSA, and rest of Washington’s intelligence community—agents of furthering national security state lawlessness worldwide.
Separately, Arkin tweeted: “Mattis . . . was never the savior, and did nothing but continue longstanding go nowhere policies.”
“My guess is Mattis 2020.” Peacemakers needn’t apply, warmakers alone permitted to further a permanent state of war on humanity—military Keynesianism on steroids, trillions of dollars for mass killing, destruction, and human misery.
It’s the American way.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. His new book as editor and contributor is titled “Flashpoint in Ukraine: How the US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III.” Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.