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Reporter Quits NBC Citing Network’s Support For Endless War

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Written by Caitlin Johnstone; Originally appeared at her blog

A journalist with NBC has resigned from the network with a statement which highlights the immense resistance that ostensibly liberal mass media outlets have to antiwar narratives, skepticism of US military agendas, and any movement in the opposite direction of endless military expansionism.

Reporter Quits NBC Citing Network’s Support For Endless War

“January 4 is my last day at NBC News and I’d like to say goodbye to my friends, hopefully not for good,” begins an email titled ‘My goodbye letter to NBC’ sent to various contacts by William M Arkin, an award-winning journalist who has been associated with the network for 30 years.

“This isn’t the first time I’ve left NBC, but this time the parting is more bittersweet, the world and the state of journalism in tandem crisis,” the email continues. “My expertise, though seeming to be all the more central to the challenges and dangers we face, also seems to be less valued at the moment. And I find myself completely out of synch with the network, being neither a day-to-day reporter nor interested in the Trump circus.”

The lengthy email covers details about Arkin’s relationship with NBC and its staff, his opinions about the mainstream media’s refusal to adequately scrutinize and criticize the US war machine’s spectacular failures in the Middle East, how he “argued endlessly with MSNBC about all things national security for years”, the fact that his position as a civilian military analyst was unusual and “peculiar” in a media environment where that role is normally dominated by “THE GENERALS and former government officials,” and how he was “one of the few to report that there weren’t any WMD in Iraq” and remembers “fondly presenting that conclusion to an incredulous NBC editorial board.”

“A scholar at heart, I also found myself an often lone voice that was anti-nuclear and even anti-military, anti-military for me meaning opinionated but also highly knowledgeable, somewhat akin to a movie critic, loving my subject but also not shy about making judgements regarding the flops and the losers,” he writes.

Arkin makes clear that NBC is in no way the sole mass media offender in its refusal to question or criticize the normalization of endless warfare, but that he feels increasingly “out of sync” and “out of step” with the network’s unhesitating advancement of military interventionist narratives. He writes about how Robert Windrem, NBC News’ chief investigative producer, convinced him to join a new investigative unit in the early days of the 2016 presidential race. Arkin writes the following about his experience with the unit:

“I thought that the mission was to break through the machine of perpetual war acceptance and conventional wisdom to challenge Hillary Clinton’s hawkishness. It was also an interesting moment at NBC because everyone was looking over their shoulder at Vice and other upstarts creeping up on the mainstream. But then 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. And I would assert that in many ways NBC just began emulating the national security state itself — busy and profitable. No wars won but the ball is kept in play.

“I’d argue that under Trump, the national security establishment not only hasn’t missed a beat but indeed has gained dangerous strength. Now it is ever more autonomous and practically impervious to criticism. I’d also argue, ever so gingerly, that NBC has become somewhat lost in its own verve, proxies of boring moderation and conventional wisdom, defender of the government against Trump, cheerleader for open and subtle threat mongering, in love with procedure and protocol over all else (including results). I accept that there’s a lot to report here, but I’m more worried about how much we are missing. Hence my desire to take a step back and think why so little changes with regard to America’s wars.”

Arkin is no fan of Trump, calling him “an ignorant and incompetent impostor,” but describes his shock at NBC’s reflexive opposition to the president’s “bumbling intuitions” to get along with Russia, to denuclearize North Korea, to get out of the Middle East, and his questioning of the US military’s involvement in Africa.

“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 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?”

“There’s a saying about consultants, that organizations hire them to hear exactly what they want to hear,” Arkin writes in the conclusion of his statement. “ I’m proud to say that NBC didn’t do that when it came to me. Similarly I can say that I’m proud that I’m not guilty of giving my employers what they wanted. Still, the things this and most organizations fear most — variability, disturbance, difference — those things that are also the primary drivers of creativity — are not really the things that I see valued in the reporting ranks.”

That’s about as charitably as it could possibly be said by a skeptical tongue. Another way to say it would be that plutocrat-controlled and government-enmeshed media networks hire reporters to protect the warmongering oligarchic status quo upon which media-controlling plutocrats have built their respective kingdoms, and foster an environment which elevates those who promote establishment-friendly narratives while marginalizing and pressuring anyone who doesn’t. It’s absolutely bizarre that it should be unusual for there to be a civilian analyst of the US war machine’s behaviors in the mainstream media who is skeptical of its failed policies and nonstop bloodshed, and it’s a crime that such voices are barely holding on to the fringes of the media stage. Such analysts should be extremely normal and commonplace, not rare and made to feel as though they don’t belong.

Click here to read William M Arkin’s full email, republished with permission.

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Master Oroko

I hope that more follow. I hope that there’s an exodus of other journalists and analysts that will leave their respective networks. At least, I hope that the good ones that are still there will leave. We need more honest men and women. And those honest men and women need to stand up and make themselves known.

AM Hants

If they get out now, their reputations will be intact. If they hang around, till even the masses wake up, they lose it all, except their cluster mates.

Brother Ma

A brave and honest man. Also Jewish so he must be very unpopular with the powerful Zionists.

You can call me Al

Being Jewish does not mean you are a Zionist.

Brother Ma

Never said so Al. That is why i did not call him a Zionist. I know very well many Jews are progressive anti war ,anti Yankee/Israel imperialists. That is why I said he’d be in trouble with powerful Zionists:because they would certainly want him to be on their side ,not exposing them.
The most powerful Zionists in America right now aren’t even Jewish :they are Christian. ,like Pence etc.Damn heretic Christian Zionists/Evangelicals!

FlorianGeyer

Yes, there are few honest and educated people in the US who are willing to raise their heads above the parapet and stop the hoards of ignoramus dullards who are led from behind by ‘career criminals’.

AM Hants

This is what he was up against:

Shock Files: What Role Did Integrity Initiative Play in Sergei Skripal Affair?

‘…Donnelly met with General Sir Richard Barrons. Notes from the meeting don’t make clear who said what, but one despaired that “if no catastrophe happens to wake people up and demand a response, then we need to find a way to get the core of government to realise the problem and take it out of the political space.”…

…Not long after according to Anonymous, Donnelly recruited Mark Andrew Laverick — a specialist on chemical and biological weapons, formerly of Enigma Diagnostics Limited, part of UK chemical research center Porton Down — to SGMI.

Operation IRIS Begins
On 4 March 2018, former Russian military officer and double agent for MI6 Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia were poisoned in Salisbury, England.

Within days, the Institute had submitted a proposal to the Foreign & Commonwealth Office, “to study social media activity in respect of the events that took place, how news spread and evaluate how the incident is being perceived” in a number of countries.

The bid was accepted, and the Initiative’s ‘Operation Iris’ was launched. Under its auspices, the Institute employed ‘global investigative solutions’ firm Harod Associates to analyze social media activity related to Skripal the world over.

It also conducted media monitoring of its own, with Institute ‘research fellow’ Simon Bracey-Lane producing regular ’roundups’ of media coverage overseas, based on insights submitted by individuals connected to the Initiative living in several countries. One submission, from an unnamed source in Moldova, says they “cannot firmly say” whether the country’s media had its “own point of view” on the issue, or whether news organizations had taken “an obvious pro-Russian or pro-Western position”, strongly suggesting these were key questions for the Initiative…

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Post-Skripal Incident Anti-Russian Actions Recommended by Integrity Initiative
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…It’s not clear who the document was distributed to — but it may have been given to journalists within the Initiative’s UK ‘cluster’, if not others. This may explain why the Institute’s “narrative”, and its various recommended “responses” utterly dominated mainstream media reporting of the affair for months afterwards, despite the glaring lack of evidence of Russian state involvement in the attack..

read more: https://sputniknews.com/europe/201901041071225427-skripal-integrity-initiative-miller/

Who is linked into Integrity Initiative? Starting with Bill Browder, who keeps getting slung out of nations, owing to problems with mistaking where his tax bill needs to go.

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AM Hants

Invoice submitted to Integrity Initiative by Dan Kaszeta

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Tommy Jensen

“I’m proud that I’m not guilty of giving my employers what they wanted”??? Wtf?

If you are on our payroll you do what we want and what we say. Otherwise there is 0 $$ puta.
If we say jump you jump, and then you get paid……………..LOL.

So you think we pay you “to be yourself”? To do the opposite of what we want in accordance with your personal feelings? To payroll your raised moral finger and self righteousness?………………LOL.

FlorianGeyer

Yes Tommy, a prostitute must learn to respect her/his/its, pimp.
Its the Zionist American Dream :)

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