Alexander Nazaryan, a national correspondent for Yahoo! News, is jonesing for the “thrill” of covering the erstwhile Trump administration, a task he oddly compared to being on Omaha Beach during the D-Day invasion.
“Covering the administration was thrilling for many journalists, in a way that I imagine storming Omaha Beach must have been for a 20-year-old fresh from the plains of Kansas,” he wrote in a piece published Thursday by The Atlantic. “He hadn’t signed up for battle, but there he was, liberating France.”
“France, by the way, is where Trump called American soldiers who’d fallen in combat ‘suckers’ and ‘losers,’” Nazaryan added.
The journalist went on to note that, when The Atlantic reported on Trump’s alleged comments about fallen American soldiers, supporters of the then-president denounced the magazine’s story as “preposterous and offensive.”
Nazaryan went on to lament journalists having to deal with such criticism from Trump voters “was our Omaha beach.” He noted he would have “rather been in Hawaii.”
He explained that reporters’ greatest shortcoming, though, wasn’t allowing bias to creep into their coverage. Rather, Nazaryan argued, the problem was the media “did not fact-check [Trump] enough.”
“But we also did not let him have his say,” the correspondent wrote. “We were members of the Resistance who did not sufficiently resist. Certain articles would elicit complaints from the left and the right alike, especially if those articles teased out the nuances of governing that not even Trump could efface. Those articles, the ones that failed to satisfy a predetermined narrative, usually got the fewest clicks.”
The article — originally titled “I Miss the Thrill of Trump” but later renamed “I Was an Enemy of the People” — garnered a fair amount of criticism on social media Thursday.
This kind of self-aggrandizing language is not unique to Nazaryan. Other journalists have likewise given themselves outsized praise for their work.
MSNBC’s Katy Tur once likened journalists to firefighters, saying just as first responders “run into a fire,” so journalists “run toward a story.”
And Jonathan Karl, who serves as chief Washington correspondent for ABC News, said covering Trump’s indoor rallies during the COVID-19 pandemic was like being in a war zone.
“This is not like embedding with the Marines in Fallujah,” said Karl, who has reported from combat zones. “It is like you are taking your family with you to Fallujah.”