The Atlantic magazine faced widespread mockery Thursday after publishing an op-ed from a Yahoo News reporter that longed for the days of covering the Trump administration and compared it to the “thrill” of storming Normandy during World War II.
The Atlantic published the piece by Yahoo News national correspondent Alexander Nazaryan, titled, “I Miss the Thrill of Trump,” in which he claimed that “covering the administration was thrilling for many journalists, in the way that I imagine storming Omaha Beach must have been for a 20-year-old fresh from the plains of Kansas. He hadn’t signed up for battle, but there he was, liberating France.”
Mr. Nazaryan lamented that President Biden is a “nice guy” who doesn’t rage tweet like his predecessor and that it might cause journalists to want to take a break.
“I miss it already,” he wrote. “I miss it terribly, even if I miss little else about the past four years. Without quite meaning to, Trump reminded journalists that their relationship to power should be adversarial.”
In contrast, Mr. Nazaryan wrote, the Biden administration is giving little room for negative coverage and is “so crushingly on message that I’ve come to suspect their tweets and press releases are written, across the whole of government, in a single room, like one of those ghost kitchens that masquerades as 15 different restaurants serving the cuisines of 15 different cultures.
“I know, I know, boring tweets are a small price to pay to no longer have to endure a presidency that daily vacillated between the hapless and the malicious,” he continued. “The new administration would like you to believe that boring tweets and press briefings that don’t end up as professional wrestling matches are a sign of competence. They well could be. They could also lull reporters into a chummy complacency, especially given that many of those reporters are bound to be impressed by the outward prestige of the new administration, rife as it is with Ivy Leaguers who collect credentials the way squirrels collect acorns.”
“We should be grateful that Trump energized the profession,” he added. “Is that sort of like saying that Stalinism energized interest in Siberia? Maybe, I guess. But get a couple of drinks into any national reporter, and she will tell you the exact same thing. Trump was good for us, even if he was not good to us.”
The piece was ripped apart by liberals and conservatives on Twitter. Left-leaning critics said it was callous, while right-leaning critics took particular issue with the Normandy reference.
Shortly after this article was published, the title of Mr. Nazaryan’s piece was changed to read, “I Was an Enemy of the People.”