Reporter Alison Starling defended NBC News national correspondent Peter Alexander after President Donald Trump called him a “terrible reporter” and accused NBC and their parent network, Comcast, of producing “sensationalism.”
Alexander had asked a straightforward question about the coronavirus pandemic. “What do you say to Americans right now who are scared?” he asked.
But the president was not pleased with the question. “I say that you are a terrible reporter,” Trump said. “That’s what I say.”
“You’re doing sensationalism and the same with NBC and Comcast. I don’t call it Comcast. I call it ‘Con-Cast. Let me just tell you something,” Trump continued. “That’s really bad reporting. And you ought to get back to reporting instead of sensationalism.”
It’s not the first time the president and Alexander have sparred. In January 2016, their contentious relationship started when the NBC News reported asked Trump about his previous choice of being anti-choice. Trump then accused Alexander of “reading the full statement.”
In a statement, Alexander said he was just trying to get the president to reassure Americans and wanted to “to provide the president an opportunity to reassure the millions of Americans, members of my own family and my neighbors and my community and plenty of people sitting at home, this was his opportunity to do that, to provide a positive or uplifting message. Instead, you saw the president’s answer to that question right now.”
“The bottom line is, this is a president whose experiences in life are very different than most Americans across this country right now. Not a person who likely worries about finances or had, not a person who in the course of his life is worried about his future, not a person who is worried about where to find a paycheck for his bills or for his rent and as evidenced by the president suggesting that an opportunity to provide for American some reassurance about how they should feel right now, the president instead took it out on me.”
Other journalists in the press area came to Alexander’s defense. “You see yourself as a wartime President right now, leading the country through a pandemic that we are experiencing,” Kaitlan Collins, a White House correspondent for CNN, noted. “Do you think going off on Peter, going off on a network is appropriate when the country is going through something like this?”
But the president persisted that Alexander was a bad journalist.
Starling, his wife, was one of the many reporters who came to Alexander’s defense. “Not only is @PeterAlexander a stellar reporter, but he’s also a fantastic husband and father. I’m proud of him every single day,” she tweeted.
To find out more about Starling, continue reading below for five fast facts:
1. Starling Started As A Reporter In Tennessee
The reporter was born in Orlando, Florida, on October 28, 1973. She is part of a military family and spent part of her childhood in the Washington D.C.
She went to college at University of Florida and received her degree in 1995, BIJOG.com wrote. She then went to study in France for six months after earning a Cultural Ambassadorial Scholarship from Rotary International.
Her first job as a reporter was with WDEF-TV in Chattanooga, Tennessee. She then did three years at KIRO-TV in Seattle, Washington. She joined WJLA-TV, where she currently works, in August 2003.
She has won four Emmys for her work as a lead anchor on WJLA-TV.
2. Starling and Alexander Have Two Children Together
Alexander was an NBC News correspondent and she was working in Seattle. They didn’t date until 2019 when Alexander moved to Washington, D.C.
Two years later, Alexander proposed to Starling while they were in France. They married the following year at the Newseum in Washington DC. It was a fitting destination for the couple since it’s an interactive museum that focuses on the news.
The couple has two children together. Ava Starling Alexander who was born in 2013 and two years later they welcomed daughter Emma Pink Alexander. The family currently lives in the suburbs of Washington, D.C.
3. Starling Posts Family Pictures on Social Media
On March 19, Starling shared a picture of herself with her two girls from the following year. They posed in front of cherry blossoms in D.C.
“As our beloved Cherry Blossoms approach peak bloom, looking back at last year at the Tidal Basin with my girls,” she captioned the photo.
The news also pops up on her social media accounts, where she noted that the cherry blossom parade had been canceled this year because of the pandemic. “It’s a beautiful day along the Tidal Basin, some of the cherry blossoms already making an appearance. The parade has been canceled; we have more on that big move coming up on @abc7dc at 5,” she wrote last week.
4. Alexander Said Starling Is A ‘Rock Star’
There is no shortage of appreciation between Alexander and Starling. When talking to Washington Family magazine, the reporter noted that it’s important for them to put their phone downs, and said his wife was a “rock star” during the 2016 presidential campaigns.
This year’s been tough, especially with a relentless campaign to cover, often taking me away from home,” he said via Today. “Alison is a rock star. She’s really carrying the load for our family. We also have a terrific nanny, and we’re fortunate to have great parents routinely shuttling in to help.”
On March 18, she shared a selfie that showed Alexander reporting behind her on the television. “We are both working today… along with our colleagues, to bring you important information during this uneasy time. We want to thank the Doctors, Nurses, Physician Assistants and other health care workers for your tireless work,” she wrote.
Alexander Enjoys Staying Home With Starling And Their Daughters
The NBC reporter has covered war zones before, but if it means skipping them to stay home with his family, he’s willing to do it.
I’ve probably covered my last warzone for the foreseeable future,” he told Washington Family magazine via Today. “As for perspective, juggling work and fatherhood has given me a much greater appreciation for all working parents. Similarly, my ability to empathize has grown dramatically since I became a dad. I feel the stories I’m telling much more deeply, especially about the sacrifices families make for their children.”
The sacrifice is worth it for his girls. “Family first,” the reporter said. “The rest is details.”
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