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Trump takes his media-bashing to a new extreme

13 October 2017, 04:11 | Taylor George

Trump takes his media-bashing to a new extreme

Trump takes his media-bashing to a new extreme

Enraged by an NBC News report that that he had expressed a desire for a "tenfold" increase in nuclear arms during a meeting with national security advisors, Trump tweeted Wednesday morning: "With all of the Fake News coming out of NBC and the Networks, at what point is it appropriate to challenge their License?" "Pure fiction, made up to demean".

In his earlier tweet, the President had asked, albeit rhetorically, when it was appropriate to start challenging news outlets' licenses. Trump, Tillerson, and other administration figures reported to have been present at the meeting have refuted the allegation over a dozen times.

Trump's comment was "not only risky to the American people's right to access responsible journalism, it represents a clear misunderstanding on his part of how much control the federal government can exercise as it relates to networks and cable channels", Dan Shelley, the executive director of the Radio Television Digital News Association, said in a statement.

But Trump wouldn't be able to revoke any licenses from news networks. In confirmation hearings for Ajit Pai, we raised this possibility. "Obviously, when a public official, much less the president, threatens media outlets with any kind of legal proceedings, it is a cause for grave concern as a First Amendment matter", Georgetown University media law expert Andrew Schwartzman tells the Washington Post, adding that Trump "is ignorant over details like what the law actually requires or permits".

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As various folks were pointing out after his initial tweet tirade, networks are not licensed by the FCC, though owned TV stations are.

It is an independent agency in the federal government.

Mr Trump's comments came just one day after an American reporter was sentenced to prison in a Turkish court, where she was convicted of terrorist propaganda charges.



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