Trump takes his media-bashing to a new extreme

Trump takes his media-bashing to a new extreme

U.S. Sen. Brian Schatz (D-Hawai'i), Ranking Member of the Senate Subcommittee on Communications, Technology, Innovation and the Internet, released the following statement today after President Donald Trump threatened to challenge NBC's broadcast license. Specifically, one of the things that he's so angry about are the reports about Tillerson calling him a moron, Bob Corker saying that Trump could march us into World War III, and a couple other really inflammatory, but as far as we know true, stories that have come out in the last few days. Trump, Tillerson, and other administration figures reported to have been present at the meeting have refuted the allegation over a dozen times. Television licenses are generally given to local stations, not national networks, so the White House would have to challenge a bunch of NBC affiliates to black out the network.

The president may be unaware but he does not have the power to revoke the licenses of news networks.


Trump's response prompted Republican Senator Ben Sasse to wonder if Trump would be recanting his oath of office.

For Halloween, Trump will be handing out tricks, not treats, dressed as President Richard Nixon, who had tried to thwart the renewal of licenses for Florida TV stations owned by the Washington Post, in 1972. Corker said Defense Secretary Jim Mattis, Chief of Staff John Kelly and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson "help separate our country from chaos". "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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