Leroy N. Soetoro
2017-10-12 05:11:25 UTC
President Donald Trump on Wednesday suggested that NBCs broadcast license
should be pulled as punishment for the network's reporting on his national
security meetings, opening a new front in the presidents long-running
battle with the press.
NBC News published a report Wednesday morning stating that Trump had
surprised his national security advisers by proposing a nearly tenfold
increase in the U.S. nuclear arsenal during a July meeting. The meeting
was what allegedly led Secretary of State Rex Tillerson to call Trump a
moron a comment that NBC first reported last week.
Trump lashed out at NBC, appearing to make a threat that is not even
possible, given that the Federal Communications Commission doesnt
directly license networks.
Fake @NBCNews made up a story that I wanted a tenfold increase in our
U.S. nuclear arsenal. Pure fiction, made up to demean. NBC = CNN! Trump
wrote on Twitter, equating the two TV news outlets he has most often
lashed out against. With all of the Fake News coming out of NBC and the
Networks, at what point is it appropriate to challenge their License? Bad
NBC did not immediately respond to requests for comment. The FCC had no
The presidents willingness to potentially challenge the broadcast
licenses of a media outlet whose coverage he objects to marked an
escalation in rhetoric for Trump. The president has regularly complained
about coverage he views as unfairly critical, labeling stories, reporters
and entire outlets fake news.
As a candidate, Trump threatened to "open up our libel laws so when they
write purposely negative and horrible and false articles, we can sue them
and win lots of money." He repeated that threat in a post to Twitter in
March. He also floated the idea of canceling the long-held tradition of
White House press briefings, which were moved mostly off-camera for weeks
It is the second time in as many weeks that Trump has attacked NBC News.
The earlier attack came after the moron report, which also said
Tillerson had been on the verge of quitting over the summer.
Tillerson has denied that he ever considered resigning, and a State
Department spokeswoman later said the secretary doesnt use language like
Trump, meanwhile, said the networks news division is so knowingly
inaccurate with their reporting and had low news and reporting
NBC news is #FakeNews and more dishonest than even CNN. They are a
disgrace to good reporting. No wonder their news ratings are way down!
Trump wrote on Twitter on Oct. 4.
Its unclear exactly how Trump could directly challenge a media outlets
broadcasting license, if he chose to follow through on his veiled threat.
The FCC, an independent federal agency, issues broadcast licenses to
stations and oversees license holders. It does not license networks. NBC
is owned by Comcast, which holds broadcast licenses for several stations.
NBC also airs on affiliate stations owned by other companies.
Local residents or competitors can file a challenge to a stations license
renewal, but the basis for such a challenge is extremely limited it must
be a case where the station systematically violated the FCCs rules or
lacked the requisite character to hold the license. That is usually
defined as a felony conviction, said Andrew Schwartzman, a communications
lawyer with the Institute for Public Representation at Georgetown
University Law Center.
"Its an empty threat. The last thing that NBC is going to worry about is
whether its broadcast licenses are in jeopardy," Schwartzman said.
Schwartzman said the only time he could remember a large broadcaster
losing its license was in the 1970s, after a New York station's management
was convicted of bribery. The license renewal issue surfaced in 2012, when
Rupert Murdoch's News Corp. was facing controversy over a phone-hacking
scandal in Britain, but Foxs U.S. television licenses were not revoked
over the issue.
Although NBC is currently in Trumps cross hairs, CNN has most often been
the target of Trump's anger with the media. The president has sought to
turn the network into something of a foil for him and his supporters, who
have chanted "CNN sucks" at rallies. Trump has shared images viewed by
some as encouraging violence against CNN, including a professional
wrestling clip that shows the president attacking a man with a CNN logo
superimposed over his head and a cartoon with a "Trump" train running over
a man covered by a CNN logo.
The cable network's White House reporters have sparred often with White
House press secretaries Sean Spicer and Sarah Huckabee Sanders during
briefings, while the administration has, at times, refused to put its
spokespeople and surrogates on CNN.
Trump has lobbed insults and threats at newspapers, too, most often
targeting the "money losing" New York Times and The Washington Post, which
is owned by Jeff Bezos, the owner of online retail giant Amazon.
"The #AmazonWashingtonPost, sometimes referred to as the guardian of
Amazon not paying internet taxes (which they should) is FAKE NEWS! Trump
wrote on Twitter in June.
The attack came one day after the Post reported that at least four Trump
Organization golf properties had on display a fake Time magazine with
Trump on the cover and flattering headlines about his reality TV show,
"The Apprentice," which aired on NBC.
Jason Schwartz contributed to this report.
Donald J. Trump, 304 electoral votes to 227, defeated compulsive liar in
denial Hillary Rodham Clinton on December 19th, 2016. The clown car
parade of the democrat party has run out of gas.
Congratulations President Trump. Thank you for ending the disaster of the
Under Barack Obama's leadership, the United States of America became the
The World According To Garp.
ObamaCare is a total 100% failure and no lie that can be put forth by its
supporters can dispute that.
Obama jobs, the result of ObamaCare. 12-15 working hours a week at minimum
wage, no benefits and the primary revenue stream for ObamaCare. It can't
be funded with money people don't have, yet liberals lie about how great
Obama increased total debt from $10 trillion to $20 trillion in the eight
years he was in office, and sold out heterosexuals for Hollywood queer
liberal democrat donors.