NBC Has No License
President Donald Trump is suggesting the Federal Communications Commission should examine the broadcast license of NBC. That could be seen as an unconstitutional act, were NBC to have a broadcast license, which it does not.
The president invoked NBC News' questionable defense of its decision to kill Ronan Farrow's exposé on Harvey Weinstein, who has been accused by over 80 women of sexual misconduct, assault, or abuse. At The New Yorker, Farrow later received a Pulitzer Prize for his Weinstein reporting.
"NBC FAKE NEWS, which is under intense scrutiny over their killing the Harvey Weinstein story, is now fumbling around making excuses for their probably highly unethical conduct. I have long criticized NBC and their journalistic standards-worse than even CNN. Look at their license?" Trump tweeted.
But as usual, Trump has no idea what he's talking about, as The Atlantic's media and politics reporter explains:
Networks don't have government-issued licenses other than a few owned-and-operated ones. Broadcast stations hold licenses. This is not something the president can revoke, and certainly nothing the FCC can revoke over content. https://t.co/rMsmENCaJ2
— Scott Nover (@ScottNover) September 4, 2018
Some responses to Trump's threat via Twitter:
President Trump is the last person in America to talk about killing stories and unethical conduct of any kind. Why don't you start with yourself, Donald and tell us all about the stories you killed? https://t.co/Tw03rmpI1G
— K.Pavlovic (@ksenijapavlovic) September 4, 2018
In the past two days, Trump has said DOJ should stop investigations that are harmful to the GOP, and that a broadcaster he dislikes should lose its license.
These are literally the actions that Nixon took that were a key basis for impeachment proceedings against him. https://t.co/2M5gEbW8wV
— Ronald Klain (@RonaldKlain) September 4, 2018
Here's a friendly reminder that threatening to shut down journalists based on the content of their coverage is a thing fascists do. https://t.co/FKGykAoQIw
— Zack Ford (@ZackFord) September 4, 2018
After 17 hours off Twitter, Trump returns to threaten the broadcast license of NBC. https://t.co/2ega1Nz1Kl
— Chris Geidner (@chrisgeidner) September 4, 2018
A day after pushing his Attorney General to protect his political allies from prosecution for their blatant corruption, Trump is again threatening to revoke the licenses of media outlets that criticize him. And the Banana Republicans just shrug and enable his despotic outbursts. https://t.co/KLNGxLtMTF
— Brian Klaas (@brianklaas) September 4, 2018
Overnight, we published a @chucktodd essay calling out the campaign against the press, and asking journalists to fight back. This morning, the president is threatening NBC’s license. You can read the essay here: https://t.co/g1FpCaWaia https://t.co/mKhc0Wfy7z
— Yoni Appelbaum (@YAppelbaum) September 4, 2018
No President has ever threatened the Free Press on a daily basis like Trump. It's time to accept the fact that he is either a fascist or completely insane.
The Free Press protects us from corruption. Only a corrupt man would take issue with the press. https://t.co/NZlp1En0Lq
— Colton (@longleafhill) September 4, 2018
See a mistake? Email corrections to: [email protected]