Published: Fri, October 13, 2017
World | By Paul Elliott

Sen. Schatz on Trump's Threat to NBC

Sen. Schatz on Trump's Threat to NBC

President Donald Trump escalated his ongoing feud with the media by tweeting about challenging NBC's broadcasting licenses.

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.

Two days after threatening to revoke NBC News' "license" for fraudulent coverage, Trump retweeted Bill O'Reilly, echoing his supporter's call for responsible political coverage. 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.

"With all of the Fake News coming out of NBC and the Networks, at what point is it appropriate to challenge their License? Not fair to public!"

"Mr. President: Words spoken by the President of the United States matter", the Republican senator wrote in a statement. My money wouldn't be on the president who seems ignorant about the First Amendment, basic U.S. History, or that Puerto Ricans are U.S. taxpayers deserving of full U.S disaster relief support.

And stripping a station of its license is pretty tough. As Alexandra Ellerbeck, the North America program coordinator for the Committee to Protect Journalists, noted in an interview with the New York Times, such authoritarian bastions as Russia, Azerbaijan, Saudi Arabia and Turkey all determine the fate of news outlets' licenses based on the content of their coverage.

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