The FCC Should Publicly Reject Trump's Attacks on the Press
In recent days, Trump has escalated his attacks on the press.
In response to an NBC News story that painted him in an unflattering light, Trump tweeted:
"With all of the Fake News coming out of NBC and the Networks, at what point is it appropriate to challenge their License? Bad for country!"1
Since the president isn’t well versed in broadcast policies (or the Constitution, for that matter), we’ll answer his question. It’s completely inappropriate for any president to threaten a broadcaster’s license because its coverage is critical.
While press-freedom groups and politicians have condemned Trump’s statement, one person has remained silent: FCC Chairman Ajit Pai.
The FCC is responsible for reviewing and granting broadcast licenses, but it does not and cannot make decisions based on partisan preferences or the president's whims.
Ajit Pai needs to stand up to Trump and publicly declare that he won’t use the FCC’s power to punish journalists or news outlets the president doesn’t like.
Tell FCC Chairman Pai to publicly reject Trump’s attacks on the press.
1. "Trump Threatens NBC Over Nuclear Weapons Report," The New York Times, Oct. 11, 2017: https://www.nytimes.com/2017/10/11/us/politics/trump-nbc-fcc-broadcast-license.html