Dear FCC Chairman Ajit Pai:

We're writing to urge you to uphold the First Amendment and to publicly refuse to entertain any broadcast-license challenges simply because President Trump disapproves of a network's news coverage.

Coming from a president who previously referred to the news media as the "enemy of the American people," these tweets continue a disturbing pattern in this administration to undercut vital press freedoms.

As an independent agency charged with protecting the public interest and overseeing the public airwaves, the FCC must resist any attempts to co-opt the broadcast-licensing process to suit the president's whims.

Such threats are what you would expect to hear in a dictatorship, not a democracy, and they must be condemned in the strongest possible terms.

Above all, the First Amendment declares that the government shall not censor news because it's critical of the government. We strongly urge you to publicly stand against this administration's latest assault on press freedom.

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    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: