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US President Suggests FCC License Revocation of Network News Outlets

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It is official! President Donald Trump inferred his desire to end free press. In doing so, he attacked the first amendment, which is the very thing that assures American greatness.

Up until Oct. 11, 2017, the president had only talked about his distaste for media’s reputation. That has changed. Not only did he use his typical remarks about fake news, but he suggested that the FCC pull the NBC News license. That tweet garnered 76 thousand comments and 23 thousand retweets. Disturbingly, there were 94 thousand likes. Perhaps, those people have never heard of freedom of the press.

Trump has stepped over a dangerous line. Even though this was supposedly a mere suggestion, his intent is clearly stated. He wants to control the narrative.

Later in the day, during a meeting with the Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, he told the reporters who joined the meeting in the Oval Office:

It is frankly disgusting the press is able to write whatever it wants to write.

In a Twitter post, on Oct. 12, the president added more rhetoric. He claimed that mainstream media is too biased, and their news reports are “distorted and fake.” Furthermore, he flat-out stated that the FCC license “must be challenged,” and should be subject to revocation if the news site is found to be in violation.

The president’s predilection leans toward only news that makes him appear intelligent and capable of the job. His loudest complaints are against major left-leaning and moderate news sites. However, even though he seems to be particularly hateful against CNN, NBC, The New York Times, The Washington Post, to name a few, Trump has levied negative rants against Fox News and other right-wing media companies as well.

Even though it seems implausible, and Republicans would scoff at the idea, the reality is the president is speaking out in favor of state-sponsored media. He obfuscates his intent with angry language. Conspiracy theorists aside, attacking the first amendment, in such a manner, is unacceptable.

Trump speaks of sanctioning the NFL protesters who are kneeling during the national anthem and disrespecting the flag. Truly, it does not seem that he knows or believes the First Amendment of the Constitution:

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

Moreover, did Trump understand the inauguration oath he took? It is clearly written and unless the media was reporting fake news, the world heard him repeat the words with his hand on the Bible:

I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.

NBC News reports that the FCC did not respond to the president’s indirect request. However, Jessica Rosenworcel, one of five FCC commissioners posted a response. Basically, she said the rules of the agency do not work that way. In her tweet, she wrote, “Freedom of the press is a cornerstone of our democracy.”

Unfortunately, President Trump’s comments serve to reaffirm the division in the country will continue, perhaps make it worse. Whatever happened to his vow to make America great again?

Opinion by Cathy Milne

Sources:

NBC News: First Amendment Advocates Push Back on Trump’s Licensing Threat
USA Today: Sen. Ben Sasse asks if President Trump is ‘recanting’ his oath of office
Twitter: @realDonaldTrump
The Constitution of the United States: The Bill of Rights & All Amendments

Featured and Top Image Courtesy of Garry Knight’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License

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