Tags: Donald Trump | Media Bias | Trump Administration | nbc | fcc | threat | license

FCC Comm. on Trump NBC Threat: 'Not How it Works'

FCC Comm. on Trump NBC Threat: 'Not How it Works'
(David McNew/Getty Images)

By    |   Wednesday, 11 October 2017 07:22 PM

President Donald Trump's suggestion for how NBC could be punished for "fake news" is an "empty threat" — and "not how it works," FCC officials and those in the legal community said Wednesday.

"When the President is attacking the media criticism and threatening legal action, because he doesn't like what they're broadcasting, it's obviously a great concern and raises serious questions of First Amendment values and relationships with the free press," Andrew Jay Schwartzman of Georgetown University Law Center told Talking Points Memo.

"But as a legal matter, it's an empty threat."

Trump renewed his feud with NBC News on Wednesday, raising questions about challenging the "license" of that network and others.

One of the commission's Democrats responded curtly: "Not how it works," along with a link to the FCC's broadcasting manual.

TPM reported there is a number of reasons Trump's suggestion is unworkable, including:

  • NBC as a broadcast network isn’t licensed by the FCC. NBC’s potential vulnerability would come as the owner and operator of 28 individual local stations — but there are affiliates that it does not own and does not hold licenses to.
  • The FCC license renewal process occurs every eight years, and stations' licenses are almost always renewed.
  • To challenge NBC’s licenses, someone would have to do so in each of the individual local communities and would face an uphill legal battle in the wake of deregulation that start during the Reagan administration.

"No significant broadcaster of any size has ever lost a license renewal," Schwartzman told TPM.

The next cycle of license renewals will not start until 2019.

"[President Trump] can't override the decisions of the FCC," said former Democratic FCC Commissioner Michael Copps, now a special adviser to the liberal group Common Cause — noting, however, a majority of the commissioners are Republicans.

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Politics
President Donald Trump's suggestion for how NBC could be punished for "fake news" is an "empty threat," and "not how it works," FCC officials and those in the legal community said Wednesday.
nbc, fcc, threat, license
364
2017-22-11
Wednesday, 11 October 2017 07:22 PM
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