Trump suggested challenging licenses over Fake News

Vastavam web: President Donald Trump suggested challenging licenses for NBC and other broadcast news networks on Wednesday, a salvo that followed reports his own secretary of state had called him a “moron” after a discussion of the U.S. nuclear arsenal.Trump and his supporters have repeatedly used the term “fake news” to cast doubt on critical media reports about his administration, often without providing any evidence to support their case that the reports untrue.

Any move to challenge media companies’ licenses, however, would likely face significant hurdles.Comcast Corp, which owns NBC Universal, also owns 11 broadcast stations, including in New York, Washington, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Boston, Dallas and Chicago. A Comcast spokeswoman referred questions to NBC, which did not immediately Wednesday.Democratic Senator Ed Markey wrote Pai on Wednesday asking him to “withstand any urges from President Trump to harm the news media and infringe upon the First Amendment,” a reference to the U.S. constitutional guarantee of free speech and press freedom.

The FCC said in the fact sheet it expects “station licensees to be aware of the important problems and issues facing their local communities and to foster public understanding by presenting programming that relates to those local issues.”The agency does not issue similar licenses for cable networks like CNN and MSNBC, or regulate internet news or other websites.In the early 1970s, then-President Richard Nixon and his top aides discussed using the FCC’s license renewal process as a way of punishing the Washington Post for its coverage of the Watergate burglary that ultimately brought down his presidency.

Trump on Saturday also suggested that he should get “equal time” because late-night television hosts are “dealing with the Democrats for their very ‘unfunny’” material that was “anti-Trump.”The FCC’s equal time rules apply in limited cases to air time for political candidates and not to criticism of elected leaders.