Trump sug­gests chal­leng­ing TV net­work li­censes over ‘fake news’

Stabroek News - - WORLD NEWS -

WASHINGTON, (Reuters) - U.S. Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump sug­gested chal­leng­ing li­censes for NBC and other broad­cast news net­works fol­low­ing re­ports by NBC News that his sec­re­tary of state had called him a “mo­ron” after a dis­cus­sion of the U.S. nu­clear ar­se­nal.

“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!” Trump, a Repub­li­can, wrote in a post on Twit­ter yes­ter­day.

Trump and his sup­port­ers have re­peat­edly used the term “fake news” to cast doubt on me­dia re­ports crit­i­cal of his ad­min­is­tra­tion, of­ten with­out pro­vid­ing any ev­i­dence to sup­port their case that the re­ports were un­true.

Trump kept up his crit­i­cism of the me­dia in an ap­pear­ance with Cana­dian Prime Min­is­ter Justin Trudeau, say­ing: “It is frankly dis­gust­ing the press is able to write what­ever it wants to write.”

In a tweet late yes­ter­day, Trump said: “Net­work news has be­come so par­ti­san, dis­torted and fake that li­censes must be chal­lenged and, if ap­pro­pri­ate, re­voked. Not fair to pub­lic!”

Any move to chal­lenge me­dia companies’ li­censes, how­ever, would likely face sig­nif­i­cant hur­dles.

The Fed­eral Com­mu­ni­ca­tions Com­mis­sion, an in­de­pen­dent fed­eral agency, does not li­cense broad­cast net­works, but is­sues them to in­di­vid­ual broad­cast sta­tions that are re­newed on a stag­gered ba­sis for eight-year pe­ri­ods.

Com­cast Corp, which owns NBC Univer­sal, also owns 11 broad­cast sta­tions, in­clud­ing out­lets in New York, Washington, Los Angeles, San Fran­cisco, Bos­ton, Dal­las and Chicago.

A Com­cast spokes­woman re­ferred ques­tions to NBC, which did not im­me­di­ately re­spond.

ABC, owned by Walt Dis­ney Co, de­clined to com­ment.

Shares in me­dia companies fell, po­ten­tially re­flect­ing con­cerns the war of words could worsen. Com­cast was down 0.8 per­cent, while Dis­ney shed 1.4 per­cent. CBS Corp fell 1.2 per­cent and Twenty-First Cen­tury Fox slid 2.8 per­cent.

The NBC logo is pic­ture atop their of­fice build­ing in San Diego, Cal­i­for­nia Septem­ber 1, 2015. REUTERS/Mike Blake

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