President Donald Trump has never made it a secret that the only news media outlet he doesn’t feel attacks him is Fox News. Even then, when Fox News contributors and hosts are actually truthful about Trump, he takes issue with them. Anyone who presents the truth to the American people is an enemy of Trump, basically.
Therefore, it shouldn’t be surprising that the Department of Justice is demanding AT&T and Time Warner to sell CNN (Trump’s #1 arch nemesis) before they will approve a merger between them. Though not surprising, it’s still just as shocking. A department of the federal government is trying to throw a muzzle on the press — a press that, by the way, has constitutional protections under the First Amendment.
Although AT&T was told they could sell DirectTV instead, it’s really obvious what is going on. The federal government is exerting its control over the media, and that’s the beginning of the end. However, the CEO of AT&T, Randall Stephenson released a statement saying there were no plans to sell CNN.
‘AT&T CEO: “Until now, we’ve never commented on our discussions with the DOJ. But given DOJ’s statement this afternoon, it’s important to set the record straight. Throughout this process, I have never offered to sell CNN and have no intention of doing so.’
Good. We can’t allow the Trump administration to intimidate the press and, more importantly, stop fair and true reporting. Of course, the DOJ’s reasoning is that this presents an antitrust risk with such a major merger; however, Makan Delrahim once said the merger should be no big deal.
Except, it is an issue, now that Delrahim actually works for Trump as the head of the Justice Department’s Antitrust Division. So, if it’s not the Trump administration pushing for this, what changed for Delrahim to now believe it is a problem?
If the Department of Justice does make such a demand, they will most definitely face a legal challenge. The New York Times reported:
‘Fighting the deal could prove challenging for regulators, antitrust experts said. The Justice Department would have to argue that AT&T would have an incentive to withhold Turner channels like CNN or its NBA on TNT from rival broadband distributors like Verizon or Comcast. It could also try to demonstrate that AT&T would give CNN or TNT preferential treatment, making it difficult for competitors like Fox News or ESPN to reach AT&T customers’
Whether or not the Department of Justice will try to force the sale remains to be seen. However, it sounds like if they do it will result in a fight. AT&T, Time Warner, and the people of America see right through this deal and know it’s completely bull.
Featured image by Olivier Douliery-Pool/Getty Images.