Trump has been challenging everyone else’s Constitutional rights since he was elected president. If Trump doesn’t agree with it, it needs to be stopped. In his mind, NFL players should not “take a knee” to protest racial inequality and do not have a Constitutional right to do so. He already took a stab at CNN calling the news network “fake news” and now he is doing worse with NBC.
On Wednesday morning, the president tweeted:
‘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’s lash out comes after NBC reported that he had suggested increasing the nation’s nuclear arms stockpile during a meeting with top Cabinet officials. Trump’s words are a large threat to the free press, but whether he would actually follow through with it, is questionable. Senator Brian Schatz (D-HI) said:
‘The president’s threat against NBC and other media outlets is far from empty.’
Schatz was referencing how President Nixon wanted to censor The Washington Post. He sees Trump’s antics as similar. Schatz went on to say:
‘In confirmation hearings for Ajit Pai, we raised this possibility. Now, the FCC must show that it is loyal to the law, not the president, and make clear that it rejects this kind of interference.’
People were quickly angered by Trump’s tweet. Here’s what they had to say in reference to the right of free press being taken away.
Representative Frank Pallone Jr. (D-NJ) said:
‘This threat alone could intimidate the press and lead to skewed and unfair reporting.
‘I therefore call on FCC Chairman Ajit Pai to immediately condemn this unwarranted attack. I also call on the Chair to announce publicly that he will not follow through on his orders from the President. Chairman Pai should not act in any way to undermine free speech on our airwaves.’
Conservatives criticized Trump for his comments as well. Gordon Smith, the CEO of the National Association of Broadcasters and a former Republican senator said:
‘The founders of our nation set as a cornerstone of our democracy the First Amendment, forever enshrining and protecting freedom of the press.’
‘It is contrary to this fundamental right for any government official to threaten the revocation of an FCC license simply because of a disagreement with the reporting of a journalist.’
Back in February Trump tweeted the press is the “enemy of the American People” and sadly, that seems to be just the tip of the iceberg.
Featured image by Kevin Dietsch-Pool/Getty Images