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The Hill, TVWeek

Lawmakers Seek Action on Trump Threats

Oct 12, 2017  •  Post A Comment

Donald Trump’s overtures this week hinting at possible revocation of broadcasters’ licenses have caught the attention of some Capitol Hill lawmakers. As we reported previously, Trump lashed out this week at the media, and at NBC in particular, after becoming angered by an NBC story on his supposed interest in increasing the U.S. nuclear arsenal.

The Hill reports that Reps. Frank Pallone Jr. (D-N.J.) and Mike Doyle (D-Pa.) today called for all five members of the Federal Communications Commission to testify before Congress to disavow Trump’s comments “publicly and under oath.”

In a joint statement today, the two lawmakers said: “Over the past few days the President has repeatedly attacked news outlets and their FCC licenses. This threat alone may already be chilling free-speech across the country. That is why we and others have called on the FCC Chairman to immediately condemn this intimidation and promise to the American public that he will not follow through on the directions he has received from the President.”

Trump, meanwhile, continued to pressure the media, tweeting Wednesday night: “Network news has become so partisan, distorted and fake that licenses must be challenged and, if appropriate, revoked.”

“On Thursday afternoon, a committee aide told The Hill that the five commissioners had all been invited to testify in an oversight hearing on Oct. 25,” The Hill reports.

Pallone and Doyle, two of the top Democrats on the House Energy and Commerce Committee, added in their statement: “Despite our calls, the Chairman has refused to say if he agrees with the President.

“We therefore ask for a hearing as soon as possible with all five FCC Commissioners so that they can publicly and under oath commit that they will not threaten broadcasters or their licenses because of the content of their reporting. Every day that goes by without comment from the FCC Chairman is a continued threat to the First Amendment.”

8 Comments

  1. “Off with Their Heads” says Lord Trump …

  2. Reps. Frank Pallone Jr. (D-N.J.) and Mike Doyle (D-Pa.) are just headline grabbing. The FCC gives stations 5 year licenses. Even if a station advocated bombing the capital and killing all members of the house, senate and executive branch (a la Designated Survivor, an interesting show if you haven’t seen it), they still have a 5 year license. Nothing can come of Trumps rhetoric, other than possibly trying to influence the networks to not tell as many outright lies. We’ll just have to follow and see what transpires.

  3. Trump’s a loose cannon, a nut and a fool who’ll do his best to get us in a nuclear war before he’s driven from office. The sooner the men in white coats come and drag him out, the better for the country.

  4. Odd… Democrats didn’t seem to be too worried when previous Democrats wanted to take licenses away from others who didn’t share their philosophy. Also, remember the attempts to use the Fairness Doctrine to shut down conservative channels? Hypocrites.

  5. An old Nixon-Spiro gambit. strange the way Trump likes the 2nd amendment but not the 1st. Sorry DT you can’t pick & choose.

  6. Donald Trump’s threat alone should send chills down the spine of every Person who believes in freedom of speech. It is apparent that Trump does not. And by-the-way, didn’t he swears to uphold the Constitution of the United States?

  7. Before anyone gets their panties in a wad, I suggest you read Trumps’s book on The Art Of The Deal. It’s obvious the congressmen haven’t read it as they are already have their panties in a wad. He has always been a good negotiator and this is one of his negotiating tactics. I didn’t vote for him but I stand in awe as to how he controls the news. Almost every media outlet is anti-Trump, but he still manages to control the news. I used to teach a course in negotiation. In case you haven’t recognized it, all life is a negotiation. Whether you are negotiating with your spouse, your parents, you kids, your boss, whoever. I pity anyone too stupid to understand Trump’s tactics. Get over it. This is only the opening parry about keeping “news” organizations from running fake news. My guess is he will say something even more outrageous next. Then he will back off before coming back even stronger. Then back off again. If your heart can stand it, watch what happens in the next few weeks. Marvel how a guy so hated by the media, by liberals, and by his own party’s establishment, can still control the news. I may not like him but I am in awe of how he is getting his message out while so many people hate him.

  8. Great point Rob S. That’s what the entire “net neutrality” sham was all about. It’s going to be a LONG 8 years for a lot of these liberal snowflakes. Remember Mr. Schlossberg, President Obama also took an oath to uphold the constitution. Yet everything he supposedly accomplished by executive fiat is being undone by President Trump. Exhibit “A” are the illegal, unconstitutional payoffs to insurance companies that Trump just canned. The only way Obama could prop up his terrible health care law was to unconstitutionally appropriate payouts to insurance companies (only Congress can appropriate funds). Obama had to lie, cheat and steal to get the law passed and now it’s on life support. Hear’s hoping a better, bipartisan health care system can replace it.

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