President Donald Trump’s longtime war against the “mainstream media” has become more aggressive in recent weeks.
Trump appeared to hint Wednesday morningon Twitter that he would like to challenge NBC’s “license” to broadcast after the outlet published an unflattering report about him. He claimed once again that the network was producing “fake” news.
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!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 11, 2017
Minutes earlier, Trump tweeted that NBC News “made up” a story about him requesting a “tenfold increase” to the U.S. nuclear arms supplies. The report suggested his alleged request prompted Secretary of State Rex Tillerson to call Trump a “moron.” Both Tillerson and Trump have denied the allegations of name-calling.
The Federal Communications Commission only licenses individual stations, not networks like NBC, according to its website. Local community members and competitors can dispute license renewals for network-affiliated stations, but the FCC hasn’t revoked a license in over 20 years, according to The Hill.
The FCC did not immediately return HuffPost’s request for comment.
But FCC Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel tweeted: “Not how it works.”
“This madcap threat, if pursued, would be blatant and unacceptable intervention in the decisions of an independent agency. The law does not countenance such interference,” said former Commissioner Michael Copps in a statement. “President Trump might be happier as emperor, but I think the American people would strip him of his clothes on this issue,” he added.
Trump’s “license” tweet is likely nothing more than an “empty threat,” Andrew Schwartzman, a communications lawyer with the Institute for Public Representation at Georgetown University Law Center, told Politico.
“The last thing that NBC is going to worry about is whether…