Trump vs. NBC

 

So we’re just going to jump into it. Yesterday morning, the President Tweeted the following: “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!”

That comment was in response to an NBC news report about a July 20 meeting where the President said he wanted a 10-fold increase in the US nuclear arsenal, and everyone had to patiently explain the costs, the impracticality, and the international agreements that prevented such a thing. It was also after that meeting that Rex Tillerson allegedly called the President a “moron.” (Not only does the President dispute that report, but several other people, including Gen. Mattis, say the report is inaccurate.)

Okay, first things first, the President’s Tweets are (according to the White House) official statements by the President of the United States. Just to be clear: the President of the United States publicly threatened the broadcast license of a critical media outlet in an official statement.

Trump continued later, saying in a meeting with Canadian PM Justin Trudeau, “It’s frankly disgusting the way the press is able to write whatever they want to write and people should want to look into it.”

There are a few things wrong with this. As Jessica Rosenworcel, a Democratic member of the FCC, observed on Twitter, this is “not how it works.” She added a link to the FCC regulation guide that says, “The Constitution’s protection of free speech includes that of programming that may be objectionable to many viewer[s] or listeners. Thus, the FCC cannot prevent the broadcast of any particular point of view.” But also the FCC licenses local stations. So it’s not like NBC, the network, has an overarching license to pull.

So yeah, that happened. The reaction went far beyond Rosenworcel with criticism coming from both the left and right on First Amendment grounds. Either this will dominate the news for a while or it will blow over when something else comes along.


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  1. BD1 Member
    BD1
    @

    Moderator Note:

    Off topic, assuming facts not in evidence, picking a fight. Please argue the issues of the OP.

    Open borders, open borders.

    • #1
  2. Hang On Member
    Hang On
    @HangOn

    The Daily Shot:So yeah, that happened. The reaction went far beyond Rosenworcel with criticism coming from both the left and right on First Amendment grounds. Either this will dominate the news for a while or it will blow over when something else comes along.

    Which simply shows how stupid news people are. They are the definition of ADHD.

    • #2
  3. DocJay Inactive
    DocJay
    @DocJay

    I’m sure NBC is a touch worried about being in the news since they aided and abetted a rapist…..for money.

    As far as Trump’s tweet, stupid yeah, but dominate the news?  Doubt it.   The story will be equally as much that the network is running overtly made up stories.

    I’m sure there’s a better way to challenge lying  executives of broadcast networks.    Watch Sarah Sanders do just that.  Then the story blows over.

    • #3
  4. I Walton Member
    I Walton
    @IWalton

    President Trump was just more open about it.  Obama’s white house not so open except with regular complaints about Fox news.  There is a problem and we have to come to grips with it.  To grant licenses is to create monopolies or monopsonies and these will be abused.  It doesn’t have to be that way anymore.   It should be possible to expand choice and eliminate these mini monopolies, to make it all consumer choice like print.

     

     

    • #4
  5. Larry3435 Member
    Larry3435
    @Larry3435

    Seriously, but not literally.  Or, maybe not seriously either.

    • #5
  6. Jager Coolidge
    Jager
    @Jager

    The Daily Shot:Either this will dominate the news for a while or it will blow over when something else comes along.

    Yeah, it is not a great tweet. It will blow over when something else comes along. They all do.

    More importantly, to the extent it dominates the news it will have no affect. Most voters are not as engaged as we are or the people in the media are. Most aren’t paying any attention to this. A number of those that are paying attention don’t think it will amount to anything.

    Ben Sasses is out tweeting Trump to ask if he is recanting on his oath of office https://twitter.com/BenSasse?ref_src=twsrc%5Egoogle%7Ctwcamp%5Eserp%7Ctwgr%5Eauthor,   

    Corker is calling the White House an Adult Daycare center.

    I am sure that this stuff matters to someone. I am just not that person. Nothing will happen from these tweets and infighting. Unfortunately nothing will happen on matters that people care about like rising Health Premiums and shrinking physician options.

    I care a lot more about things that affect my real life, than I do about a stupid tweet that will result in nothing but hysteria and no action.

    • #6
  7. Jager Coolidge
    Jager
    @Jager

    Larry3435 (View Comment):
    Seriously, but not literally. Or, maybe not seriously either.

    I think it is a dumb tweet but can I seriously, literally not care about this junk?

    • #7
  8. DocJay Inactive
    DocJay
    @DocJay

    Jager (View Comment):

    Larry3435 (View Comment):
    Seriously, but not literally. Or, maybe not seriously either.

    I think it is a dumb tweet but can I seriously, literally not care about this junk?

    I gave it 5 minutes of thought.  That’s enough. Time to focus on what matters in my life now.

    • #8
  9. EJHill Podcaster
    EJHill
    @EJHill

    I Walton: To grant licenses is to create monopolies or monopsonies and these will be abused.

    But in broadcasting there’s no other way to do it. It’s always been a technical issue, not a creative or editorial one. The early unregulated days of radio were a mess. There were no assigned frequencies or power restrictions. The Commerce Department tried and failed, leading to the creation of the FCC in 1934.

    Even after the US got its radio house in order there were international interference problems. (Funny thing, radio waves. They don’t care about imaginary lines on the ground.) In 1937 the nations in North America and the Caribbean gathered in Havana to restructure the frequency usage. Four years later on March 29, 1941 nearly 1,000 stations in 7 countries moved frequencies.

    Same with the early days of television. In the boom years after the war construction of new stations had to be halted for a period while engineers worked out the interference problems.

    Now, in the digital age stations move frequencies all the time. Even if you don’t rely on cable it’s done seamlessly through “virtual” channel numbers. (Your local station may be broadcasting on UHF 17 and show up on your TV as channel 3 or whatever their old analog assignment was.) To free up spectrum it is now possible for two stations to occupy the same frequency assignments.

    • #9
  10. Quake Voter Inactive
    Quake Voter
    @QuakeVoter

    Scale from 1-10:  Irrelevant Trump tweet with no, absolutely no, regulatory follow up:  1

    McConnell move to tank blue slips, allowing Trump’s first rate judges like Stras to redeem the Circuit courts: 10.  (Judges who will, by the way, be bulwarks against real First Amendment assaults.)

    Typical Daily Shot fodder.

    • #10
  11. Jager Coolidge
    Jager
    @Jager

    Quake Voter (View Comment):
    Scale from 1-10: Irrelevant Trump tweet with no, absolutely no, regulatory follow up: 1

    McConnell move to tank blue slips, allowing Trump’s first rate judges like Stras to redeem the Circuit courts: 10. (Judges who will, by the way, be bulwarks against real First Amendment assaults.)

    Yeah this is where I am. Trump is today signing an executive order messing with Obamacare. I don’t know exactly what it will do, but these rule changes  to ObamaCare or to the Senate rules to allow judges to be confirmed, will have actual impact. An executive order signed by the President is a much more important “official statement of the President” than a stupid tweet.

    • #11
  12. She Reagan
    She
    @She

    All this sort of thing does is point out how incredibly fickle both the media, and the public are.

    Remember the Las Vegas shooting?

    What will it be tomorrow?

    @hangon has it about right.  ADHD, all around.

    • #12
  13. Quake Voter Inactive
    Quake Voter
    @QuakeVoter

    Jager (View Comment):

    Quake Voter (View Comment):
    Scale from 1-10: Irrelevant Trump tweet with no, absolutely no, regulatory follow up: 1

    McConnell move to tank blue slips, allowing Trump’s first rate judges like Stras to redeem the Circuit courts: 10. (Judges who will, by the way, be bulwarks against real First Amendment assaults.)

    Yeah this is where I am. Trump is today signing an executive order messing with Obamacare. I don’t know exactly what it will do, but these rule changes to ObamaCare or to the Senate rules to allow judges to be confirmed, will have actual impact. An executive order signed by the President is a much more important “official statement of the President” than a stupid tweet.

    Here’s the link to the WSJ front page story on Trump’s executive action.

    Money graphs behind the paywall:

    The order directs agencies to ease rules that allow small businesses, and possibly individuals, to band together in arrangements called “association health plans,” letting them buy cheaper, less-comprehensive plans outside the ACA market.

    It also eases the pathway for the sale of short-term insurance policies, which the Obama administration restricted. And it will permit employers to deposit money into special accounts that their workers can use to purchase their own insurance plans.

    “The competition will be staggering, and insurance companies will be fighting to get everybody signed up,” Mr. Trump said.

    But his tweets are so embarrassing and petulant.  It’s so chilling.

    • #13
  14. Quake Voter Inactive
    Quake Voter
    @QuakeVoter

    For some of us, the following graph from that WSJ piece, coming after the 70 point DACA opening offer,  is priceless:

    “Having failed to repeal the law in Congress, the president is sabotaging the system, using a wrecking ball to single-handedly rip apart our health-care system,” said Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D., N.Y.). “This order couldn’t be further from the ‘great health care’ the president promised.”

    • #14
  15. Instugator Thatcher
    Instugator
    @Instugator

    The Daily Shot: “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!”

    Does not equal

    The Daily Shot: Just to be clear: the President of the United States publicly threatened the broadcast license of a critical media outlet in an official statement.

    If I take him literally the answer is “it is never time to challenge their license” because he asked a question.

    If I take him seriously the answer is “since they don’t own affiliate stations and there is this thing called the First amendment – so no.”

    Since he was trolling NBC my answer is, “meh, since they are calling for restrictions on my civil rights – I really don’t care how you make them implode – push it as far as you can and pass the popcorn.”

     

    • #15
  16. Umbra Fractus Inactive
    Umbra Fractus
    @UmbraFractus

    BD1 (View Comment):
    Open borders, open borders.

    So, just to be clear, you’re okay with the President of the United States making blatantly unconstitutional threats in official statements as long as he keeps the border closed?

    • #16
  17. Umbra Fractus Inactive
    Umbra Fractus
    @UmbraFractus

    Quake Voter (View Comment):

    But his tweets are so embarrassing and petulant. It’s so chilling.

    You forgot threatening and displaying gross ignorance at best of how the First Amendment works.

    Somehow when some doofus on a college campus threatens free speech it’s a ominous sign for the future, but when the President of the United States does it, it’s just harmless trolling.

    • #17
  18. Instugator Thatcher
    Instugator
    @Instugator

    Umbra Fractus (View Comment):
    So, just to be clear, you’re okay with the President of the United States making blatantly unconstitutional threats in official statements as long as he keeps the border closed?

    You mean the President doesn’t have the right to free speech? Who knew?

    Still not seeing the part that you consider to be a “threat.”

    • #18
  19. Quake Voter Inactive
    Quake Voter
    @QuakeVoter

    Umbra Fractus (View Comment):
    You forgot threatening and displaying gross ignorance at best of how the First Amendment works.

    I don’t doubt that Trump is grossly ignorant of the First Amendment, its origins, history and modern reconstruction.

    But you are not doing much better here Umbra.  It’s a regulatory and licensure issue, one that would be overseen by the FCC and, ultimately, the federal courts.  Courts which Trump is filling with justices with the most robust understanding of liberty in memory.

    Fly those virtue signalling pennants on high though!

    • #19
  20. I Walton Member
    I Walton
    @IWalton

    EJHill (View Comment):

    I Walton: To grant licenses is to create monopolies or monopsonies and these will be abused.

    But in broadcasting there’s no other way to do it. It’s always been a technical issue, not a creative or editorial one. The early unregulated days of radio were a mess. There were no assigned frequencies or power restrictions. The Commerce Department tried and failed, leading to the creation of the FCC in 1934.

    Even after the US got its radio house in order there were international interference problems. (Funny thing, radio waves. They don’t care about imaginary lines on the ground.) In 1937 the nations in North America and the Caribbean gathered in Havana to restructure the frequency usage. Four years later on March 29, 1941 nearly 1,000 stations in 7 countries moved frequencies.

    Same with the early days of television. In the boom years after the war construction of new stations had to be halted for a period while engineers worked out the interference problems.

    Now, in the digital age stations move frequencies all the time. Even if you don’t rely on cable it’s done seamlessly through “virtual” channel numbers. (Your local station may be broadcasting on UHF 17 and show up on your TV as channel 3 or whatever their old analog assignment was.) To free up spectrum it is now possible for two stations to occupy the same frequency assignments.

    There is delivery and there is content.  Content is what we worry about and want.  Aren’t we still  granting both at the same time?  Is that necessary?  That’s why I also used the term monopsony.  Doesn’t the digital age  make it possible for consumers to have what they want when they want it?

     

    • #20
  21. EJHill Podcaster
    EJHill
    @EJHill

    Instugator: If I take him seriously the answer is “since they don’t own affiliate stations and there is this thing called the First amendment – so no.”

    Not true, kemosabe. All the networks own a substantial number of their affiliates. A long time ago they were limited numerically to the amount of stations they could own and operate. Now they are limited by a percentage of the total population reached.

    NBC owns 12 of their stations:

    • KNBC Los Angeles
    • KNSD San Diego
    • KNTV San Francisco
    • WVIT Hartford
    • WRC Washington
    • WTVJ Miami
    • WKAQ-DT3 San Juan
    • WMAQ Chicago
    • WBTS-LD Boston
    • WNBC New York
    • WCAU Philadelphia
    • KXAS Dallas Ft Worth

     

    • #21
  22. Basil Fawlty Member
    Basil Fawlty
    @BasilFawlty

    Umbra Fractus (View Comment):

    Quake Voter (View Comment):

    But his tweets are so embarrassing and petulant. It’s so chilling.

    You forgot threatening and displaying gross ignorance at best of how the First Amendment works.

    Somehow when some doofus on a college campus threatens free speech it’s a ominous sign for the future, but when the President of the United States does it, it’s just harmless trolling.

    How, exactly, does the First Amendment work with regard to over-the-air broadcasters?

    • #22
  23. Tom Meyer, Common Citizen Contributor
    Tom Meyer, Common Citizen
    @tommeyer

    Moderator Note:

    Personal attack. Two wrongs don't make a right.

    BD1 (View Comment):
    Open borders, open borders.

    [redacted]

    • #23
  24. EJHill Podcaster
    EJHill
    @EJHill

    I Walton: Doesn’t the digital age make it possible for consumers to have what they want when they want it?

    Absolutely. When liberal groups went after Fox for NewsCorp’s role in the UK voicemail hacking scandal they realized that loss of licenses would be a one-time financial hit. In this day and age of reverse compensation the networks make money from all of their affiliates, not just the O&Os. And it has zero impact on cable properties. Still Sen. Jay Rockefeller (D-WV) and then FCC chairman Julius Genachowski both looked into the feasibility.

    Trump could probably give you a lengthy discourse on real estate and inheritance law but probably not much on broadcasting regulations. There are plenty of people in my business who don’t understand them.

    • #24
  25. Quake Voter Inactive
    Quake Voter
    @QuakeVoter

    Tom Meyer, Common Citizen (View Comment):

    BD1 (View Comment):
    Open borders, open borders.

    [redacted]

    Or just change it up.  A few “Nullam turpis cessandum est” would be fine.

    • #25
  26. Umbra Fractus Inactive
    Umbra Fractus
    @UmbraFractus

    Quake Voter (View Comment):
    You mean the President doesn’t have the right to free speech? Who knew?

    He has the responsibility to uphold the Constitution. That’s kinda his job, y’know.

    Quake Voter (View Comment):
    But you are not doing much better here Umbra. It’s a regulatory and licensure issue, one that would be overseen by the FCC and, ultimately, the federal courts. Courts which Trump is filling with justices with the most robust understanding of liberty in memory.

    Ah, so empty threats are okay, then. Remember you said that when the next Democrat President talks about going after Fox.

    • #26
  27. EJHill Podcaster
    EJHill
    @EJHill

    Basil Fawlty: How, exactly, does the First Amendment work with regard to over-the-air broadcasters?

    Most of the content regulations are about profanity and nudity, although those standards have fallen and will fall further.

    There are standards for advertising, particularly political ads at the federal level.

    Otherwise they operate under the same rules as print for defamation and libel. You usually have to prove actual malice, which is knowing that what you’re broadcasting is false. GM won a settlement from NBC in 1993 and that’s what eventually doomed the case Food Lion had vs ABC.

    • #27
  28. Umbra Fractus Inactive
    Umbra Fractus
    @UmbraFractus

    Tom Meyer, Common Citizen (View Comment):
    Nullam turpis cessandum est

    Thank you, Tom, for saying what I was afraid would get redacted.

    • #28
  29. Pugshot Member
    Pugshot
    @Pugshot

    @quakevoter

    But his tweets are so embarrassing and petulant. It’s so chilling.

    I am beyond hope that the President will grow up and stop behaving like a teenager using Twitter. [An aside: It is my fervent hope that a just God will condemn those who created and propagated Twitter to the lowest circle of Hell where they will be forced to read Satan’s Tweets for eternity!] But seriously, making legislative changes with Executive Orders? Weren’t we all against that when BHO was doing it? Doesn’t it subvert the constitutional order to have legislative actions undertaken by the Executive Branch? The fact that we might like the result of these Executive Orders shouldn’t change things.

    • #29
  30. Instugator Thatcher
    Instugator
    @Instugator

    Umbra Fractus (View Comment):

    Quake Voter (View Comment):
    You mean the President doesn’t have the right to free speech? Who knew?

    He has the responsibility to uphold the Constitution. That’s kinda his job, y’know.

    Quake Voter (View Comment):
    But you are not doing much better here Umbra. It’s a regulatory and licensure issue, one that would be overseen by the FCC and, ultimately, the federal courts. Courts which Trump is filling with justices with the most robust understanding of liberty in memory.

    Ah, so empty threats are okay, then. Remember you said that when the next Democrat President talks about going after Fox.

    Shoot I said it when the last President actually went after Fox. James Rosen was a foul, but Fox was fair game.

    • #30

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