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Can President Trump really revoke broadcast licenses?

13 October 2017

"I am both shocked and disappointed that President Trump today suggested the revocation of a major network's broadcast license because he doesn't like the negative light in which he has been portrayed in their newscasts".

President Donald Trump appeared on Friday morning to admit that - despite his crusade against what he characterizes as "fake news" - he really can't do much about it. CBS Corp fell 1.2 percent and Twenty-First Century Fox slid 2.8 percent.

"On Twitter, for example, people regularly demand that the FCC yank licenses from cable news channels like Fox News, MSNBC, or CNN because they disagree with the opinions expressed on those networks", Pai said in the September 15 remarks.

Gordon Smith, the chief executive of the National Association of Broadcasters, defended the media's free speech rights.

The FCC doesn't license networks. "This threat alone could intimidate the press and lead to skewed and unfair reporting". "Not how it works", she said on Twitter. It issues licenses to owners of television stations, which must be periodically renewed.

The president may be unaware but he does not have the power to revoke the licenses of news networks. First and foremost, the First Amendment completely prohibits that.

Trump questioned whether FCC licenses should be taken from NBC after the network published a story on Wednesday saying he had called for a tenfold increase in the US nuclear arsenal in a meeting with military and security officials. Nixon was unhappy with the Washington Post Company and how they were going after his presidency, and they did a damn good job of it, so he chose to have his little acolytes go out there in places like Jacksonville, Florida and Miami, Florida and attempt to get the local news stations there pulled off the air because they were owned by the Washington Post Company.

Trump may have been referring to the "Fairness Doctrine" that was created to ensure broadcasters present opposing viewpoints about public issues.

Can President Trump really revoke broadcast licenses?