Now this is an awesome response by FCC Chairman Ajit Pai, albeit indirectly, to Trump’s tweets threatening the revocation of media licenses:
VARIETY – FCC Chairman Ajit Pai said that the agency lacked authority to revoke the license of a broadcast station based on the the content of a newscast, in his first comments on the topic since President Donald Trump’s tweets last week.
Trump tweeted attacks on NBC News’ reporting and wrote, “Network news has become so partisan, distorted and fake that licenses must be challenged and, if appropriate, revoked. Not fair to public!”
Pai, appearing at an event sponsored by the Mercatus Center of George Mason University, did not directly address Trump but said that the “FCC under my leadership will stand for the First Amendment.”
He said that the agency “under the law does not have the authority to revoke the license of a broadcast station based on the content of a particular newscast.”
The FCC grants licenses not to broadcast networks, but broadcast stations. It regularly reviews the licenses, typically examining a station’s commitment to programming and activities in the public interest, but in the vast majority of cases they are mere formalities.
Now that’s exactly what Pai should have said and I’m so glad he had the guts to say it. It sends a strong message that bully Trump, at least under Pai’s leadership, will not be able to use the FCC to follow through on his threats to punish media companies for content.