Senator Blumenthal Calls On FCC To Counter Trump's Threats To NBC

CT senator to call on FCC to uphold First Amendment

"Under the law, the FCC does not have the authority to revoke a license of a broadcast station based on the content of a particular newscast".

NBC, like many news outlets, has aggressively reported on story lines that are critical of the president.

The office of Mignon Clyburn, the other of the two Democratic commissioners, declined to officially comment when asked if NBC's license could be repealed due to an apparent lack (at least originally) of news coverage surrounding sexual harassment allegations levied against Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein.

The Energy & Commerce Committee Communications Subcommitee has scheduled an FCC oversight hearing with Pai and the other commissioners for October 25.

She also ripped her fellow commissioners and Pai for not speaking out in defense of the First Amendment in light of Trump's comments.

Others on the left have joined Schatz's criticism of Pai's statement.

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On Tuesday Pai made his first public remarks about Trump's threatening tweets. "The FCC, under my leadership, will stand for the First Amendment", said Pai, who was nominated to lead the agency by President Donald Trump, according to The Hill.

"Chairman Pai was right to assure the public that the FCC can not revoke any broadcast licenses based on the content of a specific newscast, but I am disappointed that the chairman continues to remain silent on the president's ongoing efforts to intimidate and threaten news outlets", Pallone said. And it likely won't be the last. "What's needed from the Chairman of the FCC is not just a restatement of the blackletter law, but a clear rejection and repudiation of the President's suggestion, including a pledge to protect the free press from political interference".

At the university event on Tuesday, Pai did not condemn Trump's tweets. Pai should have offered a more direct rebuke of Trump, Schwartzman said.

Of course, it's an open question whether Trump's tweets are actually directives.

Pai's supporters said the chair's opposition to revoking licenses based on news content was already publicly known and that there could be pitfalls in responding to Trump directly. "Bad for country!", Trump wrote on Twitter last Wednesday.

"I think that the president is rightfully venting his experiences and disappointment with how the coverage has been occurring regarding his administration".

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