In an era where “alternative facts” are a thing, and the president thinks every news outlet should write stories that only flatter him, it’s not surprising that he still has no clue that the First Amendment guarantees a free press and the freedom for Americans to speak their mind – regardless of whether someone likes what they have to say.
President Donald Trump tweeted Wednesday that NBC should have its broadcasting license challenged because, in his opinion, the channel printed a “false” story about him.
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
Later in the day, during a joint press conference with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Trump commented on his threat to take away NBC’s license, saying:
“It is frankly disgusting the press is able to write whatever it wants to write. … The press should speak more honestly. I’ve seen a tremendously dishonest press.”
Trump still believes that if it is unflattering, or distasteful, it’s false; especially if it comes from any news outlet except for Fox News. That alone is a joke since its anchors spew some of the most frequent verified false news reports in the “mainstream” world of reporting.
According to Reuters, the cause of Trump’s threat was an NBC report noting that Trump wanted to increase our nuclear stockpile to the 1960s high of 32,000 weapons. A statement like this indicates that Trump really has no clue how our nuclear program works or the treaty that disarms nuclear countries works.
Trump claims that he never “discussed increasing it,” but that instead said:
“I want it in perfect shape. That was just fake news by NBC. We don’t need an increase. But I want modernization and I want total rehabilitation. It’s got to be in tip-top shape.”
Although he walked back the comments about the “disgusting press,” and that NBC should have its license revoked, that a sitting U.S. president would even think about threatening to take away our First Amendment rights to free speech and a free press is chilling.
And this isn’t the first time, either.
Trump’s troubled past with the press is scary at best. He started his campaign for president with the statement that if elected, he would “open up our libel laws,” so that he could sue papers like the New York Times and the Washington Post if they printed something he didn’t like. It hasn’t happened yet, but he’s attacked the media with increasing frequency ever since.
These incidents foretold of the dictator-in-chief to come, yet the electoral college chose him anyway. Did they forget to read the First Amendment too?
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Featured Image: Screenshot Via YouTube Video.