My TV content is better than your TV content.
President Trump can’t get the FCC to pull a license from a TV “network” because he doesn’t like its content. That’s not how it works, nor how the First Amendment works.
Better question: Can we pull President Trump’s “license” because of his content?
Nope. Can’t do that, either. But we can surely avoid it. Or, when appropriate, just make fun of it — until natural or other manmade disasters come our way.
Then it’s serious, and you will be watching that content on TV. Higher ratings will follow — and so might TV advertising dollars. That's TV capitalism at its best.
The animosity and FCC challenges began because Trump didn’t like the news from NBC.
Here is Trump in an October 11 tweet: “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!”
To reiterate, it doesn't work that way. TV stations have the licenses. The back story: Trump's tweet was in response to an NBC story that reported the president asked about a massive spending increase to expand the U.S. nuclear arsenal.
Perhaps Trump thought his license threat could also apply to cable TV news networks — MSNBC, in particular. Or maybe CNN. Wrong again. Cable TV networks don’t need an FCC license to operate.
Ajit Pai, chairman of the Federal Communications Commission, said in a speech last month: “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.”
Instead, viewers can change the channel and go to their favorite echo chamber. Or they can do some selective swearing in their own living rooms. FCC rules don’t apply there, either.
Is there any redemption in this never-ending Trump TV show? Sure. All we need is for President Trump to say 14 words, even once: “I’m sorry. I made a mistake. I didn’t know what I was talking about.”