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Trump pushes to revoke NBC's media license

by Alexandra Weaver - Lifestyles Editor
Tue, Oct 24th 2017 10:00 pm

President Donald Trump has been treating the press like he’s a totalitarian dictator since before he was even the Republican nominee for president, when he forced them to stay in a press pen for the duration of his cultish rallies and barred certain outlets from entering at all. Who could forget when Corey Lewandowski grabbed a female Breitbart reporter and faced no consequences? Or the off-camera briefing that was held in February, all the way back when Sean Spicer was still White House press secretary, where BBC, CNN, The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times  and POLITICO were all barred from entering.

Yes, time moves quickly in the Trump administration. We’re so distracted by the lastest accusation of “fake news” to really remember just how much he completely and utterly despises media that paint him in anything other than a flattering light. Once you do remember these zany, dictator-like jabs at the press from what now seems like the days of yore, it’s not very surprising that he’s now threatening to revoke NBC’s license.

This threat is, of course, meaningless. To his dismay, the Supreme Court still exists to prevent him from blatantly spitting all over the Constitution. Revoking NBC’s license for essentially doing its job would obviously go against the right of free press, and therefore is in violation of the First Amendment.

What’s fascinating about this subject to me personally is the hypocrisy behind people’s feelings toward the First Amendment in this country. Where are the self-proclaimed advocates of the First Amendment, like Richard Spencer in all of his glory? Oh, right. The alt-right, which are better referred to as neo-nazis, only care about the First Amendment when it’s protecting their hate speech. They couldn’t care less about the First Amendment when it comes to protests or the press.

Neo-nazis aren’t the best example of regular people, but their reaction to this news is pretty disturbing as well. A POLITICO article broke down a poll on Americans’ opinions about whether or not the government should have the right to revoke licenses from major broadcast stations if it says that it is broadcasting “fake news.” 

According to the poll, 46 percent of Republicans think that the government should have the right to do this, and only 68 percent of Democrats believe that the government should not be able to revoke licenses. Overall, 28 percent of the country believes that the government should be able to revoke licenses, 21 percent are undecided and 51 percent are opposed.

More than one quarter of the country is apparently fine with throwing the entire Constitution in the garbage and hanging up a picture of our dear leader in their living room by their television set, because that’s what you get without the free press. Regardless of who is in office, allowing the government to effectively destroy media outlets that are broadcasting information it doesn’t like is disastrous. “Fake news” as currently defined means “anything The Don doesn’t like.” Watergate was considered “fake news” in its time, as Nixon vehemently denied any connection or knowledge he may have had, and many among the public didn’t believe it either.

Trump is dangerously encroaching on the Freedom of the Press, and the fact that any American is okay with that is frankly horrifying. This country was founded with the intent of making tyrannical rule essentially impossible, and it’s held up pretty well. Let’s not bend to a dusty old racist with a bad spray tan.

Everyone needs to start holding Trump and the rest of the government accountable. Once the press starts getting frequently dismissed, belittled and de-legitimized, scary things generally follow. Donnie’s man crush, Russian President Vladimir Putin, is an excellent example. Putin has an iron grip over Russia’s press, which he keeps using intimidation. “Last Week Tonight” detailed some of the “coincidental” things that have happened to journalists who have crossed Putin. 

Journalist Anna Politkovskaya was assassinated. A few people have even had sex tapes broadcast on national TV that Putin has influence over, which led to their disgrace. Kyle Hatcher, a U.S. diplomat, was one of those people, and the sex tape was actually faked.

By far the best instance of Putin’s sabotage is when political activist Garry Kasparov was interrupted during a speech by remote controlled flying dildos.

Unless you want the U.S. to become a country where you can’t oppose the president without being sabotaged, Americans need to get serious about defending the right of free press. We’ve had marches for women, climate change and against the Muslim ban. Now, it’s time to march for one of our fundamental rights: the Freedom of the Press.


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