Trump Is Attacking Free Speech With This Call to Silence NBC

What happened?

President Donald Trump tweeted a furious response to a recent NBC News report. “Network news has become so partisan, distorted and fake that licenses must be challenged and, if appropriate, revoked,” he said Wednesday. “Not fair to public!”

NBC cited White House officials in a report about a national security meeting that happened over the summer. Trump wanted a tenfold increase in U.S. nuclear weapons after seeing a chart showing a reduction since the 1960s, according to the report.

Can Trump “challenge” NBC?

National networks aren’t licensed, so there is no “license” to be “revoked” in any case.

Does he know about the First Amendment?

Luckily, we Americans have a little thing called the Bill of Rights. These foundational rights include free speech and freedom of the press.

Sen. Ben Sasse of Nebraska reminded Trump about his commitment to protect and defend that right:

Glenn’s take:

The First Amendment is essential to our freedom, and no president has the right to infringe on it. Whether it’s a Democrat president trying to stop talk radio or a Republican president who wants to shut down negative coverage, conservatives should be against anything that lets the government censor speech.

“We wouldn’t want the government to have to license everybody so they can speak their mind,” Glenn said.

This article provided courtesy of TheBlaze.

GLENN: Think before you tweet. I think this should be our new national slogan. Think before you tweet. Because all of us need a refresher in this.

In less than 140 characters, the president of the United States told us what he thought about the first attempt yesterday. It was a response to NBC News. Now, NBC News came out yesterday with a story that said that he was asking for more nuclear weapons. It was well-sourced. I don't know if it's true or not. But it was well-sourced. Had many different sources in the story.

I thought it was irresponsible of NBC to do it. But it was a story.

So he tweeted yesterday. With all the fake news coming out of NBC and the networks, at what point is it important to challenge their license? Bad for country.

Okay. I don't even know where to begin.

Let me break this down: What's bad for the country is any president of the United States advocating for any kind of obstruction of the free press. This is what a libel suit is all about.

If they're lying, you sue them for it. What's bad for the country is a violation of the Constitution. What's bad for the country is not understanding the First Amendment at the most basic level. That goes for every single citizen and every elected official serving those citizens.

I want you to understand it: I get it. NBC is shameful. What NBC has done for the last ten years -- you know what, forget about that, what NBC has done and showed who they were with Harvey Weinstein is enough. I'm not a fan of NBC.

But that doesn't mean we want any president this, the last president, or the next president, suggesting that we can shut them down because they say things that we don't like. If they say things that are not true, that is what the court system is for.

Even if Trump wanted to challenge their license, he couldn't. That's the next thing. NBC doesn't have a broadcast license. We should -- we as conservatives should be against the license practice. We shouldn't -- we would want the government to have to license everybody so they can speak their mind.

But NBC doesn't have one. The local affiliates do. Not the national network.

And it would be highly unusual for the FCC to revoke a local license based on a broadcaster's content. It doesn't work that way.

So here's some free advice: First of all, those of who are on the left, who are all self-righteous, where were you when past presidents wanted to shut down the voices on talk radio? Because all those voices are lying. Where were you, when they said faux news. Fox News is nothing but fake news. They ought to do something, the government should do something.

So don't get all high and mighty on me now.

What we need to be are Americans that are consistent. Do your homework. Learn how the Federal Communications Commission actually works.

But most importantly, all of us need to reread the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution. And the president needs to stop caring what NBC says about him. Mr. President, they're never going to be fair to you. I've been there. Many of us have been there long before they were mean to you. They're not going to like you, period. Get over it.

Now, focus on the things that actually matter. North Korea. Puerto Rico. California.

And, three, Mr. President, and everybody within the sound of my voice, including me, think before you tweet.


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