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Friday, May 5, 2017

Maybe It's Time For a Counterattack

It's rather amazing.  CNN, CBS, ABC and NBC are refusing to run a ad from the Trump people that includes a shot labeling those networks as "fake news".  This is political speech, and these networks and their stations are censoring that speech by refusing to run the ad.

It may be time for a counter attack by the Trump people.  Each of the three main broadcast networks own local stations as well as the network.  For example, in New York, WCBS is the local CBS station and it is also owned by CBS.  By refusing to run this political ad, CBS appears to be violating the terms of the license under which it operates WCBS and all of its other stations.  What would happen if a complain were filed with the FCC by the White House seeking to rescind the license for these stations due to violations of their operating requirements? 

There really is no defense that the stations could offer.  The fact that the station management disagrees with a political ad does not provide any grounds for refusing to air it.  On this point the law is very clear.  Just imagine the panic at CBS if its operation of the main local stations were to be threatened. 

Probably the best course of action for the Trump people is to go on record strongly opposing the action by the networks and threatening action should this ever happen again.  After that, any vacancies on the FCC should be filled.  Then theTrump people should bring a different ad to the same networks and demand that it be aired.  If the networks once again refuse to do so, then a complain should be filed with the FCC.

That would indeed be fun to watch.

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