198 online
Most Popular Choices
Share on Facebook 14 Printer Friendly Page More Sharing
OpEdNews Op Eds    H4'ed 11/8/17

Trump's CNN Threat a Potential Abuse of Power

By       (Page 1 of 1 pages)   No comments
Message Free Press

WASHINGTON -- The U.S Department of Justice has told AT&T executives that they may need to divest Time Warner's Turner Networks -- including CNN -- for the regulator to approve AT&T's multibillion-dollar acquisition of the media giant, according to several media reports on Wednesday.

President Donald Trump has been a fierce critic of CNN -- which he frequently accuses of airing "fake news" -- and made a campaign pledge to reject the AT&T deal if elected president.

Free Press opposes the massive merger on antitrust and media-concentration grounds, explaining that it would put far too much media power in the hands of one company. The deal would exacerbate the lack of media diversity while giving AT&T even more incentive to violate open-internet protections and prioritize its online content over the digital content of others.

Free Press President and CEO Craig Aaron made the following statement:

"This is a lousy deal that would raise prices and give AT&T way too much power. The Justice Department should reject it. Making AT&T sell must-have content properties like the Turner Networks and CNN, or even divest a nationwide video-distribution platform like DIRECTV, could be legitimate ways to soften the concentration harms if the deal goes through.

"While there are plenty of good reasons to oppose AT&T's Time Warner takeover, punishing CNN for trying to hold this administration accountable isn't one of them. No matter where you come down on this merger, everyone should agree that the government shouldn't base antitrust decisions or FCC rulings on whether it likes a newsroom's coverage.

"If today's news is just cover for an attack on CNN, it's only the latest example of how Trump is all too willing to abuse his power to intimidate the press. He's also threatened to yank NBC licenses as punishment for critical coverage even as his FCC bends over backwards to remove all obstacles to right-wing broadcaster Sinclair's takeover of Tribune Media.

"It's certainly a violation of the spirit, if not the letter, of the First Amendment. This is how leaders behave in dictatorships, not democracies."
Must Read 1   Valuable 1  
Rate It | View Ratings

Free Press Social Media Pages: Facebook page url on login Profile not filled in       Twitter page url on login Profile not filled in       Linkedin page url on login Profile not filled in       Instagram page url on login Profile not filled in

Free Press is a national, nonpartisan organization working to reform the media. Through education, organizing and advocacy, we promote diverse and independent media ownership, strong public media, and universal access to communications. Learn more (more...)
Go To Commenting
The views expressed herein are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this website or its editors.
Writers Guidelines

Contact AuthorContact Author Contact EditorContact Editor Author PageView Authors' Articles
Support OpEdNews

OpEdNews depends upon can't survive without your help.

If you value this article and the work of OpEdNews, please either Donate or Purchase a premium membership.

If you've enjoyed this, sign up for our daily or weekly newsletter to get lots of great progressive content.
Daily Weekly     OpEd News Newsletter
   (Opens new browser window)

Most Popular Articles by this Author:     (View All Most Popular Articles by this Author)

Trump's CNN Threat a Potential Abuse of Power

Will Obama's FCC Sell Out Net Neutrality?

Bernie Sanders: Chicago Mayor Picks Wall Street Pals over Public School Pupils

Journalism = Terrorism?

To View Comments or Join the Conversation:

Tell A Friend