Trump blasts Comcast’s NBC and calls for firing host Chuck Todd
President Donald Trump said Comcast Corp.’s NBC should fire “Meet the Press” host Chuck Todd in a series of tweets that invoked the Federal Communications Commission without specifying what the broadcast regulator should do.
“@FCC THIS IS A DISGRACE, EVEN WORSE THAN @NBC USUALLY IS, WHICH IS REALLY BAD. SLEEPY EYES MUST BE FIRED!,” Trump said in a tweet Monday morning, hours after an earlier tweet criticizing Todd. It wasn’t clear what action Trump was seeking from the FCC, which controls TV station licenses and has no authority over network personnel decisions.
“Meet the Press” on Sunday aired a clip of Barr discussing the Justice Department’s move to drop the criminal case against Trump’s former national security adviser Michael Flynn. Asked how history would view the decision, Barr said that “history’s written by winners.” The NBC show didn’t use part of Barr’s quote saying “a fair history would say that it was a good decision,” Kerri Kupec, a Justice Department spokeswoman, said in a tweet.
“Meet the Press” on its Twitter account Sunday said it had “inadvertently and inaccurately cut short a video clip of an interview with AG Barr.”
“The remaining clip included important remarks from the attorney general that we missed, and we regret the error,” the show said in its tweet.
Trump tweeted about the show late Sunday and also added the Twitter handle of FCC Chairman Ajit Pai.
“Sleepy Eyes Chuck Todd should be FIRED by Concast’ (NBC) for this fraud. He knew exactly what he was doing. Public Airwaves = Fake News! @AjitPaiFCC @FCC,” Trump tweeted.
Trump has repeatedly referred to Comcast as “Concast” in tweets complaining about coverage.
FCC spokesman Brian Hart didn’t immediately respond to an email and telephone call seeking comment. NBC spokeswoman Hilary Smith didn’t immediately reply to an email and telephone call.
Trump in 2018 and in 2017 suggested that regulators review the broadcast license for NBC, misstating the agency’s role. The FCC grants licenses to individual television stations, rather than to networks.
Pai in a letter last month to members of Congress said he has “always stood firmly in the defense of the First Amendment for all Americans.
“Under the Constitution and the Communications Act, broadcast stations have broad discretion to decide what programming to air on their stations,” Pai said in the letter. “Absent very narrow circumstances, the government cannot and should not investigate stations or revoke licenses based on programming the station airs.”
He was reacting to a policy group’s call for the FCC to investigate what it called disinformation aired during Trump’s daily briefings about the coronavirus.