President Trump threatened to “take away credentials” of major news organizations over their negative reporting of him in a tweet on Wednesday.
The statement came after Trump’s de facto morning briefing team, Fox and Friends, reported on a study produced by right-wing media watchdog Media Research Center. The study claimed 90 percent of coverage of Trump during evening news broadcasts by ABC, NBC and CBS was negative, classifying the rise in negative coverage as the “liberal media’s war” on Trump. The White House also lashed out at the media for reporting on Melania Trump’s repurposing of an Obama-era pamphlet for the launch of her program focused on the “overall well-being of children.”
Revoking media credentials is a threat Trump has utilized in the past. In October 2017, Trump threatened to revoke NBC’s broadcast licenses after the outlet reported that Trump sought to increase the nation’s nuclear arsenal tenfold, labelling NBC as being “Bad for country!” He has also recently discussed ending daily White House press briefings.
This could just be another empty threat by the president, meant to bully the press into presenting more favorable coverage, but any attempt to compromise the First Amendment protections for the press could easily backfire on Trump if actually implemented.