(CBS/Scott Kowalchyk)

Trump wants "equal time" rule for late-night shows

Mocked and derided on late-night TV, Trump now wants enforcement of the fairness doctrine on comedians


Taylor Link
October 7, 2017 4:27PM (UTC)

President Trump frequently targets America's free press, declaring any negative coverage as "fake news." Now the president has turned his sights on late-night TV. On Saturday morning, Trump took to Twitter not to discuss Puerto Rico or Las Vegas, but to fume about late-night comedy.

While Trump mentioned "equal time" in his tweet, he was likely referring to the Fairness Doctrine. The equal-time rule requires radio and television broadcast stations to provide an equal opportunity to opposing political candidates during an election. Trump's gripe here has nothing to do with campaigns or elections. He's upset because the late-night hosts are making fun of him on a daily basis. Trump's so distressed by all the ridicule, he sent out another tweet claiming that "more and more people" were asking Congress and the White House to look into "equal time on TV."

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Whenever Trump says "more and more people" are interested in a given topic, it is safe to assume he may be misleading everyone. It is true that the late-night landscape leans to the left. And with Trump in office, even the more apolitical late-night hosts have waded into the political discussion. But this is a fight that Republicans do not want. If the government were to bring back the Fairness Doctrine, which was eliminated in 1987, that would mean Fox News hosts such as Tucker Carlson and Sean Hannity would also have to provide both sides to a news story. That is not happening, folks.


Taylor Link

Taylor Link is an assistant editor at Salon. You can find him on Twitter at @taylorlink_

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Related Topics ------------------------------------------

Comedy Donald Trump Entertainment Fairness Doctrine Late Night Late-night Shows Tv

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