Trump Incorrectly Cites FCC Equal Time Rule in Dig at ‘Unfunny’ Late-Night Comedians
President Donald Trump mused Saturday morning about whether he and his fellow Republicans should receive equal time on TV due to what he sees as consistently unfair coverage from late-night comedians.
“Late Night host are dealing with the Democrats for their very “unfunny” & repetitive material, always anti-Trump! Should we get Equal Time?” Trump wrote on Twitter Saturday.
He later added: “More and more people are suggesting that Republicans (and me) should be given Equal Time on T.V. when you look at the one-sided coverage?”
Trump appears to be referencing the FCC’s “equal time” rule, which has been applied to broadcast TV and radio stations and locally originated cable TV. The rule requires broadcasters to treat legally qualified political candidates fairly both in free air time from appearances and paid advertising, with exemptions for programs like newscasts.
The president also seemed to be inferring that the equal time provision would apply to commentaries, like Kimmel’s monologues on health care, which have lambasted the president and Republicans.
Jimmy Kimmel, host of ABC’s late night show, responded to the president on Twitter by jokingly agreeing that Trump should have more time on TV, if he did one thing: quit the presidency.
“You should quit that boring job – I’ll let you have my show ALL to yourself #MAGA,” Kimmel wrote.
Trump sent this tweet after watching a segment on Fox News on the exact same subject.
Two things, first, Trump is on television every day. CNN, MSNBC, Fox, CBS, ABC, Bloomberg, and every other new station can’t stop talking about him.
And second, the Equal time rule has to do only with political candidates, Trump might be talking about the “Fairness Doctrine” which itself only deals with the discussion of controversial issues. Of course this difference is something a President should know.