Trump Threat to Pull TV Licenses Over Coronavirus Ad Violation of First Amendment – PEN America

While mostly bluster, its a bullying attempt to intimidate the press says PEN America

(New York, NY) Donald Trumps presidential campaign this week sent a cease-and-desist letter to television stations airing ads critical of the way he has handled the coronavirus crisis, threatening to revoke their operating licenses. PEN Americas Nora Benavidez, director of U.S. free expression programs, issued the following statement.

Silencing critics is clearly a knee-jerk reaction for the president. He has a long history of tryingtoexploit the legal systemto scare his supposed adversaries. Its a troubling practice and a violation of the First Amendment. In the midst of an election andwhile theU.S.is grappling withan unprecedented public healthcrisis, its appalling for the president to focus in on using his influence to silence a critical television ad that is unquestionably protected political speech. The fact that this threatened action wouldnever hold up in court actually exposes it for whatit is: a bullying attempt to intimidatethepress and silencethepresidents critics.

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PEN America stands at the intersection of literature and human rights to protect open expression in the United States and worldwide. We champion the freedom to write, recognizing the power of the word to transform the world. Our mission is to unite writers and their allies to celebrate creative expression and defend the liberties that make it possible.

CONTACT: Stephen Fee, Director of Communications, [emailprotected], +1 202 309 8892white house

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Trump Threat to Pull TV Licenses Over Coronavirus Ad Violation of First Amendment - PEN America

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