Donald Trump escalated his attacks and threats against the media to a new level today by explicitly threatening to yank NBC off the air. Whether or not Trump can legally have the FCC take NBC off the broadcast television spectrum is an open question. Why he’s so obsessed with NBC is another matter entirely. Trump hates every major media outlet, except for the handful that are willing to lie in his favor. His sudden obsession with NBC just happens to line up with something else very strange about the network.
We’ve been hearing forever that NBC supposedly has tapes of Donald Trump saying horribly racist things on the set of The Apprentice, and that it’s been sitting on these tapes the entire time. That’s nothing new. But now today we’re seeing scattered reports that NBC News also had tapes of Harvey Weinstein committing sexual assault, and that it sat on them rather than running the story. On the same day we’re learning this, suddenly Trump is literally threatening to take NBC off the air. What’s going on here?
NBC News is in the process of being in very hot water for having sat on the Weinstein tapes, for reasons it still hasn’t bothered to try to explain. It’s enough to make you at least wonder aloud if NBC might be planning to release the Apprentice tapes of Trump just to change the narrative. If Trump has been tipped off to something like that by someone in the NBC/Apprentice fold who’s still loyal to him, it would explain why he’s suddenly threatening to give NBC the death penalty.
Yes, it’s just a theory. And yes, Donald Trump is upset over the NBC News story about Rex Tillerson calling him a moron. But he’s always upset at one TV news outlet or another at any given time. He’s been pissed at network TV news outlets before. He’s never publicly threatened to take any of them off the air. At the least, the question has to be asked: why NBC, why now, and what does it have to do with the other NBC controversies bubbling over this week?
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report