Trump’s Weekly Fox Show? It Could Present Some Interesting Political and Legal Issues

There was an awkward moment this morning on Fox when President Donald Trump announced that he would have a regular appearance on Fox and Friends every week at this time. That came as obvious news to the hosts who repeatedly told the President that there is no such understanding. The exchange, however, raises a legal question of whether such a regular show with the President would run afoul of federal laws requiring equal time for political candidates. The answer is likely no but it is not clear if Joe Biden would relish a regular segment on Fox since he has largely avoided such interviews.

In fairness to President Trump, the hosts said that they wanted to do another segment. However, Trump responded  that “We’ve agreed to do it once a week in the morning, and I look forward to it.”  Host Steve Doocy said “I haven’t heard that” and later said “You may want to do it every week, but Fox is not committed to that. We’re going to take it on a case by case basis.”

 

The segment raises some interesting legal and political issues. The equal-time rule mandates that U.S. radio and television outlets should provide an equivalent opportunity to opposing political candidates. That has been a policy since the Radio Act of 1927. However, equal time is more of a rule that controls the selling of political advertising. It is less clear and more aspirational when it comes to interviews.

The Communications Act of 1934 is the basis for the FCC rule:

Section 312 [47 U.S.C. §312] Administrative sanctions.

(a)   The Commission may revoke any station license or construction permit –

(7)   for willful or repeated failure to allow reasonable access to or to permit purchase of reasonable amounts of time for the use of a broadcasting station, other than a non-commercial educational broadcast station, by a legally qualified candidate for Federal elective office on behalf of his candidacy.

(f)   For purposes of this section:

(1)   The term “willful”, when used with reference to the commission or omission of any act, means the conscious and deliberate commission or omission of such act, irrespective of any intent to violate any provision of this Act or any rule or regulation of the Commission authorized by this Act or by a treaty ratified by the United States.

(2)   The term “repeated”, when used with reference to the commission or omission of any act, means the commission or omission of such act more than once or, if such commission or omission is continuous, for more than one day.

The Federal Communications Commission abolished The Fairness Doctrine in 1987.

Even without the “Fairness Doctrine,” media organizations try to follow the equal-time rule. However, an interview is not the purchase of broadcasting time.  It would be hard, particularly with a sitting president, to mete out equal time when the media has to cover official acts and presidents mix political and policy elements in their public comments.

Moreover, even if Fox were bound by strict equal time obligations, it would mean that Fox would commit to a weekly Joe Biden segment. In truth, that would be a dream come true for Fox and a nightmare for many Democrats.  So long as Biden is offered equal time, the rule is effectively satisfied. Fox could argue that, unlike the defunct Fairness Doctrine, it can insist on the candidates themselves rather than surrogates for offering equivalent time and opportunity.

 

154 thoughts on “Trump’s Weekly Fox Show? It Could Present Some Interesting Political and Legal Issues”

  1. In his March 4, 1933 inaugural address FDR stated:

    “Practices of the unscrupulous money changers stand indicted in the court of public opinion, rejected by the hearts and minds of men. True they have tried, but their efforts have been cast in the pattern of an outworn tradition. Faced by failure of credit they have proposed only the lending of more money. Stripped of the lure of profit by which to induce our people to follow their false leadership, they have resorted to exhortations, pleading tearfully for restored confidence. They know only the rules of a generation of self-seekers. They have no vision, and when there is no vision the people perish. The money changers have fled from their high seats in the temple of our civilization. We may now restore that temple to the ancient truths. The measure of the restoration lies in the extent to which we apply social values more noble than mere monetary profit.”

  2. This precedent was created by CNN in 1996 when Clinton was running for his second term (when CNN became known as the Clinton News Network) immediately after Bubba spent 5 days on a bender with Ted Turner in Ted’s penthouse on top of the CNN Center during the 96 Olympics.

    CNN essentially became a 24/7 non-stop campaign commercial for Clinton.

  3. It’s the Biden Comedy Hour with Sleepy Joe pulling a gaffe a minute. Guest stars include Mad Maxine Waters with hair styling advice. Cowgirl Shelia Jackson Lee on riding buffaloes. Hank “Guam is tilting” Johnson with travelogues and a special appearance by Nancy Pelosi with today’s secret word “hypocrite.” Story telling with Adam Schiff and even a surprise appearance by Jeffrey Epstein talking about island hopping!

    1. Do a fact check on this or research it yourself. The reason for decreased forest fires in Canada is three fold. They banned ATV’s from the forest in Apri and May when things got dry, they have had a significant decrease in the number of campers due to C-19 that leave campfires unattended and they have had substantially more rain in some provinces due to the weather pattern changes that has caused the dry conditions out west.

      1. Do you work for the Babylon Bee? If not, then my fact-checking will begin with you. Prove your claim. To be true, you’d have to prove ATV use caused the fires, same with unattended campfires from areas that also had Covid-19 reductions and your weather pattern theory that has remarkably left everything north of the US-Canadian border free of wildfire conditions.

        Ready. Go. And good luck.

        1. Here is an excerpt from the following article.

          “Canada has experienced a lower than average number of wildfires this year thanks in part to COVID-19 restrictions, as well as cooler temperatures and wetter conditions compared to the United States, where devastating and record-setting wildfires have been raging across large swaths of the west coast this year.

          A ban on fires and off-highway vehicle (OHV) restrictions through April and May, as part the province’s COVID-19 response, also helped lower the number of wildfires, she said.

          Campfires that are not fully extinguished can often result in a wildfire, while a buildup of debris such as grass and moss can ignite in the exhaust of an OHV where temperatures can heat up to more than 200C degrees. These are preventable fires and the public is encouraged to be more cautious when they are out in forested areas, Story added.

          “We can’t quite measure exactly how many fires we’ve prevented, but it would probably be safe to say that we avoided a lot with having less people out in the forested areas,” she said, noting that between 65 and 70 per cent of Alberta wildfires are caused by humans in any given year. This year, that figure was 79 per cent. The rest are caused by lightning.”

          https://www.ctvnews.ca/sci-tech/how-weather-covid-19-spared-canada-from-wildfires-like-those-in-the-u-s-1.5105000

    2. Olly, this was predicted five years ago by scientists warning about the effects. What you’re seeing in real time is exactly what they said would happen.

      Right now there’s more potential hurricane producing tropical storms in the Atlantic than they have names for.

      Invasive species are migrating north to due to warmer weather than normal.

      There’s no longer a question of when it’s already here. Now it’s a question of how bad it will get.

  4. Why not? Early on, Trump called into Morning Joe every morning for 5 to 10 minutes of talk . . . Joe and Mika were delighted! . . . and Trump got a few hundred thousand $$$ – worth of free air time!

  5. No, Trump should not appear weekly on any news program, unless his opponent has equal air time.

    It’s too bad that Trump does not release fireside chats like Dennis Prager, communicating directly with the public in a manner outside of his usual Tweetstorm. I think he needs to connect more with people who don’t know anything about what he has accomplished, or what he’s really like. The Tweets are not often helpful.

    1. No, Trump should not appear weekly on any news program, unless his opponent has equal air time.

      Well that was the laydown answer. Get back to us when Biden has been denied equal airtime.

  6. Take a little liver and put it on a hook. Throw it to the bottom of the pond and watch the sucker fish glob on. It’s easy to see if you recognize the pattern. He controlles the narative of his detractors.

  7. Jumping Joe should just a nightly showing of classic Three Stooges films on CNN each night when Trumpeter is on.
    Moe! Larry! Cheese!

  8. JT writes:

    “The Federal Communications Commission abolished The Fairness Doctrine in 1987.

    Even without the “Fairness Doctrine,” media organizations try to follow the equal-time rule….”

    No they don’t. WTF is wrong with you. Ever listen to talk radio in America?

    1. And dont forget about cable tv. All the democrats show on the alphabet news, Republicans on Fox and a few minor right wing programs. Who wants to answer hard important questions when friendly media can lob snowballs?

  9. “is not clear if Joe Biden would relish a regular segment on Fox since he has largely avoided such interviews.”

    😂😂😂😂😂😂😂 Really, Biden taking and answering questions?

  10. If such a regular appearance would be illegal….that would probably make it even more attractive for our criminal President.

      1. Young…..LOL…good question…..and what about during the debates!?? Last night, someone showed a photo of Biden answering questions. There was a small, thin black wire near his ear.

        Hope your book writing is going well.

            1. Thanks, but more like the person the real Renaissance men kept trying to kill. The flying was during my days off tapping the blast furnace and it is odd trying to fit the two activities together.

              Early on in training I flew into town to buzz a restaurant where my girlfriend was having lunch. When I got back to the field my landing was jerky so I went around for another landing. The owner of the flight operation drove out and blocked the runway with his car. I hopped over him and began to land again and thought maybe he was trying to tell me something so I went up again to try to guess what it was. Maybe the wind changed. I looked at the windsock but couldn’t see it because I forgot to wear my glasses. I flew over and buzzed the windsock, two passes before I could see it. Yup, it’s the wind. Then I landed on the right runway. More like that.

              1. Young, sounds like poor piloting skills to me. Didn’t the airport have an ATIS to listen to? Needing glasses to see the windsock? Really?

                I’m a pilot myself and I find it hard to believe that you didn’t already figure out which runway was in use at the time you decided to land. The only things I can think of is there was no traffic at all and the airport was a small uncontrolled airport where you broadcast your intentions in the local frequency.

                If the owner of the flight operation had to drive on the runway it only means he either had no radio communication with you or you were not on the right frequency. If that had to happen you weren’t being very thorough in your flight planning. Smh.

                1. You’re a pilot? wow. your stock’s gone up svelaz. I was selling you short because of all your um comments. I guess I’ll have to take a closer look, valued partner in dialogue!

                2. Svelaz– It was more than 50 years ago and I had only a few hours. You are correct in thinking that it was a relatively small field and the plane, a tail dragger similar to a Cub, had no radio. The wind changed direction while I was flying and I came in to land on the same runway from which I departed. As I said I was lucky, not smart. I have since gotten a commercial license with instrument rating.

                  1. Young, LoL! That makes much more sense. I’ve been a private pilot with multi engine rating and ifr. Been flying since 1992. Right out of high school.

                    Can’t say I get to fly tail draggers that much. Did get a chance at flyin a carbon cub two years ago. THAT is a nice way to fly.

                    Currently flying a 337 skymaster.

                    1. Svelaz– I envy your continued flying. I haven’t now for some years and my medical isn’t current.

                      You are right about tail draggers being a nice way to fly. My two primary trainers were an Aeronca Champ and a Piper Cub. Neither had radios or anything but a compass and looking out the window for navigation. Both are basically powered kites but truly give you the feel of flying and, when young and stupid, tempt you to do things you shouldn’t.

                      My first solo spin was in the Cub. My friend did her first solo spin in the same plane and back on the ground we learned we both thought the same thing before initiating it: “I wonder if I am going to die today?” Then carburetor heat, throttle back, nose up and when you feel the first hint of a stall full left rudder, stick back to the seat and over you go. Next thing you are in a spin and heading down. Wouldn’t try it in a Skymaster though.

                      Glad to hear from you.

  11. “FoxNews is not going to deny Biden the opportunity to be interviewed on any of their programs.”

    Olly, do you consider what happens on Fox & Friends interviews? Trump talks as long as he wants and they nod their heads no matter how untruthful or ridiculous. When Trump does submit to an actual interview like from Chris Wallace or Bob Woodward, the result is devastating.

    1. Trump talks as long as he wants and they nod their heads no matter how untruthful or ridiculous.

      FoxNews is not unique in regard to how interviews are conducted with candidates.

        1. Fox & Friends is not the show I look for hard-hitting interviews. I believe their format is more casual, akin to the 3 major networks in that time slot.

            1. Here’s a question for you Enigma.

              ABC’s George Stephanopoulos is hosting a townhall in Philadelphia with President Trump tonight. Tonights townhall comes after Trump’s California trip, two Nevada rallies, today’s Israel/UAE/Bahrain peace treaty ceremony earlier at the White House (that much of the MSM is ignoring). And now Trump is showing up to an ABC voter q & a in Philly.

              Here is the blurb about the townhall:

              Sep 14th, 2020

              ‘Seven weeks before Election Day, ABC News will host a town hall with President Donald Trump and uncommitted voters. ABC News Chief Anchor George Stephanopoulos will anchor the event, which will provide uncommitted voters a chance to ask the President their important questions before voting. The town hall will take place at the National Constitution Center in Philadelphia, PA and will be held in accordance with state and local government regulations, as well as guidelines set forward by health officials. The ’20/20′ special event airs on Tuesday, September 15, from 9:00- 10:30 p.m. ET| 8:00- 9:30 p.m. CT on ABC. Senior Executive Producer Marc Burstein is the executive producer.

              ABC News offered to host a similar town hall with Democratic presidential nominee and former Vice President Joe Biden. ABC News and the campaign were not able to find a mutually agreeable date.’

              DId you catch that? Joe Biden unable to find the time. What the hell is that about? Curious to hear your thoughts about it.

        1. Enigma. So you are saying it is ok for blacks to vote their group interests? I think it is.

          As a white person, I claim the same right. I will vote my group interests.

          But do you think it’s ok for me to vote my white group interests? Do you allow white folks respect for voting their interests?

          Or is it only ok for blacks to vote their interests?

            1. impressive that you admit the legitimacy of voters considering their own interests.
              I don’t agree with your second comment, personally, I think trump is good for the interests of native born black workers too.
              but I suppose my opinion of that is about as compelling as your opinion about women, since I am not black and you are not a woman
              and yet isnt it fantastic that we are free to tell other groups where their interests lie in our system of free speech and democracy!

              Enigma, you made a graceful reply. with more people like you America would have greater legitimacy. bravo enigma, have a nice evening

    2. Sir. There many counter points first and foremost has President Trump helped the Black population at all? Many have indicated he has, to name just two are Bod Woodson of the Woodson Institute and Candis Owens who just released a book. I do not believe President Trump has any other regard for all Americans than success in their individual endeavors or lives.

      1. When he found out that black, brown, and the elderly were most likely to die from COVID-19 he went directly into his push to open up the country. Coincidence or not giving a damn about any of the above?

        1. That sounds like a talking point to me, without reason. What are you saying, that the President is a Racist? Are you that si`ne qua non against the President that you think he would purposely go against black, brown or elderly? REALLY. Census number as of today: Pop= 328,239,523 , Census breakout by Population % W=76.3%, Hispanic 18.5%, B 13.4%, CDC by percentage of cases W=41.7; H=29.9; B= 18.7, Deaths W=51.5%; H 16.6% B=21.7%. I could not find any data as to reasons for disproportion in numbers except what has been previously posted about underlying conditions. The CDC does not track economic data about cases or deaths which might contribute to the ultimate outcome, or insurance other factors. But to place blame unto President Trump and others within the Government? “COME ON MAN”.

          1. In addition to underlying conditions (which are partially due to a disparity in health care), minorities make up a disproportionate percentage of essential workers so when he dictates that the economy stay open, it isn’t the patrons of his country clubs being exposed. The case can be and has been made that Trump doesn’t really care about anyone. According to witnesses, his slow response to COVID-19 was partially due to his misguided belief that only Democratic-controlled states were seriously affected. As to whether he’s a racist, go back to his full-page ad in the NYT caling for the death of the Central Park Five (who were innocent by the way) and his multiple acts of discriminating against minority renters in his properties (marking applications “C” for colored soi they could be later rejected). The list goes on but you’ll either accept the premise or reject it, up to you.

            1. Sorry but trying a new defence for your hatred of President Trump doesn’t fly. Now your including the Central Park Five what a true shame, no problem will ever be solved with narrow minds.

              1. Young questioned whether I was calling Trump racist. I wasn’t in this instance but he has a long history, including reports from his family members if you don’t wish to take my word. What’s the non-racist explanation for “C” for colored?

                1. Joe Biden has said and DONE far more “racist” things that are well documented over his many decades in public life, far more than anything than Trump or even Trump’s “family” has ever said or done. Yet you overlook ALL of that racist condescension from Joe Biden’s own mouth because you think the Democrats have your best interests so you keep on voting for them? What a dupe you are. The Democrats count on the stupidity of the American people to keep voting for them. Good job proving them right.

                  1. Joe Biden would never have conceived of permanently separating brown children from their families. He wouldn’t refer to all of Africa as shithole countries and toss paper towels to Puerto Ricans after a massive hurricane. He wouldn’t’ be working overtime to keep minorities.
                    Having said that, I have no illusions as to who and what Biden is, he might have been my fifth choice among the Democratic candidates. Yet there is no comparison to Trump who is willing to sacrifice his own followers by holding indoor rallies with few masks.

                    1. The comment about shithole countries was said in a private meeting not meant for public to hear. It is unfortunate that Democrats stoop so low as to leak comments taken completely out of context from a private conversation hashing out issues. Some countries around the world are shithole countries, literally, you squat over a hole. Those leaks were Democrat hit jobs. If you ever got wind of some of the things said by other politicians, including Joe Biden, during private meetings you would hear far worse than comments Trump has made. With Trump what you see is what you get. He doesn’t pretend to be someone he’s not like so many politicians do.

                      Obama’s policies did separate children at the border. Obama built the cages, it was his policy. Joe Biden’s crime bill?? Tossing paper towels is a playful moment that was insignificant. It’s not like he did ‘the wave’ while enjoying a baseball game with a brutal dictator in Cuba while dozens were massacred in a Brussels terror attack, or took 60 seconds to get off the golf course from yet another of his vacations to speak about the horrifying beheading of an American by ISIS before turning right around resuming his golf game. Tossing paper towels? To use Joe Biden’s words, Come on, maaaan! Trump’s rally-goers are handed masks and sanitizer when they enter and it is up to them whether they choose to wear a mask or not. At least Trump is out engaging with voters who want to be there and he is constantly answering questions from the press. Can’t say the same about Hiden Biden.

                    2. Trump is literally killing and making sick his own supporters, and you justify it. What’s the latest count on Secret Service agents who got COVID-19 at Trump rallies? How’s Herman Cain doing?

                    3. Lest I forget. You seem to be saying Trump’s comments about shithole countries weren’t racist because the public wasn’t supposed to be aware he made them. Mary Trump reveals a lot of other choice words he uses when just among family and friends. There are reportedly Apprentice tapes that Mark Burnett won’t release documenting the same thing. Those are allegations though, I’ll just stick with “C” for colored.

                    4. Trump held a rally. Herman Cain chose to attend knowing his high risk medical conditions. We don’t know if that was where and how Cain contracted the covid. Could have been on a plane, in a store, no one knows. Perhaps Herman Cain might have contracted covid if he had attended one of the many George Floyd funerals? Or perhaps one of the many BLM marches with hundreds or even thousands together in the streets? Or perhaps one of the many large funerals and services for Lewis? Wearing a mask does not protect you from getting the virus.

                    5. Why don’t you ask Jesse Jackson, Al Sharpton, Hershell Walker, Burgess Owens, Kanye, and many others who have known and worked with Trump over the decades if they think Trump is a racist. Then ask them if they think Biden is a racist….Joe Biden who was mentored by a grand wizard from the KKK and an admirer of segregationists. Biden’s troubling history of bad policies, cringeworthy comments and actions are far more difficult to overlook than anything Trump has said or done.

                    6. “who is willing to sacrifice his own followers by holding indoor rallies with few masks.”

                      As opposed to Biden and Harris supporting Defund the Police while the BLM/Antifa rioting is occurring around the country?!

                      But keep up the BS about masks at Trump rallies, enigma. That’s a definite loser move.

                    7. Rhodes, you lying j..koff.., Bden is not calling for defunding the police and in his platform – remember them? You don’t need one when you’re in a personality cult – calls for more federal money for COPS programs, a successful part of the mid 90s crime bill he was instrumental in passing.

                2. National Association for the Advancement of COLORED People. Not racist at all.

                  Saying ‘people of color’ sounds kind of stupid, don’t you think?

              1. Trump doesn’t GAF about you Kurtz, white or not.

                “(CNN)….. “I’m on a stage and it’s very far away,” Trump told the Las Vegas Review Journal when asked whether he was nervous about getting Covid-19 from the indoor rally. “And so I’m not at all concerned.” He went on to add: “I’m more concerned about how close you are, to be honest.”…”

                1. Biden doesn’t GAF about you By the Book. They are now counting on their voters to vote for their ticket because Kammy wears cool shoes. Or as one put it, “rocking the Timba’s’ as she hopped off her private jet to go talk about climate change. How sad that Biden and the Dems think their voters are that stupid.

                  But their voters ARE that stupid….that’s how Biden can run a presidential campaign that avoids tough press questions, avoids the voter’s questions at townhalls. Joe Biden avoids avoids avoids…..hides hides hides….lies lies lies….intentionally lies in his ads and outright deceives voters and gets away with it because of a complicit biased press corps? Unbelievable. His running mate doesn’t answer tough questions either, but she wears cool shoes, so…vote for her! She called it the “Harris administration” in a telling slip of the tongue. What a ticket. What an embarrassment.

                  Here’s a hint Joe Biden: voters are NOT as stupid as you count on.

                2. Let’s show the voters about how dishonest and deceptive Joe Biden and his campaign is….they are avoiding scrutiny, avoiding engaging with press, avoiding engaging with voters, lying to voters, and intentionally deceiving the voters. That is not how you go about EARNING votes for a presidential election. But this garbage is what the Democrats and Joe Biden and their corrupt biased media want you to believe and vote FOR? It’s unbelievably disgusting the campaign Joe Biden is running. Disgraceful. Disqualifying.

  12. The exchange however raises a legal question of whether such a regular show with the President would run afoul of federal laws requiring equal time for political candidates.

    FoxNews is not going to deny Biden the opportunity to be interviewed on any of their programs.

    Is there any law requiring a neutral, mental and physical health evaluation of a candidate for elected office? Isn’t there a provision under the Elder Abuse laws that require legal intervention if there is concern an individual is a victim of undue influence?

  13. The only way we’re going to lose this election is if the election is rigged. Remember that. It’s the only way we’re going to lose this election, so we have to be very careful.

    I cannot lose. If I do lose, the election was stolen. Anyone protesting my effort to hold onto power is an insurrectionist. And sometimes, “there has to be retribution.”

    Now we sent in the U.S. marshals for the killer, the man that killed the young man in the street. Two and a half days went by, and I put out “when are you going to go get him.” And the U.S. marshals went in to get him. There was a shootout. This guy was a violent criminal, and the U.S. marshalls killed him. And I’ll tell you something — that’s the way it has to be. There has to be retribution.

    “I am going to start by saying that the Democrats are trying to rig this election because it’s the only way they are going to win.”

    “Be poll watchers when you go there. Watch all the thieving and stealing and robbing they do.” He added that after they vote, his supporters should “make sure it counts” because the “only way” Democrats can win is by “doing very bad things.”

    Donald Trump

    Yeah, let’s get this buffoon on the air.

    On Sunday, Michael Caputo, the assistant secretary for public affairs at the Department of Health and Human Services, warned of left-wing insurrectionists and “sedition” within the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention during a video he hosted live on his Facebook page. After predicting victory for President Trump in the upcoming election, Caputo warned that Joe Biden wouldn’t concede. “And when Donald Trump refuses to stand down at the inauguration, the shooting will begin,” he said. “The drills that you’ve seen are nothing.”

  14. Maybe the President is trying to draw Joey out to a program that will toss some hardballs? One thing for sure the President knows how to get into people’s head.

    1. Indeed, and getting out is a big motivator in this election. Tell the truth. Wouldn’t you love a week to go by where you weren’t forced to think about the President?

      1. Me, I have loved having a leader who was eye to eye with me as much as Trump has been.

        Book, will you join me in celebrating the two recent peace accords between Israel and Arab nations, an achievement for world peace, facilitated by Trumpian diplomacy?

        Will you also join me in wishing well the Afghan peace talks which Secretary Pompeo refers to in this announcement?

        https://twitter.com/SecPompeo/status/1304766751251595264

        Blessed are the peacemakers!

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