Trump abuses his power to punish CNN
“The president wants America’s largest telecom to suffer” for CNN’s politics, said Tina Nguyen. The network drew Donald Trump’s attention for a simple reason: Fox News “is no longer broadcasting in Britain, where the Murdoch-owned network received abysmal ratings,” so on his trip to London Trump was stuck watching CNN. Cue the Twitter thumbpad: “All negative & so much Fake News, very bad for U.S. Big ratings drop,” Trump tweeted this week, “why doesn’t owner @ATT do something?” Then he doubled down on a boycott call: “I believe that if people stoped [sic] using or subscribing to @ATT, they would be forced make big changes at @CNN.” Let’s be clear here. The president is encouraging “economic retaliation against a U.S. telecom for the politics of one of its subsidiaries.” Obviously, it’s not appropriate. It’s also futile. Not only is AT&T among the world’s largest telecom and media companies, it’s also one of small number of regional cable monopolies, and “dominates much of the South.” So many of its customers have nowhere else to go. This campaign will fail, as similar ones have in the past. However powerful Trump’s megaphone, his base ignored calls for boycotts against Nike and Harley-Davidson. In fact, after Trump told his supporters to boycott Nike, the company’s shares rose 31 percent.