Broadcast and Cable journalists have urged the Republican-controlled Senate Intelligence Committee not to investigate journalists, as President Donald Trump suggested in a Twitter post last week, and the committee appears to be on the same page.
The head of the Radio Television Digital News Association (RTDNA) Voice of the First Amendment Task Force last week condemned the tweet, which appeared to be in response to the ongoing committee investigation of possible collusion between the Trump campaign and Russian operatives trying to interfere with the presidential election.
“This White House has said that Mr. Trump’s tweets constitute official communications from the President of the United States. So what we have here is the highest elected official in the land seeking a congressional investigation into the content of news reports,” Dan Shelley, RTDNA executive director, said in a statement. “Such an investigation would be a clear violation of the First Amendment.”
The president also tweeted last week that NBC’s ‘license’ should be challenged over a story he said was fake news and pure fiction.
In a CNN interview, committee chairman Richard Burr (R-N.C.) said there would be no investigation of journalists. But he said reporters would be held accountable for any false reporting, and did suggest some outlets might have “egg on their face” when the committee finally produces a report.