There are several reasons the Trump administration move to block a proposed merger between AT&T and Time Warner raised eyebrows. It was without recent precedent , and was contradicted, within just a day, by the cancellation of so-called net-neutrality regulations , undermining the administration's argument about protecting the little guy. The relatives merits of allowing the merger—and of blocking it —have been argued extensively by better-versed minds. What worries me is the possibility, aired by AT&T's chief executive among others, that the Time Warner cable channel CNN is a sticking point in the dispute. CNN, of course, is President Trump's favorite punching bag—sometimes nearly literally, as in Trump's retweet this summer of a video featuring a Trump look-alike throttling a CNN stand-in. The Justice Department has denied political interference from Trump, but it's also hard to overlook Trump's public comments that the proposed AT&T/Time Warner deal was "not good for the country," or to ignore his repeated attacks on CNN as "fake news." This has gotten some worried attention, but not nearly enough. This should be a wake-up call for American journalists. I have seen this play out so many times before—in Russia, that scary place portrayed as one with… Read full this story
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