Bill could let Trump shut down news outlets

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Last year, Sen. Tom Cotton accused major U.S. news outlets of supporting terrorism based on a speculative and since-discredited report. "Tom Cotton" by Gage Skidmore is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0.

Freedom of the Press Foundation (FPF) Advocacy Director Seth Stern appeared on The Project Censored Show to discuss alarming legislation that would allow the Secretary of the Treasury to revoke the tax exempt status of nonprofit organizations, including news outlets, by deeming them supporters of terrorism.

Stern said the bill, along with the recently passed expansion of the government’s surveillance authority under Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, highlights a disturbing trend:

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"We’re in an environment where despite all of these claims that Trump, if he gets a second term, is going to govern as a fascist, and that we’ve got to be on the lookout for authoritarianism, despite all that, we’ve got bipartisan bills providing him a dictator’s dream toolkit."

You can listen to the full radio broadcast here. Stern also wrote about the nonprofit bill for The Intercept. Andy Lee Roth of Project Censored, who appeared on the show along with Stern, also wrote about the bill for Truthout. Both Truthout and The Intercept are among the nonprofit news outlets that could be targeted if the bill passes.

An effort to include the bill as an amendment to the Federal Aviation Administration reauthorization package failed last week, but it’s likely to return to the Senate floor soon. Defending Rights and Dissent has an easy-to-use tool to tell your senators to reject this awful bill, which is opposed by at least 135 civil liberties organizations.

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