Rep. Andy Biggs, R-Ariz., told Newsmax on Tuesday that an authoritarian government starts with censorship moves like AT&T's DirecTV dropping Newsmax from its lineup.
"You want to talk about what an authoritarian government looks like?" Biggs said during an appearance on Newsmax's "American Agenda." "Disinterest in what really matters to the people, No. 1, and then, No. 2, start to censor and use your police state, all of the federal government apparatus, to go after people who have contrary points of view, and that's what you're seeing here."
DirecTV cut Newsmax's signal Jan. 24, blocking the network from more than 13 million subscribers of the satellite service, DirecTV Stream, and U-Verse.
Newsmax is America's fourth highest-rated news network in the cable landscape and a top-20 overall channel that reaches 25 million Americans weekly, according to the Nielsen ratings.
DirecTV customers call toll free at 877-763-9762 to complain, demand Newsmax is returned! Oppose censorship – sign The Petition – Click Here
While DirecTV said it dropped the popular network due to "cost-cutting" measures, the company also carries 22 left-leaning news channels, many of which draw considerably lower ratings than Newsmax. Those channels all get paid license fees.
DirecTV has claimed that Newsmax was demanding "excessive fees" that would amount to "tens of millions" of dollars. Newsmax has denied that, saying it is seeking an approximate fee of $1 per cable subscriber per year, which is among the lowest requested fees in cable.
"This was never about the fees being excessive," Christopher Ruddy, CEO of Newsmax, said. "DirecTV's position has always been that Newsmax, of all cable news channels, should never get any cable fee whatsoever, not one penny."
DirecTV recently issued a statement that it wants Newsmax back on its service, but on its terms.
Ruddy said there has been no real negotiation or no flexibility provided by DirecTV in its refusal to pay carriage fees.
Since the kerfuffle began, AT&T's stock has fallen by nearly 7%, erasing nearly $10 billion from its market value.
The Arizona congressman said, "That's exactly right and justifiable that they would lose market share."
"They claim that this was a market decision; well then go ahead and lose market share for your censorship, because that's what we've seen here," he added.
Actions to Take Now
1. DirecTV customers call toll free at 877-763-9762 to complain, demand Newsmax is back on air!
2. Call your congressman or senator at 202-224-3121 and demand they stop AT&T/DirecTV's censorship of NEWSMAX — ask them to give you a date on the hearings!
3. Go to our online petition and get more info: iWantNewsmax.com.
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