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Tags: directv | law | free speech | censorship | dershowitz

Alan Dershowitz to Newsmax: DirecTV Clearly 'Wrong,' Irresponsible

By    |   Monday, 06 February 2023 08:35 PM EST

Noted former Harvard professor and famed liberal constitutional attorney Alan Dershowitz harshly criticized AT&T DirecTV for removing Newsmax from its channel lineup.

"Clearly, they used economic reasons as a cover for political reasons," Dershowitz told Newsmax's Greta Van Susteren Monday night.

"The only two stations that they bumped are two [that are] relatively conservative: Newsmax has kind of centrist-conservative, and the other one that's much more hard-right conservative."

DirecTV customers call toll free at 877-763-9762 to complain, demand Newsmax is returned! Oppose censorship – sign The Petition – Click Here

Dershowitz said he believes AT&T's decision "had elements of partisan and ideological and political bias directed at stations that don't adhere to the views of the company."

"I think it's just wrong," Dershowitz concluded.

"Anybody who believes that this was purely an economic decision should buy a bridge in Brooklyn," he said, adding that A&T DirecTV "ought to reconsider and put Newsmax back on." 

He noted that, as a legal matter, DirecTV might not be acting outside the law, but taking Newsmax off its television service is "wrong" and irresponsible to "good citizenship" in an America with free speech.

"I can't imagine one of my former students sitting there and saying, 'Oh, this is a good thing; well, let's just take Newsmax and deny them all these abilities and keep people from seeing them; that sounds like the marketplace of ideas' — no, it doesn't!" Dershowitz said.

"Whether it's legal or illegal — and that's obviously something that would be looked into — it's just wrong as a matter of policy, as a matter of responsibility, to matter of good citizenship."

DirecTV customers call toll free at 877-763-9762 to cancel/complain

DirecTV has claimed both Newsmax and OAN were removed as "cost-cutting" measures at the same time the company reported profits last year of $2.7 billion.

This week DirecTV claimed Newsmax was demanding "excessive fees" that would cost them in the "tens of millions" of dollars.

Newsmax has denied these claims, saying it was seeking a fee of about $1 per cable subscriber per year, among the lowest fees asked for in cable, and that total amount of the deal was a fraction of "tens of millions."

"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 continues to carry 22 left-leaning news channels, many with much lower ratings than Newsmax. And of those channels get license fees.

Van Susteren noted the chilling of corporate legal counsels not standing up to woke cancel-culture activism, and Dershowitz noted lawyers "are terrified" of standing up to their corporate owners, particularly when it comes to silencing pro-Donald Trump speech.

"And so I do think that there's been an enormous pressure placed on lawyers to follow the narrative of the left, rather than make a fair assessment," Dershowitz responded.

DirecTV has issued a statement it wants Newsmax back on its service, but only on its terms.

Newsmax CEO Christopher Ruddy said there has been no negotiation  and no flexibility by DirecTV in its refusal to pay any carriage fees to the network -- let alone Newsmax's request of just about $1 per subscriber per year.

"I think there's room for negotiation; I think there's room for a compromise," Dershowitz said.

"So I hope they will sit down with the right people and make this make this happen."

Dershowitz also noted Newsmax has been a reliable source for pro-Jewish and Israel news that viewers do not get on other cable TV networks, citing a letter "by major, major leaders of the Jewish community."

"They say, 'Look, Newsmax has always been extremely fair to Israel at a time when many other networks are not, and by taking Newsmax off the air, you're making it hard for the American people to get a fair assessment of policies in Israel and policies toward the Jewish community,'" Dershowitz lamented.

"And we know that in a growing time of antisemitism and anti-Zionism, it shouldn't be cutting off one media that presents the issues in quite a fair way."

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.

Eric Mack

Eric Mack has been a writer and editor at Newsmax since 2016. He is a 1998 Syracuse University journalism graduate and a New York Press Association award-winning writer.

© 2024 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

Noted former Harvard professor and famed liberal constitutional attorney Alan Dershowitz harshly criticized AT&T DirecTV for removing Newsmax from its channel lineup.
directv, law, free speech, censorship, dershowitz
Monday, 06 February 2023 08:35 PM
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