Rep. Victoria Spartz, R-Ind., told Newsmax on Wednesday that AT&T DirecTV's decision to drop Newsmax from its satellite television lineup shows the country is transforming into a "dangerous oligarchy."
"I think this is a very serious situation because what we have become in this country is a dictatorship on opinion, and this is a very dangerous move," Spartz told "Eric Bolling: The Balance." "If you disagree with anyone, you'll be censored. You'll be destroyed. Your livelihood can be destroyed, and I, as someone who grew up in Soviet Union, I am really appalled and shocked that the American people accept this and that, and we have to deal with it."
Spartz was reacting to AT&T DirecTV's decision late last month to remove the conservative Newsmax from its television service a few months after deplatforming conservative One America News last April, while keeping 22 liberal leaning channels in the lineup for its 13 million subscribers.
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While the company said it was a business decision due to a dispute over "carriage fees," Newsmax CEO Christopher Ruddy said it was politically motivated.
In a statement of her own on the issue Tuesday, Spartz warned that moves like this to suppress opinions means the company is moving to becoming an "oligarchy."
"The issue of deplatforming Newsmax and removing other 'nonconforming' accounts by large communications oligopolies is not just an issue of censorship spreading like plague in our country, but also an issue of government-created, protected, and subsidized monopolies turning us into an oligarchy," Spartz's statement read. "If we continue on this path, we will start resembling a totalitarian country very soon.
"The House Judiciary Committee, responsible for protecting our constitutional rights, has a duty to start dealing with this issue urgently."
She said Wednesday the ability to express opinions without fear of governmental or economic reprisal is the "differentiation" of the United States with other countries around the world.
"This is [one of the] differentiators from other countries," she said. "That people have a freedom for [expressing] their opinion, and people have a freedom to disagree, and no one has the right to [use] special government, and government control enterprises, to tell you what to do. That is very dangerous."
She said the problem is not just with communications or big tech, but it is spreading to other sectors like agriculture and medicine.
"It's not just with communication, with big tech," she said. "It's in agriculture, changes in the healthcare industry, ever industry now is resembling an oligopoly and we are giving tons of money and subsidizing these large oligopolies."
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