There is "absolutely a double standard" at play when it comes to DirecTV's deplatforming of Newsmax when it has kept several liberal networks on its channel lineup, Rep. Greg Steube said Saturday.
"You've got liberal networks that DirecTV is still carrying and actually paying them that have much less viewership than Newsmax does," the Florida Republican said on Newsmax's "Saturday Report."
He said he's joined his colleagues in a letter to the CEOs of DirecTV and parent company AT&T and has asked the House Energy and Commerce Committee to bring them and put them under oath and ask them tough questions about the decisions that were made.
DirecTV customers call toll free at 877-763-9762 to complain, demand Newsmax is returned! Oppose censorship!
House Oversight Committee Chair James Comer, R-Ky., told Newsmax on Friday that the 26 Republicans in the group feel "passionate" about the deplatforming and that DirecTV could bring back Newsmax "or else" face questions from members of his committee. Steube said he hopes that will encourage all of the parties involved to negotiate and work something out.
"You've got the words from the chairman that if it's not worked out, they'll bring those individuals in," Steube said. "I mean, Americans are sick and tired of this. We've had a lot of people reach out to our office who have DirecTV who suddenly after Newsmax was dropped were reaching out to us asking us what we could do to get involved in this."
Further, he said the Federal Communications Commission and the Federal Trade Commission "and all these agencies run by the Biden administration ... want to do whatever they can to shut down conservative voices, and they'll use the government to do it."
If the issue isn't resolved, Steube added, "hopefully Mr. Comer is true to his words; and we'll bring those people in before the American people, put them under oath, and ask them those tough questions."
AT&T's DirecTV cut Newsmax's signal on 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 said it dropped the popular network due to "cost-cutting" measures, but it also carries 22 left-leaning news channels, many of which draw considerably lower ratings than Newsmax, and all of which get paid license fees.
DirecTV has claimed 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," Ruddy said. "DirecTV's position has always been that Newsmax — of all cable news channels — should never get any cable fee whatsoever, not one penny."
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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