Rep. Keith Self, who like several other Republican members of Congress has called for hearings to investigate AT&T DirecTV's deplatforming of Newsmax, said Wednesday that he wants to hear answers directly from company officials about why the decision was made to remove the network from the platform.
"I think it's pretty obvious why it was done, but we've got to figure out who's telling the truth," the Texas Republican told Newsmax's "Prime News." "Is Newsmax as well watched as one side says, or is it not watched as the other side says? So we've got a direct conflict in what we're hearing about the impact of Newsmax."
However, Self said he thinks that "you have a strong channel, and we need to get to the bottom of that."
DirecTV customers demand Newsmax is returned! Oppose censorship – sign The Petition – Click Here
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.
As justification for its deplatforming of Newsmax, DirecTV has claimed the network 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 television.
Newsmax CEO Chris Ruddy has noted that DirecTV has paid fees to 22 liberal news outlets without paying anything to Newsmax.
During his speech at CPAC last week, Ruddy pointed out that "[on] most cable systems there are, by any number, at least a dozen, two dozen, news and information channels. Even the Comedy Channel is liberal news for millennials. Kids believe that is news when they tune in."
Ruddy added that now, DirecTV is "down to just Fox News Channel. And Fox, in my mind, has been good; but why should the left have so many news choices, but conservatives only have one?"
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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