Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., on Wednesday said he would explore replicating House GOP efforts in probing DirecTV's decision to deplatform Newsmax.
"They pulled OAN, right, another conservative network; so I'm going to talk to Sen. [Ted] Cruz and maybe we will replicate what the House did," Graham said Wednesday during an appearance on Newsmax's "Eric Bolling The Balance."
"I want some answers here. It's kind of odd that they pull you and OAN. You don't have to watch Newsmax; but if you want to watch it, you should be allowed to watch it. We will ask questions as to what's going on here. There may be a good explanation; I don't know," he added.
DirecTV dropped Newsmax from its lineup Tuesday night after it claimed the news network was not worthy of any cable license. Newsmax is the fourth highest-rated cable news channel and a top 16 channel in the nation, according to Nielsen.
The deplatforming of Newsmax shuts off the network from more than 13 million customers of the satellite service, DirecTV Stream, and U-verse.
Newsmax derided the deplatforming as a brazen act of censorship.
"This is a blatant act of political discrimination and censorship against Newsmax," said Christopher Ruddy, CEO of Newsmax. "The most extreme liberal channels, even with tiny ratings, get fees from AT&T's DirecTV, but Newsmax and OAN need to be deplatformed."
Graham said there seems to be a pattern.
"Conservative outlets like the New York Post was shut down through social media outlets, based on information from the FBI that turned out to be wrong. That's kind of different, but there's a common theme here," he said.
"When it comes to conservative voices, we're having a hard time breaking through. And I will talk to Sen. Cruz and others about echoing what the House did. We need an explanation as to why they're kicking off OAN and Newsmax."
Newsmax has noted that DirecTV pays all 22 liberal news channels it carries, most with lower ratings than Newsmax.
DirecTV made approximately $2.7 billion in profit last year.
Rep. Wesley Hunt, R-Texas, and 41 other Republican members of Congress last week sent a letter to the CEOs of AT&T, DirecTV, and hedge fund TPG Capital, the minority operator of the satellite system, warning of hearings as news spread in Congress that AT&T's DirecTV was moving to deplatform Newsmax.
Action You Can Take to Fight AT&T DirecTV's Censorship:
1. If you are a DirecTV customer call them toll free at 877-763-9762 and demand they bring NEWSMAX back on air, or you can CANCEL!
- [When you speak to a live operator, let them know you are aware NEWSMAX's livestream is ending soon on other platforms, so unless you get it on DirecTV you will have to cancel their service.]
- If you are an AT&T customer for any of their products or services, call them and demand they end their censorship of NEWSMAX or you will cancel. Call AT&T toll free at 888-855-2338.
2. Call your Member of Congress or senator at 202-224-3121 and demand they stop AT&T and DirecTV's censorship of conservative media like NEWSMAX!
3. Go to our online petition and get more info at: iWantNewsmax.com.
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