Florida's Republican Rep. Matt Gaetz told Newsmax Friday that he wants to see a House committee hearing on AT&T and DirecTV's decision to remove Newsmax from its satellite television service earlier this year.
"Let's be clear, we should have a hearing, the [House] Energy and Commerce [Committee] should have a hearing," Gaetz said during "Eric Bolling The Balance" on Friday. "There is no justifiable reason why that hasn't happened yet. So, I am concerned about that, and I think we need to correct it."
Gaetz said that the issue of DirecTV taking the conservative news channel off its service in January, similar to the way it also removed One America News in April 2022, may have antitrust implications that Congress needs to probe.
"I see no evidence that a hearing is scheduled in this matter, [and] that's concerning because AT&T and DirecTV have tremendous market power, and I believe that antitrust equities are likely touched by this action," he said. " If we are not prepared to use strong antitrust tools against this type of an action, then there is not going to be conservative speech available, and then you don't have free speech."
DirecTV customers demand Newsmax is returned! Oppose censorship – sign The Petition – Click Here
When it made the move, DirecTV claimed it took the channel off the air for its 13 million subscribers due to a business dispute over fees.
Newsmax CEO Christopher Ruddy, however, said the service still allows 22 "liberal" networks on the service and pays them fees for their content despite lower ratings.
"[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," Ruddy said during the Conservative Political Action Conference on Thursday. "Kids believe that is news when they tune in. 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."
Gaetz said he thinks Congress needs to "do more" regarding the issue which he believes goes against the Constitution.
"The terms of service for DirecTV should not become more important than the values that undergird the United States Constitution," he said. "I think Republicans in power, in the House of Representatives on the Energy and Commerce Committee, need to do more."
Gaetz is one of many congressional Republicans that have written to AT&T and DirecTV urging them to restore Newsmax and OAN to their service.
Actions to Take Now
1. DirecTV customers: Call them toll free at 877-763-9762 and demand they bring NEWSMAX back on air. President Trump urges you CANCEL!
- Important: If DirecTV tells you we're still negotiating, that is a lie! They have told NEWSMAX we will never be on a regular cable channel. DirecTV also replaced NEWSMAX with a channel that has no news and no ratings. Also, NEWSMAX's livestream is ending soon on other platforms, so unless you get it on DirecTV you will have to cancel their service.
2. AT&T customers: Call toll free at 888-855-2338, for any of their cellphones, wireless products, or services, and demand they end their censorship of NEWSMAX. President Trump has urged you to cancel their services.
3. 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!
4. Go to our online petition and get more info at: IWantNewsmax.com.
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