Sen. James Lankford, R-Okla., told Newsmax on Tuesday that conservatives will soon find validation in protesting AT&T/DirecTV's purging of Newsmax from its channel lineup.
And the reason for such optimism, Lankford opined, lies with the former actions of the Walt Disney Co.
"For some reason, these companies just assume that liberals are the only consumers in this country. That was Disney's issue for the longest time, before conservatives woke up," said Lankford, while appearing on "The Chris Salcedo Show."
DirecTV customers call toll free at 877-763-9762 to cancel/complain
The Oklahoma Republican was likely referencing Disney's contentious battle with Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis last year, after the entertainment giant attempted to paint the state's "Parental Rights in Education" bill in a misleading light, both locally and nationally.
DeSantis and other Florida lawmakers responded by voting to strip Disney of its self-governance status within the state.
In a separate matter, Disney also dropped CEO Bob Chapek, allegedly for its so-called "woke" strategies on the content side.
DirecTV "consumers need to vote with their feet in this process," said Lankford.
That might involve boycotting or canceling AT&T or DirecTV products, or finding other ways to penalize the companies for dropping the No. 4 news network in the cable landscape, and a top-20 overall channel, added Lankford.
There's also the matter of DirecTV claiming it dropped Newsmax for "cost-cutting" reasons; and yet, it's still paying cable fees to 22 left-leaning or "liberal" networks — many of which cannot match Newsmax's TV ratings.
Real change will occur "when conservatives speak out toward other companies," said Lankford, while noting that Oklahoma has already begun the process of blocking state pension funds from investing in low-performing liberal or Environmental, Social, Governance, or ESG causes.
AT&T's DirecTV removed Newsmax from its systems Jan. 24, denying 13 million subscriber homes the channel.
Newsmax is the 4th highest-rated cable news channel reaching 25 million Americans, according to Nielsen.
AT&T has come under fierce criticism for removing Newsmax, the second conservative channel in the past year it has deplatformed, with OAN leaving last April.
At the same time the service continues to carry 22 left-leaning news channels, many with much lower ratings than Newsmax. And all of those channels get license fees.
This week DirecTV claimed Newsmax was demanding "excessive fees" that would cost them in the "tens of millions" of dollars.
Newsmax has denied these claims, saying it was seeking a fee of about $1 per cable subscriber per year, among the lowest fees asked for in cable, and that total amount of the deal was a fraction of "tens of millions."
DirecTV has issued a statement it wants Newsmax back on its service, but only on its terms.
Ruddy said there has been no real negotiation and no flexibility by DirecTV in its refusal to pay any carriage fees to the network.
Actions to Take Now
1. DirecTV customers call toll free at 877-763-9762 to cancel/complain.
2. AT&T customers call toll free at 888-855-2338 to cancel/complain for U-verse, cellular, and wireless 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: iWantNewsmax.com.
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