The silencing of political speech, such as with AT&T DirecTV's deplatforming of Newsmax, is a dangerous trend that must be stopped, Rep. Nick LaLota tells Newsmax.
"I think that we should live in a world where there's an open exchange of ideas, and the best ones get implemented by our government," the New York Republican said on Newsmax's "Chris Salcedo Show" Monday, during a discussion about DirecTV's decision to remove the network from its lineup.
"The silencing of political speech presents a great danger to the future of our great republic and should be fought at every single measure," he added. "Congress has the power of the purse and to the extent that there's a bad actor suppressing political speech based upon their own choice, Congress absolutely should go after them."
DirecTV customers call toll free at 877-763-9762 to complain, demand Newsmax is returned! Oppose censorship!
LaLota, a freshman congressman, said he doesn't serve on the committees that would have jurisdiction over the DirecTV matter.
However, he said he has "heard my colleagues speak about how important it is to them and I would expect the Republican Congress to be on this issue."
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 television.
"This was never about the fees being excessive," Newsmax CEO Christopher 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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