Ronna McDaniel, chairwoman of the Republican National Committee, said there has been no complacency among loyal TV viewers, Republican lawmakers, and conservative influencers in aggressively protesting AT&T DirecTV's recent decision to purge Newsmax.
"We need to call DirecTV ... the RNC's been very vocal. We're trying to get all our state parties and county chairs and activists calling DirecTV and complaining about this," McDaniel said Thursday on Newsmax's "American Agenda."
McDaniel's comments come after she earlier this week sent out an urgent email to RNC members asking they oppose AT&T DirecTV's "censorship" of Newsmax, calling on to supporters to call the service.
DirecTV customers call toll free at 877-763-9762 to complain, demand Newsmax is returned! Oppose censorship – sign The Petition – Click Here
"But we can't be silent," McDaniel told "American Agenda." "If we're silent, then this will be allowed to go forward."
She said the censorship of Newsmax is part of a larger pattern to close down conservative voices.
"We saw this with Twitter silencing the Hunter Biden laptop story in the New York Post [October 2020] — we're talking about that right now," she said.
"We saw it at the RNC, with Google suppressing our emails, to the tune of 90% of our emails being suppressed as they're going to conservatives across the country.
"And now you're seeing the same thing being done to Newsmax. They're trying to silence conservative voices.
"This is anti-American, this is anti-free speech. We should be able to have differences of opinion with others in this country. And I don't like the authoritarian echo chamber coming from the left, taking over these platforms."
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.
AT&T DirecTV also carries 22 left-leaning news channels, many of which draw considerably lower ratings than Newsmax, and those channels get paid license fees.
This week, DirecTV claimed Newsmax was demanding "excessive fees" that would amount to "tens of millions" of dollars. Newsmax denied that, saying it's seeking an approximate fee of $1 per cable subscriber per year, among the lowest requested fees in cable.
"This was never about the fees being excessive," said Christopher Ruddy, CEO of Newsmax. "DirecTV's position has always been that Newsmax of all cable news channels should never get any cable fee whatsoever, not one penny."
DirecTV recently issued a statement that it wants Newsmax back on its service, but on its terms.
Consequently, Ruddy said there has been no real negotiation or no flexibility provided by DirecTV in its refusal to pay carriage fees.
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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