Family Research Council President Tony Perkins told Newsmax on Tuesday that DirecTV's deplatforming of Newsmax is likely an "abuse of power" stemming from Democrats' demands to drop conservative networks.
"This is the question we're asking: Is this in response to Democrats, who two years ago, sent a letter to 12 media outlets, including AT&T DirecTV, calling on DirectTV, AT&T, to drop Newsmax, OAN and Fox?" he asked during an appearance on Newsmax's "The Chris Salcedo Show." "Well, they've dropped OAN, now they've dropped Newsmax."
"So, this is an abuse of power," he continued. "What we're doing is calling upon Republicans to use their investigative power to go back and look and see if AT&T made this decision based upon this intimidation by Democrats."
DirecTV customers call toll free at 877-763-9762 to complain, demand Newsmax is returned! Oppose censorship!
AT&T's DirecTV cut Newsmax's signal Jan. 24, blocking the network from more than 13 million customers 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.
While DirecTV said it dropped the popular network due to "cost-cutting" measures, 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.
"This was never about the fees being excessive," Christopher Ruddy, CEO of Newsmax, said. "DirecTV's position has always been that Newsmax of all cable news channels should never get any cable fee whatsoever, not one penny."
Perkins said the fact that AT&T receives hundreds of millions of federal dollars that are provided by the very taxpayers it's censoring is "a legitimate concern."
"We hear a lot about First Amendment freedoms, and we've seen this now with the Twitter Files, where we had the FBI leaning on Twitter and other social media platforms to censor views that they did not like," he said. "We see this in the open, in broad daylight. We have Democrats using their influence and their power to call on these platforms to cancel, deplatform, silence, pull the plug — whatever analogy you want to use."
He said the situation is not unlike a "bank robber going into a bank, holding a gun on the cashier and telling them to rob the customers."
"That's what AT&T is doing by pulling the plug on Newsmax," he said.
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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