Benjamin Weingarten, senior contributor at The Federalist and fellow at the Claremont Institute, said Thursday on Newsmax's "Chris Salcedo Show" that DirecTV's deplatforming of Newsmax points toward public-private censorship that is controlled by the "woke."
"Like all good tyrannies, it's supposedly for the benefit of the victims," said Weingarten. "The national security apparatus, our Big Tech platforms, and all of the other major corporate players that the government has really colluded and conspired with against the First Amendment have claimed that they're trying to ensure that we have a public health and public safety.
"And to do that they need to censor dissenting speech on a whole slew of issues — on national security issues, when it comes to gender-affirming care, when it comes to election integrity, critical race theory, etcetera.
DirecTV customers call toll free at 877-763-9762 to complain, demand Newsmax is returned! Oppose censorship – sign The Petition – Click Here
"That letter, that chilling letter from February 2021 [Democrats sent letters to cable, satellite and streaming providers questioning their decision to carry conservative media outlets, citing misinformation] essentially said, 'nice business model you've got there' to a whole slew of TV providers," said Weingarten.
"'Boy, it would be a shame if something happened to them. You should really look into these platforms, these outlets rather, that promote ideas that dissent from ruling class orthodoxy, namely on Fox News, OAN, and Newsmax.'
"As we know, DirecTV booted OAN. Now it's booted Newsmax, and this is censorship by surrogate if you have companies acting at the direction of federal officials, lawmakers as their agents," said Weingarten.
"That's a First Amendment violation if a corporation does something on behalf of the government, the government couldn't do itself, and so you have to look at the broader context when we look at this DirecTV Newsmax saga. ..."
According to a recent Trafalgar poll, 87% of respondents don't want companies involved in politics. Weingarten agreed with the survey results, describing the present-day "woke" business model as gripped by left-wing activist campaigns.
"The woke ideology of our state has corrupted our companies," said Weingarten. "While it's unpopular with the public, companies are far more fearful of being on the wrong side of the state, as well as a whole slew of left-wing activist groups, which by the way themselves are sometimes state-funded.
"That is funded with our tax dollars as we know there that big expose in the Washington Examiner showing that these disinformation listing services were being used by ad companies to basically blacklist conservative sources who purportedly propagated disinformation and kill their business models by not running ads on them.
"So, what it shows is businesses fear the left, and they essentially pay the left for protection in silencing the right. And so, until and unless there is some kind of counter force that of the American people and by the representatives, and we've seen that in the backlash by members of the House and the Senate, calling for oversight with respect to what DirecTV did.
"Until they fear a backlash from the right equal to the backlash from the left, they're going to side with the left every time."
Newsmax is the 4th highest-rated cable news channel reaching 25 million Americans, according to Nielsen.
DirecTV claimed both Newsmax and OAN were removed as "cost-cutting" measures.
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 it 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."
"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."
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 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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