Having already boycotted DirecTV for canceling OAN one year ago, Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., is urging his supporters to follow his lead after DirecTV's "censoring" Newsmax this week.
"I would cancel @DIRECTV for censoring @NEWSMAX but I already canceled them for canceling @OANN," Paul tweeted Thursday. "I guess @DIRECTV doesn't want conservative viewers so maybe we should all just quit their services and go elsewhere."
DirecTV said it was taking the step as a "cost-cutting" measure — a similar claim made after it deplatformed OAN last year.
"If you haven't read the book '1984' by George Orwell, now might be a good time because the dystopian society laid out in that book is sort of where it feels like we're headed in America right now," Lara Trump, the wife of former President Donald Trump's middle son Eric, told Thursday's "Rob Schmitt Tonight" on Newsmax. "The fact that you have the ability to silence dissenting opinion in this country – basically take away people's First Amendment freedoms – is a really scary place to be."
DirecTV continues to carry 22 liberal news channels, many with low ratings and all get paid hefty license fees.
"It is all conservatives constantly being censored, deplatformed, silenced in every way possible," she added to host Rob Schmitt.
Newsmax was seeking a small fee, as the nation's 4th highest-rated cable news channel.
"Their idea of cost-cutting is to cut conservative channels," Newsmax CEO Christopher Ruddy told Schmitt on Wednesday night. "We're a highly rated channel. We don't cost a lot. We have a lot of supporters and viewers. Wouldn't you want to get rid of the 99th channel that has no ratings that costs you a lot?
"No, they don't believe that. So, it's a very clear example of political discrimination. That's why we're fighting back."
There has been a chorus of those denouncing DirecTV, including former President Donald Trump, who called DirecTV parent AT&T's decision to drop Newsmax "disgusting" and urged supporters to cancel DirecTV and other AT&T services:
"WOW. AT&T DIRECTV REMOVES NEWSMAX FROM ITS CHANNEL LINEUP. This disgusting move comes after 'deplatforming' OAN last year. The Radical Left seems to have taken over the mind and soul of AT&T. This is a big blow to the Republican Party, and to America itself.
"For DIRECTV to drop very popular NEWSMAX, without explanation, will not be accepted. I, for one, will be dropping all association with AT&T and DIRECTV, and I have plenty. This is just one of many reasons why we must WIN IN 2024!!!"
Rep. Jeff Van Drew, R-N.J., left the Democratic Party and he is among the myriad Newsmax supporters to lash out on Twitter at the censorship of conservatives.
"First, DIRECTV silenced OANN. Now, once again, DIRECTV is silencing @NEWSMAX," Van Drew tweeted Thursday morning. "When will the left's attacks on conservative speech end?"
Van Drew's tweet was in response to the press office of Rep. Wesley Hunt, R-Texas, who shared the letter he wrote to AT&T, DirecTV, and TPG Capital — the latter of which donates almost exclusively to liberal Democrats, according to OpenSecrets.com.
"Thank you to my fellow colleagues for joining me in this effort to preserve & protect free speech," Hunt's press office tweeted Thursday morning with a copy of his letter. "Now more than ever, the American people need access to a free and fair press. @DIRECTV's censorship of @Newsmax is unacceptable. Free speech must be defended."
Rep. Andy Biggs, R-Ariz., pointed to Democrats' past public call for the deplatforming of the conservative networks OAN, Newsmax, and Fox News — of which now only the latter remains.
"@DIRECTV and @ATT's removal of @OANN and @Newsmax is no coincidence," Biggs tweeted Thursday. "This appears to be a coordinated effort between Democrats, DirecTV, and AT&T to deplatform conservative voices. Democrats of the Energy and Commerce Committee literally asked for this to happen in a letter!"
Rep. Elise Stefanik, R-N.Y., noted her constituents in New York's north country depend on Newsmax to deliver their news.
"It would be unacceptable to de-platform Newsmax, a popular news channel that many of my constituents in #NY21 depend on for news," she tweeted Thursday, which Twitter hit with a fact check suggesting her statement needed context.
The Media Research Center, which studies news platforms and social media, suggested the bias against conservatives continues to be an issue in America.
"@NEWSMAX brings quality reporting to viewers," Media Research Center tweeted Wednesday. "Would @DIRECTV @ATT treat a leftist news channel the same way?"
Rep. Paul Gosar, R-Ariz., denounced DirecTV's moves as an "obvious" attempt to "censor political opposition" to President Joe Biden.
"The deplatforming of @OANN and now @NEWSMAX is an obvious partisan move to censor political opposition to the Regime," Gosar tweeted Thursday. "Make no mistake, our First Amendment is under attack in America."
Rep. Pat Fallon, R-Texas, said liberal corporate activists consider "dissent" to be "their kryptonite" — leading them to "silence" the political opposition.
"I'm outraged, to be quite honest," Fallon told Newsmax's "American Agenda" on Thursday. "It seems to me [to] the left and this woke corporate world that we're living in now, dissent seems to be their kryptonite. If you don't totally agree with the leftist agenda, they want to silence us. And it's just the latest example of that.
"They got rid of OAN last year, and now Newsmax — which has the guts to tell the American people the truth, in a format that doesn't please the corporate monolith; they're trying to shut you down, too. It's ridiculous."
Rep. Brian Babin, R-Texas, called it a First Amendment issue.
"This is horrible: We have now lost two of the three conservative channels, and now, we're down to one," Babin told Thursday's "Spicer & Co." host Lyndsay Keith. "It just looks to me that DirecTV, and some of the other more liberal carriers, are targeting conservative outlets. This is a First Amendment issue. We've seen over and over again.
"Big Tech has been doing [this] for several years now, shutting down viewpoints that they don't like, or don't align with the liberal, woke philosophy of the hard left. It's a very distinct disservice to the American people. It's unfair, and also damaging to our great republic."
Rep. Michael Burgess, R-Texas, offered commentary, and some advice for viewers, while appearing on Newsmax on Thursday evening: "People back home are pretty upset by the loss of that voice on the news waves. We're in a time where people need perhaps greater transparency, greater information and to restrict people's access to information does not seem like a good business plan to me.
"My advice for people who are subscribers is to contact your provider and say it's not acceptable and that Newsmax is one of those outlets that I depend upon to get a complete picture of the news and I need it restored and otherwise we’ll find another provider. It's just that simple."
Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah, tweeted, "This is sketchy, and I've got questions."
It is obvious "conservative media networks are being targeted," according to Rep. Chip Roy, R-Texas, on "Rob Schmitt Tonight."
"Hopefully, this will get resolved, if you guys keep putting the pressure on them," Roy told host Rob Schmitt. "We're making our feelings known to those who need to hear it. This is the kind of the thing the American people are tired of. They see these threats [from liberals] – they just keep getting targeted."
There is "too much collusion" taking place among Democrats, bureaucratic agencies, and Big Tech.
"And these are all things happening in real time, and the American people are sick of getting rolled over," Roy added.
Action You Can Take to Fight AT&T DirecTV's Censorship:
1. If you are a DirecTV customer call them toll free at 877-763-9762 and demand they bring NEWSMAX back on air, or you can CANCEL!
- [When you speak to a live operator, let them know you are aware NEWSMAX's livestream is ending soon on other platforms, so unless you get it on DirecTV you will have to cancel their service.]
- If you are an AT&T customer for any of their products or services, call them and demand they end their censorship of NEWSMAX or you will cancel. Call AT&T toll free at 888-855-2338.
2. Call your Member of Congress or senator at 202-224-3121 and demand they stop AT&T and DirecTV's censorship of conservative media like NEWSMAX!
3. Go to our online petition and get more info at: IWantNewsmax.com.
Eric Mack ✉
Eric Mack has been a writer and editor at Newsmax since 2016. He is a 1998 Syracuse University journalism graduate and a New York Press Association award-winning writer.
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