(LifeSiteNews) — DirecTV, owned by AT&T, announced on Tuesday evening it would drop conservative news outlet Newsmax from its offerings, which will further allow a small group of mostly liberal news groups to dominate cable.
The cable corporation said it all came down to money, but Newsmax’s CEO says politics are at play. “The deplatforming of Newsmax shuts the network off from more than 13 million customers of the satellite service and DirecTV Stream and U-Verse,” Newsmax reported.
DirecTV told The Hill:
On multiple occasions, we made it clear to Newsmax that we wanted to continue to offer the network, but ultimately Newsmax’s demands for rate increases would have led to significantly higher costs that we would have to pass on to our broad customer base.
CEO Chris Ruddy says his network has been the target of a political agenda.
“This is a blatant act of political discrimination and censorship against Newsmax,” Ruddy said, as reported by The Hill. “The most extreme liberal channels, even with tiny ratings, get fees from AT&T’s DirecTV, but Newsmax and OAN need to be deplatformed.”
It is the latest cancel culture victory for leftists who had strong objections to ideological diversity on cable.
Leftists successfully pressured Verizon and DirecTV in the past year to cancel One America News, another conservative media outlet.
Two House Democrats in 2021 sent a letter to cable companies, including DirecTV, asking them if they planned to remove conservative outlets such as Newsmax, One America News, and Fox News.
California Representatives Anna Eshoo and Jerry McNerney sent a letter to cable companies in February 2021, asking them to “combat the spread of misinformation and requesting more information about their actions to address misinformation, disinformation, conspiracy theories, and lies spread through channels they host.”
The two legislators sat on the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Communications and Technology which can pass legislation that would regulate cable companies. “Companies receiving letters include AT&T, Verizon, Roku, Amazon, Apple, Comcast, Charter, Dish, Cox, Altice, Alphabet, and Hulu,” the accompanying news release stated. The letter tried to pin “misinformation” about COVID as well as responsibility for the violence at the nation’s capital on January 6 on the cable companies and news channels.
Conservative leaders have pushed back against the decision by DirecTV.
President Donald Trump called the decision a “disgusting move” and urged a boycott. “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!!!” Trump wrote on Truth Social.
Other conservatives echoed similar sentiments.
“The deplatforming of @OANN and now @NEWSMAX is an obvious partisan move to censor political opposition to the Regime. Make no mistake, our First Amendment is under attack in America,” Arizona Congressman Paul Gosar tweeted.
AT&T made a huge mistake by canceling Newsmax.
Now it’s time for the people to speak up with their wallets.
— Ryan Fournier (@RyanAFournier) January 25, 2023
“What is going on with @DIRECTV and @ATT? First, they cancel @OANN, and now @NEWSMAX This is an unprecedented assault on free speech. If things don’t change immediately, subscribers have no choice but to cancel,” their DirecTV and ATT subscriptions, Congressman Andy Biggs tweeted.
What is going on with @DIRECTV and @ATT?
First, they cancel @OANN, and now @NEWSMAX.
This is an unprecedented assault on free speech.
If things don’t change immediately, subscribers have no choice but to cancel @DIRECTV and @ATT.
— Rep Andy Biggs (@RepAndyBiggsAZ) January 25, 2023
Congresswoman Mary Miller, an Illinois Republican, said the companies are “engaging in partisan politics by banning Newsmax for challenging the Biden Administration & broadcasting President Trump’s rallies. This is the totalitarian Left in action!”