Many conservatives are outraged that DirecTV dumped Newsmax from its lineup, and Senate Republicans are investigating. Some concerned lawmakers believe the decision to cut subscribers’ access to the programming may be political censorship.
The provider announced last week that it is dropping Newmax after removing another conservative network, One America News, just last year.
DirecTV claimed that the move was a “cost-cutting” act due to license fees, which they asserted Newsmax demanded. The outlet countered that the decision was nothing more than a “blatant act of political discrimination,” and many GOP legislators agree.
Newsmax CEO Christopher Ruddy charged that “the most extreme liberal channels, even with tiny ratings, get fees from AT&T’s DirecTV, but Newsmax and OAN need to be de-platformed.
By contrast, DirecTV carries 22 liberal news channels, and each receives license fees. Its action came despite Newsmax being the fourth highest-rated news channel in the country.
The Washington Times reported that Sens. Ted Cruz (R-TX), Lindsey Graham (R-SC), Mike Lee (R-UT), and Tom Cotton (R-AR) sent a letter to DirecTV demanding answers.
I have serious concerns about DirecTV’s decision to drop Newsmax. It’s time for answers.
— Senator Ted Cruz (@SenTedCruz) February 1, 2023
The Republicans denounced the decision as just another example of “big business suppressing politically disfavored speech at the behest of liberal Democrats.”
The group asserted that Congress and the American public deserve the truth on whether dropping Newsmax was done for political reasons. It is also important, they said, to know if there was pressure from congressional Democrats or the White House.
The senators then addressed allegations of improprieties with license fees. The letter noted allegations that DirecTV pays millions to several channels that tilt leftward and have considerably lower ratings than Newsmax.
Accusations have also been leveled at DirecTV for expressly refusing to pay any sum to Newsmax, regardless of the higher ratings.
The outlet, which had not previously required a fee, reported that its demand was under market value and also below what the provider paid to lower-rated networks. DirecTV said earlier that it wanted to continue to carry Newsmax but would not agree to the fees.
There is an undeclared war on conservative news media by Democrats and their leftist corporate partners. Even successful networks such as Newsmax must constantly struggle to play on equal footing with liberal mouthpieces that no one watches. That is the definition of censorship.