Four Republican Senators have launched an investigation into AT&T DirecTVs recent move to drop popular conservative news channel Newsmax, removing it from 13 million homes overnight.
A letter penned this week by Senators Ted Cruz, Mike Lee, Tom Cotton, and Lindsey Graham calls into question both the recent removal of Newsmax and DirecTV’s similar 2022 removal of One America News Network (OAN), which came after Nacy Pelosi and Democrat Congressmen Eshoo and McNerney wrote to the company in 2021 asking it to drop OAN, Newsmax, and Fox News.
“These three networks were the three largest conservative news networks in America, and now— in less than a year—DirecTV has de-platformed two of them,” the Senators note.
The Senators’ letter poses a number of pointed questions to the company, including whether it or any of its affiliates were in communication with government officials regarding these decisions, as well as the nature of any such communications. The Senators have also demanded that the companies produce records of any such communication, as well as other specific records surrounding the decisions.
“It appears that this decision may be the latest example of big business suppressing politically disfavored speech at the behest of liberal Democrats,” the Republican senators wrote to DirecTV on Wednesday, adding that “Congress and the public have a right to know the extent to which DirecTV’s decision to drop Newsmax was politically motivated, including whether the company succumbed to pressure from administration officials or Democrats in Congress”
Earlier this week, House Speaker Kevin McCarthy had promised that there would be “action taken” to get the issue “corrected.”
“This is very concerning to me, and I hope we get this corrected so everybody out there, especially on DirecTV, can have the choice in programming and especially have the choice to get their news,” McCarthy said on a Monday appearance on Newsmax’s ‘Spicer and Co.’
“You’re going to see action taken, because we believe it’s responsible to allow everybody to have a choice of what news they want to listen to,” McCarthy added.
DirecTV’s choice to pull the plug on many conservatives’ most trusted television news source, did not come as a surprise to those most offended by it, as it is only the latest iteration of the seemingly endless effort from Big Tech and Big Business corporations to shut down conservative speech.
But many are this most recent action from DirecTV as the last straw. Newsmax says it is aware of over 50,000 viewers who have called the satellite television provider to cancel service.
Former President Trump is calling for a boycott, calling DirecTV and its parent company AT&T “disgusting” for censoring conservative viewpoints. He called on Americans to cancel not only their television subscriptions, but also any phone or other services they may have through AT&T.
DirecTV has made several public justifications for the recent move, including that it is still in negotiations with Newsmax, and that Newsmax is attempting to charge DirecTV too much money for the provider to maintain fair pricing for customers.
Newsmax has publicly denied these assertions, insisting that “there was never a price negotiation” and that “DirecTV told Newsmax they will never treat them as a regular cable news channel.”