Sen. Tommy Tuberville, R-Ala., called out companies for silencing conservatives and noted that Newsmax, which was deplatformed last month by DirecTV, "isn't cancel culture's first — or only — target" in an op-ed published by Breitbart Saturday.
"We are seeing instances play out in every sector where speech is free unless you disagree with the radical left," Tuberville wrote. "Big Tech, corporations, and universities are trampling on traditional American values, all while promoting woke ideologies. There has been a dramatic shift from principled rejections of falsehoods, to partisan restrictions on speech that contradicts the political views of the people in control.
"The most recent instance of this is AT&T and DirecTV removing conservative channel Newsmax from its platforms under the guise of cutting costs," he wrote. "Yet the company has no issues retaining other liberal channels with lower ratings than Newsmax, which calls DirecTV's true motives into question."
Tuberville continued, "While television companies are private businesses free to make their own decisions, this move is indicative of the broad range of sectors moving to silence conservatives, from media and entertainment, to the government itself. Businesses restricting speech they don't like should concern all Americans."
DirecTV continues to carry 22 left-leaning news channels, many with much lower ratings than Newsmax. And all of those channels get license fees.
Despite Newsmax being the 4th highest-rated cable news channel in the nation, a top 20 cable news channel overall, and watched by 25 million Americans on cable alone, according to Nielsen, DirecTV said it was taking the step as a "cost-cutting" measure and would never pay Newsmax a cable license fee.
DirecTV pays cable license fees to all top 75 cable channels and to all 22 liberal news channels it carries.
Almost all of these channels are paid hefty license fees significantly greater than Newsmax was seeking — and despite the fact that most of the channels have far lower ratings than Newsmax.
"The most extreme liberal channels, even with tiny ratings, get fees from AT&T's DirecTV, but [in their view] Newsmax and OAN need to be deplatformed," NewsMax CEO Christopher Ruddy said.
Actions to Fight AT&T DirecTV’s Censorship
1. If you’re 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’re aware NEWSMAX’s live stream 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 online Petition: iWantNewsmax.com
4. If you are an AT&T shareholder call John Stankey, Chief Executive Officer, AT&T Inc. at (210) 821-4105 – tell him he is ignoring his fiduciary duty and you demand AT&T reinstate NewsMax to maximize profit and shareholder value.
The assault on conservative news voices and journalism has been a longtime project of Leftists in the “media” and Democrats more generally, with Left-leaning legacy media at the forefront of the operation.
Last year, CNN employees started a campaign to get OAN and NewsMax deplatformed.
CNN’s disgraced “Reliable Sources” host, the now-fired Brian Stelter, asked his guest panel for suggestions on how best to censor Newsmax and OAN as their ratings soared and CNN’s plummeted.
“We are going to have to figure out the OAN and Newsmax problem. These companies have freedom of speech, but I’m not sure we need Verizon, AT&T, Comcast and such bringing them into tens of millions of homes,” former Facebook chief security officer Alex Stamos told Stelter.
“We have to turn down the capability of these conservative influencers to reach these huge audiences. There are people on YouTube for example that have a larger audience than daytime CNN. And they are extremely radical and are pushing extremely radical views.”
Stamos went on to complain that the American people have the freedom to choose their news content.
“It’s a problem because people are able to seek out the information that makes them feel good. People have so much choice now. They can choose what their news sources are, they can choose what influencers they want to follow,” Stamos said.
“And that becomes a huge challenge to figuring out how you bring those people back into the mainstream of fact-based reporting and try to get us all back into the same consensual reality.”
Fact-based reporting? Give us a break, CNN has no monopoly on fact-based reporting, but they do have a significant role in promoting the party line for the new Far Left Democratic Party.
Not long after that, CNN tech and politics reporter Oliver Darcy launched a couple of trial tweets start to build pressure on the cable companies to drop OAN and Newsmax.
Tweeting from his @oliverdarcy account he wrote:
"We are going to have to figure out the OAN and Newsmax problem. These companies have freedom of speech, but I'm not sure we need Verizon, AT&T, Comcast and such bringing them into tens of millions of homes," @alexstamos tells @brianstelter
And then a short time later he tweeted:
Just a reminder that neither @Verizon, @ATT, nor @comcast have answered any questions about why they beam channels like OAN & Newsmax into millions of homes. Do they have any second thoughts about distributing these channels given their election denialism content? They won't say.
Darcy’s Leftist audience was quick to offer suggestions about how the OAN and NewsMax “problem” might be solved, with Kevin O'Keefe (@kevinok1) tweeting this suggestion:
What if Congress passed a bill requiring networks like FoxNews, OAN and Newsmax to remove “news” from their names and make opinion programs (radio and tv) include a disclaimer after every commercial break that this is opinion and that statements may not be factually accurate...
It wouldn’t solve the problem of polarization, but it might start us down the path of differentiating between subjectivity and objectivity. We need to do SOMETHING about the problem, don’t we?
We conservatives must recognize that many of the largest and most influential players in corporate America are no longer primarily profit-driven free enterprise entities focused on maximizing value and return for their owners – the shareholders. Instead, like pre-Elon Musk Twitter, they are Leftwing political operations masquerading as corporations.
We urge CHQ readers and friends to call their Member of Congress or Senators at 202-224-3121 and demand they act stop AT&T and DirecTV’s censorship of conservative media like NEWSMAX and sign the online petition at iWantNewsmax.com.
AT & T
Sen. Tommy Tuberville