Ted Cruz, Key Senators Demand DirecTV Answer for Newsmax Deplatforming

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Ted Cruz, Key Senators Demand DirecTV Answer for Newsmax Deplatforming



00:17 / 00:30

(Newsmax/”John Bachman Now”)

By Charlie McCarthy    |   Wednesday, 01 February 2023 01:22 PM EST




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Four prominent Republican U.S. senators sent a letter to DirecTV and its controlling shareholders, AT&T and TPG, to voice concerns about the recent decision to drop Newsmax.

Sens. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., Mike Lee, R-Utah, and Tom Cotton, R-Ark., wrote to DirecTV CEO William Morrow, AT&T CEO John Stankey, and TPG CEO Jon Winkelried to demand answers and information.

Cruz is the ranking member of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, and Graham is ranking member of the Senate Judiciary Committee – panels that have jurisdiction over the communications industry and civil liberties, respectively.

“It appears that this decision may be the latest example of big business suppressing politically disfavored speech at the behest of liberal Democrats,” the senators said in their letter. “We are writing to request detailed and specific information about DirecTV’s actions.

“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.”

DirecTV claims it removed Newsmax last week from its channel lineup as a “cost-cutting” measure. Newsmax sought a small cable license fee, the primary way networks pay for their news coverage, of about $1 per year per cable subscriber. DirecTV pays CNN about $12 per year and MSNBC $8.

“DirecTV’s decision follows recent revelations of collusion between Big Tech companies and Democrat officials to label conservative speech as ‘misinformation’ and censor it,” wrote the senators, likely referring to Elon Musk’s recent Twitter files that released internal dealings between the social media platform and the Biden administration.

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“The silencing of conservative speech at the request of government officials is a direct assault on free speech and a threat to democracy.”

In their letter, the senators note that DirecTV now has deplatformed two of the top three conservative news networks. One America News Network (OANN) was dropped last year.

“It has been alleged that DirecTV pays substantial sums to numerous channels that are politically left-of-center, even when those channels have substantially lower ratings than Newsmax,” the senators wrot

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