House Republicans Stand Up for Newsmax — And Free Speech - The American Spectator | USA News and Politics
House Republicans Stand Up for Newsmax — And Free Speech
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Newsmax/YouTube

What is it with the intolerance of liberal elites?

DirecTV has targeted the conservative Newsmax for removal from the DirecTV platform because Newsmax is — gasp! — conservative. (And full disclosure, I am a Newsmax contributor.)

Over there at the Washington Examiner is a report that the Examiner has exclusively obtained a letter to DirecTV signed by over 40 House Republicans that accuses DirectTV of obeying Democrat calls to censor conservative media. The letter is addressed to John Stankey, the CEO of AT&T, William Morrow, the CEO of DirecTV, and Jon Winkelried, the CEO of TPG Capital.

The Examiner story reported that freshman Republican Rep. Wesley Hunt, the author of the letter along with 40 other GOP House members, told the Examiner this: 

“I am deeply troubled by DirecTV’s decision to remove Newsmax from their lineup of channels,” Hunt said in a statement to the Washington Examiner. “Deplatforming Newsmax is the latest development in the Left’s ongoing campaign to purge voices they disagree with from the public sphere. This decision by DirecTV and TPG Capital will cut off tens of millions of viewers who rely on Newsmax for their news and information.”

…..“If Newsmax is removed from DIRECTV, in less than a year House Republicans will have lost two of the three cable news channels that reach conservative voters on a platform that primarily serves conservative-leaning areas of the country,” they wrote in the letter.

For its part, a DirecTV spokesman told the Examiner:

We deliver Newsmax to our national base of satellite and IPTV customers today at no cost to the programmer or our customers, ultimately offering Newsmax the ability to generate considerable advertising revenue at no cost … We’ve discussed with Newsmax on several occasions that we’d like to offer their programming, however, the network is now seeking significant fees that we cannot pass on to our broad customer base. Additionally, the same programming offered by Newsmax today is already available at no charge to 100% of U.S. households including our customers via NewsmaxTV.com, YouTube.com and on multiple streaming platforms like Amazon Fire TV, Roku and Google Play.

What is going on here?

The obvious answer is a full-out attack on conservative media with the objective of silencing it completely.

In fact, this is but the latest round in an attack on conservative media by House Democrats that began on Feb. 22, 2021, when, as the letter says:

Democratic members of the Energy and Commerce Committee wrote to AT&T and DIRECTV encouraging the censorship of conservative television networks One America News Network (OANN), Fox News, and NEWSMAX. Given the jurisdiction of the Energy and Commerce Committee over your companies’ business interests, it is reasonable to assume you took this letter seriously and complied with these demands. Indeed, less than one year later, on January 14. 2022. AT&T and DIRECTV notified OANN that you would no longer carry its programming, a separation that became final on April 5, 2022.

The letter also points to a stunning DirecTV conflict of interest. The platform carries “11 liberal news and information channels including Vice Media. The same individuals who sit on DirecTV’s board of directors also sit on Vice Media’s board of directors.” Curiously, the letter notes that “Vice Media appears to receive higher fees than Newsmax is requesting despite having a fraction of the audience.”

Is there no wonder why House Republicans have set up a House Select Subcommittee on the Weaponization of the Federal Government, chaired by incoming House Judiciary Committee Jim Jordan of Ohio?

That this latest move to silence conservative media is here is no surprise. Over the years, leftist elites have targeted the late Rush Limbaugh, Fox’s Sean Hannity, Tucker Carlson, and Laura Ingraham, and others for removal from their various radio and TV platforms. Years ago, the Clinton administration targeted The American Spectator for silencing because it couldn’t stand our magazine’s serious Clinton investigations, which included looking into the sexual antics of the then president.

The assault on Newsmax is merely the latest along these lines.

The hard fact here is that the American Left, whether in the media or beyond in other fields like academia, Hollywood, sports, and more has at its root the fascist impulse to silence all dissent, particularly from conservatives.

This time the target is Newsmax.

The next time it could be you.

Three cheers for the House Republicans demanding answers from the weaponizing executives at DirecTV.

Jeffrey Lord
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Jeffrey Lord, a contributing editor to The American Spectator, is a former aide to Ronald Reagan and Jack Kemp. An author and former CNN commentator, he writes from Pennsylvania at jlpa1@aol.com. His new book, Swamp Wars: Donald Trump and The New American Populism vs. The Old Order, is now out from Bombardier Books.
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