Well of course.
In the midst of the explosive move by AT&T and its DirecTV subsidiary to silence Newsmax — as demanded by Democrats in Congress who sit on a committee regulating AT&T — it is important to understand the players. (And full disclosure, I am a Newsmax contributor.)
In this instance, that would start with getting an answer to a simple question: Who runs AT&T?
The obvious place to look in AT&T is the company’s eight-person board of directors. So let’s take a look.The chairman of the AT&T Board of Directors, per AT&T itself, as found here, would be one William E. Kennard. And who is Mr. Kennard? AT&T reports this of its chairman: Mr. Kennard is the “Former United States Ambassador to the European Union and former Chairman of the Federal Communications Commission.”
Those are, of course, political positions appointed by the president of the United States. In this case, AT&T reports that “Mr. Kennard served as Chairman of the U.S. Federal Communications Commission from 1997 to 2001. Before his appointment as FCC Chairman, he served as the FCC’s General Counsel from 1993 until 1997.”
And just who was president of the United States at that time? That would be, of course, Democrat Bill Clinton.
His AT&T biography also notes that “Mr.Kennard served as the United States Ambassador to the European Union from 2009 to 2013.” Hmmm. And who was president then? Oh yes, that would be Democrat Barack Obama.
Which is to say, the chairman of the AT&T Board of Directors is a thoroughgoing leftist who is so well-thought-of in progressive circles that not one but two Democrat presidents appointed him to high public office in their administrations. And now there he is participating in — leading? — the censorship of a network that has given airtime to critics of both presidents Clinton and Obama?
Next up is Beth E. Mooney, identified in her AT&T bio as the “Retired Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of KeyCorp.” The KeyCorp is identified further as “a bank holding company in Cleveland, Ohio.”
And lo and behold, a check with the Federal Election Commission and there are repeated listings for a
“Beth E. Mooney” who has a habit of making campaign contributions to two Ohio Democrat Members of Congress. One is now former Ohio Democrat Congressman Tim Ryan, the contributions for Ryan’s unsuccessful 2022 race for the U.S. Senate. The other contributions are for Rep. Shontel Brown, an Ohio Democrat incumbent in the House.
So. Another AT&T Board member with ties to prominent Democrats, in this case a proclivity for contributing to two of Ohio’s most prominent Democrats. And Americans are expected to believe she would never sign on to the idea of using AT&T to cancel NewsMax?
Board of Directors is one Matthew K. Rose. Rose’s day job until his retirement was as chairman of the board and CEO of Burlington Northern Santa Fe, LLC. But a quick check finds this press release from, yes indeed, the Obama White House. In which the Obama White House is proudly noting that Rose was a presidential appointee to the Obama “President’s Council on Jobs and Competitiveness.”
So yet another AT&T Board member is tied to President Obama. Surely there’s no reason to suspect an Obama appointee would want to silence Newsmax.
Then there is Board member Glenn H. Hutchins. Mr. Hutchins is in the investment business. But hold on! His AT&T official biography also says this along with listing his private business activities. “Previously, Mr. Hutchins served as a Special Advisor in the White House on economic and health-care policy from 1993 to 1994 and as Senior Advisor on the transition of the Administration from 1992 to 1993. He is co-Chairman of the Brookings Institution.” Which is to say Hutchins was an advisor and supporter of Democrat President Bill Clinton as well as being the co-chair of the famously lefty Brookings Institution. And oh yes. According to the FEC there is a Glenn H. Hutchins who is a repeated campaign contributor to the Democratic Executive Committee of Florida as well as Democrat U.S. Senators Bob Casey (D-PA) and Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ), Ron Wyden (D-OR), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) and, yes, Chuck Schumer, the New York Democrat who is the US Senate Democratic Leader.
Last but not least the Board lists Luis A. Ubiñas as a member, listing him as follows: “Mr. Ubiñas served as President of the Ford Foundation (an independent, global nonprofit grantmaking organization based in New York, New York) from 2008 to 2013.”
Ahh the Ford Foundation. Independent? Here’s a headline from the Washington Free Beacon via Fox News: “Donors to anti-Trump ‘resistance’ group revealed.”
The story reports this, bold print for emphasis supplied:
The hidden donors to a prominent anti-Trump “resistance” organization are revealed in unredacted tax forms obtained by the Washington Free Beacon.
The Center for Community Change, a Washington, D.C.-based 501 (c)(3) progressive community organizing group
has been involved in direct action against President Donald Trump and Republicans before and after the November elections.The organization’s members sit on the boards of other prominent liberal activist groups.
The Free Beacon has obtained the group’s unredacted 2015 tax forms that shed light on its funders, who provide millions of dollars in assistance. The group appears to rely heavily on a few major liberal foundations, organizations, and unions.
The Center for Community Change’s largest contribution was $3,000,000 from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, which was initially created by Will Kellogg, the food manufacturer and founder of Kellogg Company. The Ford Foundation added a $2,350,000 donation. The foundation was first created by the founders of the Ford Motor Company, but the company has had no affiliation with the foundation for nearly four decades.
Got that? The Ford Foundation kicked in a $2,350,000 donation to a group that “has been involved in direct action against President Donald Trump and Republicans before and after the November elections.” And the former head of that foundation now sits on the AT&T board.
Not to be forgotten is the role of AT&T CEO John Stankey in all of this. Here is a statement from Mr. Stankey posted on the AT&T web site decrying the riot at the Capitol on January 6 as an “insurrection.”
Yet a search of the AT&T site and when it came to the repeated BLM riots of 2020 or most recently the anti-police riot in Atlanta and Mr. Stankey and AT&T fall strangely silent.
Collectively what do we have here?
Quite obviously what we have is a Board of Directors of AT&T that is stacked with like-minded far Left extremists who cannot abide conservatives or political dissent. AT&T has been changed from a politically neutral communications company to a woke, far left censor which has charged itself with an obsessive mission of silencing conservatives — Newsmax in this case, and One America News before that.
Let’s be clear. AT&T is using its DirecTV subsidiary to silence — so far — two conservative outlets. It is a direct response by left-wing AT&T Board members to demands from their fellow left-wingers in Congress who have demanded Newsmax, OAN, and Fox be dropped.
Suffice to say, the fight is on. So when AT&T gets its chain yanked by Democrats in Congress to de-platform Newsmax or OAN before that — they jump to comply.
They are not about being a communications company. They in fact cannot tolerate political dissent to the progressive world view their careers illustrate they so vividly have supported. So they have become censors.
Is there a way to deal with this?
Republican Congressman James Comer of Kentucky is the new chair of the House Oversight Committee and he has vowed to begin an investigation into all of this, with hearings to begin soon.
U.S. Senators Ted Cruz (R-TX), Lindsey Graham (R-SC), Tom Cotton (R-AR) and Mike Lee (R-UT) have sent a letter to Stankey and the CEOs of DirecTV and TPG (the private equity firm that is the third party in this censorship move). The letter, here, contains 18 specific requests, including these two requesting:
5. All documents and communications between January 1, 2021 and the present, referring or relating to Newsmax, OANN, or Fox News, that are between or among any employee or contractor of DirecTV, AT&T, or TPG and any Democrat member of Congress or any individual affiliated with any Democrat member of Congress.
6. All documents and communications between January 1, 2021 and the present referring or relating to Newsmax, OANN, or Fox News, that are between or among any employee or contractor of DirecTV, AT&T, or TPG and any individual affiliated with the Democratic National Committee, Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, or Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee.
A good place to start this investigation would be to call every one of these AT&T Board Members to testify to Congressman Comer’s House Oversight Committee. To illustrate to the American people just how the mind of the woke left-wing censors of AT&T work — and why the stockholders of AT&T should have them fired.