What’s With AT&T’s DirecTV Kicking Out Conservative Newsmax And OAN?

Signage for the Newsmax conservative television broadcasting network is displayed at a broadcast TV booth at the National Rifle Association (NRA) annual meeting at the George R. Brown Convention Center, in Houston, Texas on May 28, 2022. - America's powerful National Rifle Association kicked off a major convention in Houston Friday, days after the horrific massacre of children at a Texas elementary school, but a string of high-profile no-shows underscored deep unease at the timing of the gun lobby event.
(Photo by PATRICK T. FALLON/AFP via Getty Images)

Soon, when you flip on AT&T’s DirectTV, you’ll be able to find tens of liberal news networks, but only two conservative-leaning channels — Fox News and The First.

Are those the only two conservative news stations in existence? No. In fact, there’s an even more popular channel than The First that DirectTV has elected not to carry: Newsmax.

Newsmax, the fourth highest-rated cable news network, just got the boot from DirectTV despite its success and popularity. Another Right-leaning network, OAN, was kicked off of DirecTV last spring.

The decision to cut ties with Newsmax, according to the company’s founder & CEO Chris Ruddy, is a “blatant act of political discrimination and censorship.”

Indeed, Ruddy appears to be correct.

AT&T’s decision to nix both OAN and Newsmax came after Representatives Jerry McNerney (D-CA) and Anna Eshoo (D-CA) sent a letter in 2021 to the company demanding information as to what “action” it was taking to counter the usual allegations of misinformation and disinformation on conservative channels — Fox News, Newsmax, and OAN.

The two alleged that that trio of channels served as “hotbeds that produce content that leads to real harm.”

To back up their claims, McNerney and Eshoo cited a bevy of Left-wing outlets and watchdogs that all push Democratic propaganda around the clock.

Absent in the two’s concerns was anything about the Russia collusion hoax narrative, global warming falsehoods, myths about police violence, or any other leftist narrative that is based on lies. More alarmingly at the time, hardly any other cable channel seemed concerned that the government was, in effect, pressuring a private company to silence a media company.

Eshoo insisted she eschewed any direct violations of the First Amendment by claiming the letter was just “asking questions” and not explicitly asking for the networks to be dropped.

Of course, there’s the old saying: Never write if you can speak; never speak if you can nod; never nod if you can wink.

Perhaps the silent signal was sent to AT&T loud and clear to toe the leftist line.

Per Newsmax, the idea that it was a financial decision doesn’t make any sense.

“DirecTV pays cable license fees to all top 75 cable channels and to all 22 liberal news and information channels it carries,” Newsmax said in an editorial. “Almost all of these channels are paid hefty license fees significantly more than Newsmax was seeking — and despite the fact that most of the channels have much lower ratings than Newsmax.”

Republicans on Capitol Hill are promising to get to the bottom of it. Congressman James Comer (R-KY), chair of the powerful House Oversight and Reform Committee, told Newsmax that he is “very concerned” by it and will use his power to investigate.

“I’ve had several people from AT&T reach out to me,” he added. “We’re going to have a meeting with them and, hopefully, we can get this resolved.”

Now, politicians such as Senator Rand Paul (R-KY), former President Donald J. Trump, and more are encouraging millions of Americans to dump AT&T to send a message loud and clear message with their hard-earned dollars.

AT&T’s decision comes amidst the backdrop of various corporations pushing the woke agenda. Evidence abounds that Big Tech has been in bed with the FBI and other actors to put the kibosh on Right-leaning media and speech that goes against the government-media complex agenda. Conservatives, it seems, are outnumbered in every sector of society.

Newsmax reels in “25 million Americans on cable alone” according to the company. They are now all being funneled to Fox News or the upstart First TV. But, for those who think it’s no big deal that liberal networks outnumber conservative channels 22:2 on AT&T, they should remember that the censorship might not end there.

As Congressman Eli Crane (R-AZ) explained, “First @OANN, now @NEWSMAX… This is an unacceptable attack on free speech, and every American should be outraged.”

Given DirecTV’s alleged political bias, it seems that conservative media is being blocked out on cable, thus allowing legacy media and the liberal TV industry to control the narrative even tighter. That stranglehold isn’t enough for anti-free speech actors. Leftists want to have complete dominance over the flow of information and the news so that they can dictate the direction of the country.

The antidote to that propaganda is the truth, which is why conservative outlets — such as Newsmax and others — are silenced by their opponents.

Author’s Note: Tim Meads is a former Newsmax.com opinion editor.

The views expressed in this piece are the author’s own and do not necessarily represent those of The Daily Wire.

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