House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., reiterated his support for committee hearings to cast "sunlight" on the censorship of Newsmax by AT&T DirecTV.
"I had discussions with a couple members now because it's very concerning to me," McCarthy told Capitol Hill reporters Thursday.
"Now, Newsmax isn't the first one, OAN as well. And I think America should be able to have a choice in the news they are able to get — choice in being able to see it.
"I would hate to see somebody being kicked off simply because they provide something conservative, so I think it is a place that we should look at."
McCarthy reminded reporters that recent Twitter revelations made by Elon Musk of the company's internal emails indicated collusion with the FBI in suppressing conservative and dissenting voices. He suggested hearings may uncover a similar pattern with media outlets like OAN and Newsmax.
"Now, what we've found out, that happened at Twitter, when they told us, Oh, it wasn't happening," McCarthy said. "It's a real concern here. It's better to bring sunlight and get all the facts to know: Is someone being jeopardized being on television simply because of their philosophical beliefs? That should be wrong."
McCarthy's comments today echoed remarks he made Monday on Newsmax's "Spicer & Co." chastising AT&T for targeting conservative voices for closure.
"This is very concerning to me, and I hope we get this corrected so everybody out there, especially on DirecTV, can have the choice in programming and especially have the choice to get their news," he told Sean Spicer and Lyndsay Keith.
McCarthy also noted that in his travels, "I can't tell you the number of people who tell me they watch Newsmax and like what they're hearing and want to have the choice to see it."
AT&T DirecTV deplatformed Newsmax from 13 million subscriber homes last week, marking the second time the service removed a conservative channel in the past year.
DirecTV continues to carry 22 liberal news channels, with all receiving license fees, but has denied Newsmax any ability to receive similar payments, even though, according to Nielsen, Newsmax is the fourth highest-rated news channel in the U.S., a top 20 news channel overall, and watched by 25 million Americans on cable.
"This is a blatant act of political discrimination and censorship against Newsmax," Newsmax CEO Christopher Ruddy said. "The most extreme liberal channels, even with tiny ratings, get fees from AT&T's DirecTV, but Newsmax and OAN need to be deplatformed."
Actions to Take Now
1. DirecTV customers call toll free at 877-763-9762 to cancel/complain.
2. AT&T customers call toll free at 888-855-2338 to cancel/complain for U-verse, cellular, and wireless services.
3. Call your congressman or senator at 202-224-3121 and demand they stop AT&T DirecTV's censorship of NEWSMAX — ask them to give you a date on the hearings!
4. Go to our online petition and get more info: iWantNewsmax.com.
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