With leftist attacks on conservative voices winning at an accelerated rate, former President Donald Trump teased talk of a boycott of AT&T for its "woke" executives succumbing to cancel culture with their Friday announcement they plan to drop OAN from their DirecTV lineup.
AT&T owns a 70% stake in its spun-off DirecTV satellite platform and was urged in a letter from activists in November to deplatform One America News Network (OAN).
Just this week, days after Biden called on media to censor information amid the pandemic, DirecTV announced it would not renew the contract to broadcast OAN when it expires in April.
"You know why? Because people told them not to do it," Trump told his Florence, Arizona, rally Saturday night.
Trump blasted AT&T and DirecTV for giving in to leftist activists that had called for a decoupling of the conservative TV network.
"One America News has done a great job, and here's the story of what just happened," Trump told the large rally crowd. "The woke executives, I don't know what the hell they're doing, they have so much debt; AT&T is a company that is in serious trouble.
"And they need AT&T, and AT&T's saying that they may no longer agree to carry this network that's doing very well."
The network has been among Trump’s most ardent defenders, amplifying claims the 2020 election was stolen and that Joe Biden was an illegitimate president.
Trump, in turn, defended OAN executives Charles and Robert Herring, who attended the rally.
"This is horrible; this is a great network; these are great people," Trump said. "I watch it all the time and you really get the truth, and they want to cancel him now because of politics, for purely political reasons.
"It's a disgrace what's going on, but I don't think that people are going to stand for it, especially One America News, the job you've done.
Trump hinted at calling for a boycott, but seemed to pull back from such an effort.
"So maybe what we should do is not use AT&T," Trump told his rally. "You know if we did what they do to Republican companies, we would have no difficulty. We just don't do it. It seems like not nice, right? But they're not nice."
Trump said the Herrings had asked him to not talk about a boycott of AT&T.
"They said, 'please don't mention the word boycott,' so I won't mention it," Trump joked.
If dropped by DirecTV, OAN will be carried only on Verizon Fios and a handful of small carriers, leaving it in fewer than 5 million cable homes.
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