On Tuesday night, Rep. Brian Babin, R-Texas, was among the large cluster of House Republicans publicly condemning AT&T and DirecTV for purging Newsmax from DirecTV's channel lineup — despite the conservative outlet ranking as the No. 4 news network (according to Nielsen TV ratings) and serving as a top-20 overall channel in the cable landscape.
A day later, Babin doubled down on his comments against AT&T and DirecTV. The Texas Republican also injected some political pressure into the dispute.
When asked if Congress should lobby Texas Gov. Greg Abbott into withholding taxpayer-funded subsidies earmarked for AT&T — for a project expanding the corporation's cell-service network to outlying areas of the state — Babin didn't hesitate to answer.
"We've got to hold everyone to the exact same standard. Absolutely, yes," Babin told Newsmax Wednesday afternoon, while appearing on "The Chris Salcedo Show."
Babin said AT&T, which owns more than 70% of DirecTV, warrants pushback for making conservative voices and TV networks "public enemy No. 1" — especially when it's seeking taxpayer monies for major projects.
"These new [House] select committees need to investigate" AT&T, said Babin, while adding the removal of Newsmax from roughly 13 million homes is "horrible. We cannot get our message out."
In the last year, DirecTV has dropped two conservative networks — OAN and Newsmax — while justifying both decisions as "cost-cutting" moves.
However, DirecTV still carries 22 other left-leaning networks, most of which post significantly lower ratings than Newsmax.
Babin believes a letter to Gov. Abbott should be in order, regarding AT&T's expansion plans with taxpayer funds.
After all, Newsmax isn't seeking special treatment, added Babin. It just wants to be dealt with fairly, similar to the other networks in the DirecTV mix.
"If it takes defunding [AT&T], cutting these people off, then we must do it," said Babin, a member of the House Border Security Caucus. In Congress, "we can't deny the American people's constitutional rights" to hear other opinions and "get the truth."
Actions to Take Now
1. DirecTV customers: Call them toll free at 877-763-9762 and demand they bring NEWSMAX back on air. President Trump urges you CANCEL!
- Important: If DirecTV tells you we’re still negotiating, that is a lie! They have told NEWSMAX we will never be on a regular cable channel. DirecTV also replaced NEWSMAX with a channel that has no news and no ratings. Also, NEWSMAX's livestream is ending soon on other platforms, so unless you get it on DirecTV you will have to cancel their service.
2. AT&T customers: Call toll free at 888-855-2338, for any of their cellphones, wireless products, or services, and demand they end their censorship of NEWSMAX. President Trump has urged you to cancel their 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 at: iWantNewsmax.com.
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