After DirecTV and parent companies AT&T and TPG responded to DirecTV's deplatforming of Newsmax, Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas vowed to act "accordingly, based on their response."
"I think what DirecTV did was indefensible," Cruz told Wednesday's "Rob Schmitt Tonight" in an interview recorded earlier in the day, the deadline for a response from his letter seeking answers.
"It is deeply concerning. I am a big fan of Newsmax. I think ya'll do a terrific job. And I think the American people need outlets where truth can be heard."
DirecTV customers call toll free at 877-763-9762 to complain, demand Newsmax is returned! Oppose censorship – sign The Petition – Click Here
Since the taping, sources familiar with the request confirmed the appropriate offices have received letters from DirecTV, AT&T, and TPG, a private equity firm that almost exclusively contributes to Democrats' election campaigns, according to Open Secrets.
"I look forward to seeing what they have to say and acting accordingly based on their response," Cruz told host Rob Schmitt.
Details of the response have not been made public as of this report.
But Cruz, the ranking member of the Senate Commerce Committee, which has "jurisdiction over broadcasters, jurisdiction over telecommunications," added he had "100% certainty we have their attention and they're taking it seriously."
"You've got the vast bulk of TV stations lean left or hard left; they are partisan propagandists for the hard left," Cruz said earlier in the prerecorded interview. "There are only a handful of right-of-center stations. And as I pointed out in the letter I sent to AT&T and DirecTV, a year ago, Democrat members of Congress wrote a letter to AT&T saying there are three major right-of-center cable news stations: Fox News, Newsmax, and OAN; and they asked DirecTV to deplatform all three of them.
"Well, in the year that has followed, OAN has been deplatformed, which they did about a year ago; and now Newsmax has been deplatformed. And it is a clear effort, I think, to restrict consumers' choice."
Cruz wrote the letter along with Republican Sens. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, Mike Lee of Utah, and Tom Cotton of Arkansas, all of whom sit on the powerful Senate Judiciary Committee.
"What I told the CEO of DirecTV: The outcome I want to see is Newsmax back on the air at DirecTV, because there are millions of Texans that want the choice of being able to watch Newsmax and actually being able to hear fair and balanced reporting," Cruz told Schmitt.
DirecTV has claimed both Newsmax and OAN were removed as "cost-cutting" measures at the same time the company reported profits last year of $2.7 billion.
This week DirecTV claimed Newsmax was demanding "excessive fees" that would cost them in the "tens of millions" of dollars.
Newsmax has denied these claims, saying it was seeking a fee of about $1 per cable subscriber per year, among the lowest fees asked for in cable, and that total amount of the deal was a fraction of "tens of millions."
"This was never about the fees being excessive," Chris Ruddy, CEO of Newsmax, said. "DirecTV's position has always been that Newsmax of all cable news channels should never get any cable fee whatsoever, not one penny."
DirecTV continues to carry 22 left-leaning news channels, many with much lower ratings than Newsmax. And of those channels get license fees.
Also, earlier this week, Cruz sent a letter to social media companies Meta, Google, Twitter, and TikTok launching an oversight investigation into these companies' use of recommendation algorithms and their reported use of "blacklists," "de-emphasizing," and other means of "reduced distribution" of content from users, including many conservatives.
Actions to Take Now
1. DirecTV customers call toll free at 877-763-9762 to complain, demand Newsmax is back on air!
2. 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!
3. Go to our online petition and get more info: iWantNewsmax.com.
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