Rep. Michael Burgess, R-Texas, said Tuesday that DirecTV's decision to drop Newsmax while airing lower-rated liberal news channels is an "issue of fairness."
"For some of us, this equates to censorship and it really should not stand," Burgess said during an appearance on Newsmax's "National Report." "I get it, the people who say, 'Oh, look, DirecTV's a private company, they can do what they want.' But on the other hand, there is the issue of fairness and how to be equitable in administering the resource that they are selling."
AT&T's DirecTV cut Newsmax's signal Jan. 24, immediately blocking the network from more than 13 million customers of the satellite service, DirecTV Stream, and U-Verse.
DirecTV customers call toll free at 877-763-9762 to cancel/complain
This is the second time in the past year AT&T has moved to cancel a conservative channel, with DirecTV deplatforming OAN in April.
Despite Newsmax being the fourth highest-rated cable news channel in the nation, a top 20 cable news channel overall, and watched by 25 million Americans on cable, according to Nielsen, DirecTV said it was taking the step as a "cost-cutting" measure.
Burgess said "a letter did go out in the latter part of January," to DirecTV and AT&T demanding answers for the deplatforming.
"I was a signatory to that letter and it essentially said, 'Explain to us how this deplatforming has occurred,'" he said. "Why do you have so-called liberal-leaning news outlets with less viewership being carried by the platform, and yet you've excluded Newsmax or are charging them exorbitant rates compared to the liberal news outlets? There's clearly a disparity."
The House Energy and Commerce Committee might investigate DirecTV's decision to cut Newsmax and hold hearings, Burgess said.
"I think they should, but that's clearly within our purview to ask those questions," he said.
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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