AT&T DirecTV’s deplatforming could spark new legislation to protect free speech and conservative media, Rep. Scott Fitzgerald said.
"The one thing that could happen is that one of the individual members that so far have been engaged in the letter is now considering dropping an actual piece of legislation," the Wisconsin Republican told Newsmax's "Wake Up America."
"That will get everyone's attention, and suddenly you will have people weighing in that otherwise have been ignoring this whole situation."
Fitzgerald was one of 42 House members who wrote DirecTV urging the satellite provider not to drop Newsmax or to target it in a discriminatory manner.
On Tuesday, 18 members of Congress stood up for Newsmax with a House special order presentation about the deplatforming and media efforts to silence conservative voices.
Fitzgerald said DirecTV's move "goes back to what we've been talking about in our Judiciary Committee for some time, the absolute denial that conservative media outlets are simply being squeezed. [With] Newsmax, it's happening. It's happening right now."
Fitzgerald’s comments come in the wake of AT&T DirecTV’s deplatforming of Newsmax from 13 million subscriber homes last week, the second time the service removed a conservative channel in the past year.
DirecTV continues to carry 22 liberal news channels and all receive license fees, but has denied Newsmax any ability to receive similar payments.
Nielsen reported that 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 them toll free at 877-763-9762 and demand they bring NEWSMAX back on air. President Donald Trump urges you CANCEL!
- Important: If DirecTV tells you we are 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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