The recent decision by AT&T and DirecTV to remove Newsmax from its distribution platform was a bad business decision, one rooted in bad Democratic intimidation pressure tactics, the party is used to employing — all too often.
AT&T has majority share ownership of DirecTV.
To the uninformed, DirecTV’s claim it got rid of Newsmax based on a business decision seems reasonable on the surface; looking deeper, it’s clear an intimidation campaign by U.S. House Democrats was a driving force behind its move to get rid of Newsmax.
In a February 2021 letter from Reps. Anna G. Eshoo, D-Calif., and Jerry McNerney, D-Calif., to companies that distribute TV news programs through streaming, satellite or cable, pressed those companies on their justification for providing Fox News, Newsmax and OANN to their customers.
Reps. Eshoo’s and McNerney’s opening paragraph didn’t pull any punches; it accused AT&T and DIRECTV of being responsible for "disseminating misinformation to millions."
The congresspersons followed up by asking the companies a number of questions including how "moral and ethical principles" play into deciding which channels to distribute and do they require "content guidelines."
They also asked if actions were taken against the TV channels regarding "the November 3, 2020 elections, the January 6, 2021 Capital insurrection or COVID-19 misinformation."
The last question served as a direct assault on the companies business decision demanding to know if they planned to continue to carry Fox News, Newsmax and OANN and "If so, why?"
We want you to cancel Newsmax and other conservative outlets because we don’t agree with their content because it makes Democrats look bad in the eyes of the public.
Make no mistake about it, this is an outrageous assault on free speech via intimidation and a direct conflict with the representatives' oath of office to uphold the Constitution and its First Amendment.
Congress doesn’t have to pass a law to silence speech, it can destroy these companies through regulations and that’s most likely played into DirecTV’s decision, as well as the fact the fear of being pummeled by the media for being responsible for distributing "disseminating misinformation to millions."
Another important consideration undermining DirecTV’s claim the deplaforming was a business decision is the fact they purortedly pay left-leaning stations fees even though they get less ratings than Newsmax.
So, if it was "business," you eliminate fees of underperforming TV broadcasters, or TV content providers .
The bad news for both AT&T and DirecTV is the huge negative reaction from the public and Republican politicians.
Social media is filled with outraged individuals over Newsmax being censored.
Most concerning is that many customers are pledging to cancel their DirecTV contracts and AT&T cell phone service is facing similar threats.
The timing couldn’t be worse for these companies.
While AT&T and DirecTV were worried about Democrats, it seems they totally forgot Republicans renewed presence in the House.
In fact, House Speaker Rep. Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., said he felt the Newsmax deplatforming was "very concerning," adding: "It really comes down to a free speech matter, and Newsmax should never be punished simply because they're a conservative news outlet."
McCarthy has indicated the House will hold hearings on the matter.
Hearings would bring another round of news stories on AT&T and DirecTV which potentially impact the companies reputations.
While McCarthy is the most powerful person in Congress to take on the censorship of Newsmax, other high profile Republicans have also joined in the harsh criticism of AT&T and DirecTV.
Former President Trump was outraged. On Truth Social, Trump slammed AT&T saying, "The Radical Left seems to have taken over the mind and soul of AT&T."
Trump also said he " . . . will be dropping all association with AT&T and DIRECTV, and I have plenty."
Finally, Gov. Ron DeSantis, R-Fla., urged Congress to investigate Newsmax’s deplatforming.
Are AT&T and DirecTV finding out the hard way that bowing to Democratic Party pressure is bad for business?
The companies ignored the way woke companies such as Walt Disney were punished by Republicans and now they are paying the price. It's a question worth asking — and one worth pondering.
It may well be argued that AT&T and DirecTVare feeling the sting of GOP wrath because they just added a new conservative outlet, The First, to its offerings.
Perhaps that reflects an obvious clean up aisle five move in an effort to placate the political outrage it created.
The best solution for all is for AT&T and DirecTV to bring back Newsmax.
Dr. Tom Borelli is a contributor to Newsmax TV and co-hosts radio programs on SiriusXM Patriot with his wife, Deneen Borelli. Read Dr. Tom Borelli's Reports — More Here.
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