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Tuesday, February 14, 2023
Newsmax Deplatforming Victimhood Watch
Topic: Newsmax

How is Newsmax's campaign of victimhood over getting dropped by DirecTV in a dispute over licensing fees going? Here's how it began its third week of complaining about and rooting for government interference into private business decisions:

Newsmax also republished "an urgent email to Republican members" by Republican national Committee chair Ronna McDaniel "just days ago urging them to oppose AT&T DirecTV's censorship of Newsmax." The article is headlined "See Ronna McDaniel's Email That Shocked AT&T," but no evidence of "shock" on AT&T's part is provided.

With these 34 articles, Newsmax has now published at least 145 "news" articles attacking DirecTV since the deplatforming happened on Jan. 25.

Newsmax columnist were advancing the narrative as well. A Feb. 6 column by Michael Abramson demanded that the Republican National Committee offer preferential treatment for businesses who adhere to its partisan narratives:

The Republican National Committee (RNC), the voice of the nation's Republicans, should lead Republicans in condemning those who take actions against companies which support Republican causes.

The RNC should make public statements denouncing the behavior, conduct a public relations campaign, and, if the situation warrants, call for a boycott. The RNC must support and defend other Republicans when they are attacked. If the RNC does not do so, Republicans will continue to be targeted.

On Wednesday, January 25, 2023, DirecTV cut off Newsmax's signal from DirecTV, DirecTV Stream, and U-Verse. One year earlier, in January 2022, DirecTV chose to not renew its contract with another Republican-leaning news station, One America News Network (OANN).

DirecTV is a company and can decide, free from government interference, the stations that it wishes to carry. It is clear that the absence of Newsmax from DirecTV, DirecTV Stream, and U-Verse decreases the amount of people who can view Newsmax's Republican-leaning news coverage and opinion.

DirecTV's action, therefore, while constitutional, is a silencing of Republican views. Republicans are free to respond by cancelling their subscriptions to DirecTV and/or its parent company, AT&T.

Abramson failed to tell his reader that DirecTV replaced Newsmax with another right-wing channel, The First, which means there isno "silencing of Republican views" happening. Robert Zapesochny similarly failed to disclose that narrative-busting fact in his Feb. 8 column wailing about a purported "blacklist" against right-wing media:

In 1996, Fox News was founded. In 1998, Christopher Ruddy founded Newsmax.

In February 2021, two Democrats in Congress, Jerry McNerney and Anna Eshoo, sent a letter to the CEO of AT&T John T. Stankey to cancel Newsmax, Fox News, and OANN.

At the time, McNerney and Eshoo were both members of the U.S. House Subcommittee on Communications and Technology, which has oversight over the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA). This subcommittee also has jurisdiction over interstate communication.

Because AT&T owns 70% of DirectTV, these two members of Congress thought they could pressure this company to cancel Newsmax. In January 2022, DirectTV dropped OANN and it recently dropped Newsmax.

McNerney retired from Congress last month, but Eshoo is still there. Conservatives must fight for the First Amendment as hard as they have fought for the Second Amendment.

This will not just stop with Newsmax.

Zapesochny also refused to tell his reader why Eschoo and McNerney sent that letter: it was in response to the fact that Newsmax, Fox News, and OAN spread falsehoods and misinformation abopuit the 2020 presidential election that helped incite the Capitol riot. But Zapesochny has no interest in holding his fellow right-wingers accountable for their falsehoods and misinformation -- he has a narrative to push.

Posted by Terry K. at 2:12 PM EST

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