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Tuesday, February 28, 2023
Newsmax DirecTV Victimhood Watch: Slowing Down The Pace
Topic: Newsmax

Going into its fifth week of victimhood over getting dropped by DirecTV, Newsmax surprisingly slowed down the pace of proclaiming itself to be a victim. It published no attack articles at all on Feb. 22, andonly these on the following two days:

That's just eight articles in a three-day span -- a drastic slowdown from its pace of more than 50 articles a week in the first four weeks after it was dropped. With these articles, Newsmax has published at least 213 articles complaining about DirecTV's decision since it was dropped on Jan. 25.

Newsmax also continued to have columnists help make its case. Dishonest Catholic Bill Donohue had a very lazy rah-rah piece on Feb. 21, right down to directly and uncritically quoting its talking points:

On Jan. 25, the same day Newsmax announced it had been unjustly sacked by the AT&T-owned DirecTV, this writer called on Catholics to rally to its side.

Subsequently, this writer was followed by a host of prominent Americans who registered their criticism of DirecTV, many of whom called for a boycott.

Politicians, corporate leaders, TV personalities, sports figures, actors, lawyers, religious leaders — a Who's Who of American public figures — lambasted DirecTV, calling on them to carry Newsmax again.

Also contact your representatives in Congress.

That's it. No, really.

Ralph Benko put in more effort in his Feb. 23 column, but he slavishly stuck to the corporate line:

Yes, as a weekly Newsmax contributor, I’m loyal to Newsmax. That said, "By the pricking of my thumbs, something wicked this way comes," to quote William Shakespeare and Agatha Christie. 

Per Newsmax:

"DirecTV pays cable license fees to all top 75 cable channels and to all 22 liberal news and information channels it carries.

"Almost all of these channels are paid hefty license fees significantly more than Newsmax was seeking — and despite the fact that most of the channels have much lower ratings than Newsmax.

"This is a blatant act of political discrimination and censorship against Newsmax," Christopher Ruddy, founder and CEO of Newsmax said.

The ejection of Newsmax by DirecTV carries a certain aroma of microaggression.

Benko censored the fact that DirecTV replaced Newsmax with another right-wing channel, The First, meaning that there is no viewpoint censorship. That didn't stop him from whining on his publisher'sbehalf, or from endorsing government interference into a private business decision:

ATT, of course, has the right to choose what to carry. That said, Mr. Market, so much more ruthless than federal regulators, will have the last word.

And, despite my devotion, as an ordoliberal, to free markets, those members of Congress who have raised vociferous objections to DirecTV’s exile of Newsmax have a legal and constitutional hook well worth exploring.


ATT, DirecTV’s mothership, enjoys billions of dollars of contracts with the federal government. If, following congressional investigation, ATT’s subsidiary’s exile of Newsmax turns out based on credal discrimination, smells like a violation of the spirit, at least, of federal anti-discrimination rules.

A congressional finding of credal discrimination should invite immediate remedial action by DirecTV… rather than inviting Uncle Sam to deliver a message, good and hard, by canceling a few billion dollars of ATT’s opulent government contracts.

We thought conservatives hated government interference in private busineess decision. Not if they can use them to advance an agenda, apparently.

Posted by Terry K. at 1:26 PM EST

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