DeSantis: House GOP should probe DirecTV’s ditching of Newsmax
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) is running to the defense of Newsmax, the conservative cable network that was ditched by carrier DirecTV last week.
“I mean I think there should be no ideological litmus test or any kind of test when it comes to these big companies who can make the decision to make or break a news network or any type of network,” DeSantis said during a press conference on Tuesday. “And they’ll give different rationales for why they don’t want to do it, but the reality is they have so much other content that is very lightly viewed and yet they keep that on and it seems it’s the One America News and the Newsmax who are being targeted, so I think it does warrant investigation.”
DirecTV, one of the largest cable providers in the country, dropped Newsmax from its channel lineup last week following a dispute with the network over carrier fees.
Newsmax, which carries a much smaller audience than that of the three leading cable news channels — Fox News, CNN and MSNBC — is accusing DirecTV of political bias. Much of the content on Newsmax is staunchly supportive of former President Trump and conservative causes.
DirecTV, which last year also dropped pro-Trump One America News, has said it “made it clear to Newsmax that we wanted to continue to offer the network,” but ultimately the network’s demands for rate increases in carrier fees “would have led to significantly higher costs that we would have to pass on to our broad customer base.”
Days later, DirecTV announced the addition of conservative opinion and commentary network The First to its lineup.
Trump, who is running for president in 2024 and has spent the last several months attacking DeSantis as a potential primary foe, has also blasted DirecTV’s decision to drop Newsmax.
“This is just one of many reasons why we must WIN IN 2024!!!” Trump said in a Truth Social post last week.
A contingent of House Republicans, who have made complaints about what they say is bias in Big Tech and media a tenet of their messaging in the new Congress, are threatening to investigate the matter.
“If Newsmax is removed from DirecTV, in less than a year House Republicans will have lost two of the three cable news channels that reach conservative voters on a platform that primarily serves conservative-leaning areas of the country,” a group of House GOP lawmakers wrote in a letter to the company earlier this month.
DeSantis, like Trump, has made a habit of attacking the mainstream media and has notably ignored some traditional outlets in favor of smaller media companies that cater to conservatives.
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