Rep. Mike Garcia made it clear on Tuesday that House Republicans will fight to investigate DirecTV’s deplatforming of conservative outlet Newsmax from its service.
Garcia told Newsmax’s “Spicer & Co.” that the removal of the nation’s fourth-highest-rated news network from the provider appeared to be a “double standard.” He declared that at least half of the House of Representatives “are taking it very seriously.”
The Republican said that his colleagues have been reaching out to DirecTV to determine if they are getting funds off of carrying Newsmax. He said lawmakers want to determine if dropping the popular channel was a business decision.
The worry, he declared, is that it was “strictly a political vendetta against a news outlet that is giving a voice, not only to conservatives but also to Americans who are looking and thirsty for objective news sources.”
As Garcia correctly noted, removing a network simply because some in corporate America disagreed with its programming has the capability of boomeranging back on others.
DIRECTV CENSORS NEWSMAX@RepMeuser: "Many of my constituents are very upset. When my constituents aren't happy, that makes me unhappy."
— ACT For America (@ACTforAmerica) February 8, 2023
In other words, not standing up for the First Amendment may bounce back and hinder the free speech of others who were not involved with the original case. This is why it is important to support the free speech of all.
AT&T’s DirecTV canceled Newsmax’s programming Jan. 24, which severed the connection between the network and 13 million customers of the satellite service, DirecTV stream, and U-Verse. This is hardly the first time DirecTV has made such a move.
In April 2022, the provider de-platformed conservative outlet OAN.
This latest action came despite Newsmax’s ranking in the top four in cable news and numbers showing it is watched by 25 million Americans on cable, according to Nielsen. DirecTV claimed the action was a “cost-cutting” measure.
Meanwhile, the provider platforms over 20 left-leaning news networks.
Garcia went back to the First Amendment in his defense of the network and questioning of the powerful provider. He asserted that the House GOP will take a “deep dive” into the issue and make sure that “justice is served.”
The representative added that he and his colleagues looked unfavorably at large corporations de-platforming outlets for political purposes. On the surface, it appears to be yet another move by Big Tech to stifle conservative voices and one that definitely bears closer scrutiny.