Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) kicks off tomorrow in Washington DC with a series of prominent and prominent name speakers, as well as a series of conservative-focused panel discussions that will undoubtedly spark outrage among left-wing pundits as they wring their hands and look for new ways to attack conservatives.
As with every year, they have quite a bit to discuss at each of the meetings, from extended tech censorship to the weaponization of the government by the powers that be.
As a result of a recent decision made by DirecTV to cut Newsmax from its service, there is rumor that an amount of time and attention will be given to that decision during this year’s conservative conference. The fact that former president Donald Trump is one of the guest speakers and that members of his campaign team will also be in attendance, it doesn’t come as a surprise.
In spite of the Trump campaign’s affinity for the network, the discussion is still worthwhile, as over the last few years, a concerning trend has emerged of silencing opposing political views within mainstream media.
Let us review what happened a little over a month ago to Newsmax after getting the boot and what might be discussed at CPAC later this week for those who have ditched DirecTV altogether.
— Matt Schlapp (@mschlapp) February 16, 2023
DirecTV’s abrupt decision was very suspicious:
According to DirecTV’s announcement last month, it was cutting Newsmax from its service to save money in order to cut costs. Since more and more families across America are switching over to streaming, it’s no wonder that the traditional cable industry needs some help in order to remain relevant in the future. As part of its argument for cutting Newsmax, DirecTV claimed the network was demanding “excessive fees” that would cost the company “tens of millions” of dollars. Newsmax, however, disputes that assertion.
Newsmax reported that they were asking for $1 per cable subscriber per year, which was among one of the lowest fees in the cable industry. In the meantime, DirecTV continues to carry 22 left-leaning channels even after cutting Newsmax.
According to The Political Insider, “A fair amount of these left-leaning channels have lower ratings than Newsmax, and all receive license fees. If you were a business looking to cut costs, you’d cut channels with lower ratings and keep the ones that are doing well…such as Newsmax.”
However, Newsmax was not the first conservative channel that DirecTV has recently cut around election time. Prior to axing Newsmax, the company that is owned by AT&T also cut the One America News (OAN) channel, in a swift decision that caused question at the time and raised more suspicion after doing the same to Newsmax shortly after.
Newsmax has be long considered the MAGA news channel of choice:
According to political strategist Dick Morris who appeared on Newsmax’s Saturday Report, he said he bets that a lot of chatter at CPAC this week will focus on the network’s censorship.
“I’ll bet that about 20% of the audience out there has been cut off by AT&T, and by DirecTV, and can’t watch Trump on Newsmax,” said Morris.
It was also pointed out by Morris that Newsmax offers a host of services that others do not, saying “You see the issue here is that Fox does not cover Trump; Newsmax does.”
Morris also blamed Fox News owner Rupert Murdoch’s bias against the former president for the lack of coverage he received. “He refuses to mention his name. You’ll hear the coverage, and there’s DeSantis, there’s Pence, there’s all the other people, but never Trump.”
“The only vehicle Trump has for getting his information out there to the American people — and talk about what he’ll do as president — is Newsmax,” he added.
The fact that Newsmax was cut from DirecTV for dubious reasons raises the issue of increased acceptance of political censorship by the public and private sectors.
DID YOU KNOW?: @NEWSMAX is the 4th highest-rated cable news channel in U.S., and the 16th highest-rated cable channel overall for daytime viewers.
— NEWSMAX (@NEWSMAX) February 27, 2023
As Kathleen J. Anderson pointed out in her piece on the matter for The Political Insider, this is a dangerous marriage:
After the removal of Newsmax, over 40 Republican lawmakers wrote a letter to DirecTV stating that in addition to the OAN removal, “taken together, these two actions lead us to believe that DirecTV…is actively working to limit conservative viewpoints on its system.” I generally roll my eyes at any strongly worded letter from a politician, let alone a group of them, so I remain pessimistic that anything with real teeth will come from that note.
However, perhaps the best description of what this move from DirecTV illustrates came from Republican Presidential candidate Vivek Ramaswamy, who has said “There’s this new hybrid of corporate power and state power that together is doing what neither one can do on it’s own.”
Ramaswamy explains, “This is the invisible fist of government, using companies like AT&T through the back door to get done what government could not get done through the front door under the Constitution – censor disfavored viewpoints.”
After DirecTV announced its decision to cut Newsmax, Morris said “The interesting thing is that censorship is no longer a government action; it’s a private action,” adding that “They don’t control the Supreme Court, they don’t control the House of Representatives” therefore leaving the left to use the corporate world to push their agenda.
Morris summarizes that “What they can do is use the power of the marketplace to stop us from projecting our message, and that’s what they’re trying to do by cutting off Newsmax from those outlets.”