January 25, 2023 - 11:49 am
Many right-wing media consumers got a surprise Wednesday morning when they turned on their televisions to find Newsmax was no longer on the air.
The far-right-leaning cable station was cut from DirecTV’s lineup at midnight (9 p.m. PST) after negotiations between the satellite service and the media outlet fell apart.
“On multiple occasions, we made it clear to Newsmax that we wanted to continue to offer the network, but ultimately Newsmax’s demands for rate increases would have led to significantly higher costs that we would have to pass on to our broad customer base,” a DirecTV representative told the Daily News in a statement. “We continually evaluate the most relevant programming to provide our customers and expect to fill this available channel with new content.”
DirectTV noted anyone still wishing to watch Newsmax has other options including YouTube and Amazon Fire TV.
Consistent with its messaging, Newsmax claimed to be a victim of censorship Wednesday.
“This is a blatant act of political discrimination and censorship against Newsmax,” said the network’s CEO Christopher Ruddy.
More than 40 Republican lawmakers sent a letter to AT&T, which owns DirecTV, warning the provider could face hearings over its unwillingness to work out a deal with Newsmax. DirecTV announced in January 2022 it would cut ties with the similarly sensational right-wing One America News Network, which went off the air in April.
Both outlets enjoyed a strong run during the Trump administration by showing dogged allegiance to the former president. Their coverage of false presidential election fraud allegations got both outlets sued by Dominion Voting Systems and the Smartmatic elections technology company. Those cases are ongoing.
Newsmax and OAN have also employed some of the same staffers, including former White House correspondent Emerald Robinson, whose contract with the former was not renewed in 2022 after she claimed COVID-19 vaccines contained a glow-in-the-dark agent and helped Satan track the vaccinated.
Newsmax cut ties with frequent guest Lara Logan in October when the conspiracy-pushing pundit, who also appears on OAN, spoke of a supposed global cabal of elitists that wants to see people “eating insects, cockroaches, and that, while they dine on the blood of children.”
DirecTV is believed to reach more than 13 million businesses and households.