Newsmax has hired Squire Patton Boggs to push the line that DirecTV’s decision to drop the network from its line-up represents “conservative censorship.”
DirecTV, which is majority owned by ATT, pulled the plug on Newsmax on Jan. 24 refusing a carriage fee, reportedly to be worth tens of millions of dollars.
The satellite broadcaster didn’t want to pass the additional cost to subscribers for a network watched by a small portion of its customers.
SPB has former Georgia Republican Congressman Jack Kingston and Thomas Andrews, an aide to House Speakers John Boehner and Paul Ryan, repping Newsmax.
The battle has become a cause célèbre for Republican politicos.
Senators Tom Cotton (AR), Ted Cruz (TX) Lindsay Graham (SC) and Mike Lee (UT) penned a letter to DirecTV CEO William Morrow and ATT chief John Stankey on Feb. 1, voicing their “deep concerns” about the cancellation of Newsmax.
They said the decision appears to be the “latest example of Big Business suppressing politically disfavored speech at the behest of liberal Democrats.”
The politicos are using Newsmax as a platform to bash DirecTV.
Cruz appeared on “National Report” on Feb. 28 and promised to keep pressing DirecTV until it changes its mind. “It's wrong, and it's denying Americans of the ability to choose where you get your news and where you get your information,” he said.
Ohio’s JD Vance told “Spicer & Co.” on March 1:
“You cannot have a major American communications company deplatforming such an important voice for conservatives."
DirecTV maintains its differences with Newsmax are economic, not political or ideological.
It remains interested in bringing Newsmax back under the right financial terms.