DirecTV, the cable provider, has dropped — for now, at least — Newsmax, which is among the more prominent right-wing news outlets where those at the helm have closely tied themselves to Trump.
Accordingly, Newsmax is also among the interests on the Right that have faced scrutiny over their involvement in promoting lies about the 2020 presidential race. Dominion Voting Systems, an election technology firm that for some reason became the subject of numerous conspiracy theories about that election, sued Newsmax — among other targets, including Fox — for defamation. As for the DirecTV situation, the dispute was — contrary to insinuations from the over three dozen House Republicans who recently signed a letter to the TV provider — not about politics. According to DirecTV’s description of negotiations, Newsmax wanted to be paid licensing fees by DirecTV for carrying its content, although DirecTV challenged both the impacts on cost from paying those fees and how any American can access content from Newsmax for free online.
The provider suggested the higher costs could result in increased expenses for consumers. The availability elsewhere of Newsmax’s content undercuts the business appeal of potential arrangements for licensing that would result in the channel receiving the contested fees. Newsmax CEO Christopher Ruddy directly contested the idea that the channel sought “carriage fees,” as the payments are known. “That is simply false. DirecTV knows that no operator pays a fee while Newsmax streams free,” Ruddy claimed. And yet, The Daily Beast reported that — per the revelations of a source — the channel was preparing to comply with DirecTV’s terms and end the free availability of its streamed video content, although time would tell if that change in operations happened. Newsmax was officially removed from the DirecTV line-up as Wednesday began on the East Coast.
“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 Newsmax spokesperson told the Beast. That spokesperson also spoke of replacing the channel with new content, so it’s not clear it’s a given that negotiations will even continue.
DirecTV has also dropped One America News, another far-right outlet that’s provided an even more glaring distribution center for conspiracy theories, and the House Republicans who got in touch with the provider complained about that development too — really undercutting the idea the GOP is somehow the party of individual and corporate freedom. Dominion also sued One America News, whose coverage about the 2020 presidential race and the imaginary fraud he claimed took place during that contest Trump has personally cited.
Elsewhere in the House, it looks like Republicans will be continuing their shoddy investigative efforts these two years, including on a subcommittee of the House Judiciary panel under development that is meant to focus on the so-called weaponization of the federal government. That area of interest seems set to include punitive and retaliatory examinations of federal probes. Rep. Harriet Hageman (R-Wyo.), who replaced now former Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.), is joining that panel, which feels like a personal slight against Cheney considering her time leading the House committee that investigated the Capitol riot.