The latest pseudo-scandal to upset the fragile feelings of the conservative mediasphere is the report that DirecTV and Newsmax have failed to reach an agreement on renewing the Trump-fluffing network’s contract. As a result, DirecTV has pulled Newsmax from their service pending a resolution.
Predictably overreacting to this news, Republicans in congress, and the ultra-rightist press that props them up, are howling about perceived, albeit imaginary, liberal bias, and are threatening to hold hearings (oh no, not that) to get to the bottom of this atrocity. They did the same thing when DirecTV dropped One America News Network (OAN) last year because nobody was watching it.
CBS News reports that “DirecTV said it ‘made it clear’ to Newsmax that it wants to continue airing the network,” but that its “demands for rate increases would have led to significantly higher costs” for DirecTV’s customers. This development naturally provoked Donald Trump, America’s “most fabulous whiner” (in his own words), to lash out at DirecTV and its corporate parent, AT&T, saying that…
“WOW. AT&T DIRECTV REMOVES NEWSMAX FROM ITS CHANNEL LINEUP. This disgusting move comes after ‘deplatforming’ OAN last year. The Radical Left seems to have taken over the mind and soul of AT&T. This is a big blow to the Republican Party, and to America itself. For DIRECTV to drop very popular NEWSMAX, without explanation, will not be accepted. I, for one, will be dropping all association with AT&T and DIRECTV, and I have plenty. This is just one of many reasons why we must WIN IN 2024!!!”
What Trump is describing as a “disgusting move” is actually the exercise of a private business’s rights in free market capitalism. Republicans used to be in favor that. Now they are openly hostile to both free markets and the free press. They seem to prefer allowing government to force program providers to carry networks that they don’t want. And Trump’s kneejerk assertion that “the mind and soul” of AT&T, a major financial backer of conservative Republicans, has been taken over by the “Radical Left,” is patently absurd.
What’s more, Trump’s complaint that Newsmax was dropped “without explanation” is a flagrant lie. The negotiations between DirecTV and Newsmax broke down due to Newsmax’s insistence on being paid carriage fees for the first time. DirecTV is understandably reluctant to do so because Newsmax is available on other platforms (Roku, Amazon Fire, etc.) for free. It would make no sense for DirecTV to make their customers pay more for a service that, contrary to Trump’s claim, is not particularly popular, and is available elsewhere for nothing.
Unsurprisingly, Trump doesn’t understand that. And he couldn’t care less about whether this is “a big blow to the Republican Party, and to America itself.” He is wholly focused on his own selfish interests because Newsmax is a network that is unflinchingly worshipful of Trump and is home to many of his media mouthpieces.
Therefore, DirecTV’s decision to drop Newsmax “will not be accepted” by Trump. As if that has any meaning. He claims to have “plenty” of associations with DirecTV and AT&T, but the truth is that Trump is an impotent loser who can’t even influence the behavior of his most devoted and glassy-eyed fans. He has called for a boycott of AT&T in the past, without any discernible impact.
In fact, Trump has called for boycotts of numerous companies that failed to be sufficiently adoring of him. They include Fox News, Harley-Davidson, CNN, Apple, Macy’s, Univision, Mexico, HBO, Rolling Stone, Major League Baseball, Coca-Cola, Delta Airlines, JPMorgan Chase, ViacomCBS, Citigroup, Cisco, UPS, and Merck, to name few. Advocating boycotts of so many American companies, and the Americans who work for them, is a bad look for someone who is seeking the presidency again.
Finally, the charge that DirecTV is caving in to liberals was quickly disproven. The day after the decision to drop Newsmax. DirecTV announced that they were adding “The First,” another right-wing network with low viewership, to its roster. The First features disgraced former Fox News host Bill O’Reilly, and is run by Christopher Balfe, the former CEO of Glenn Beck’s Mercury Radio Arts. That’s not exactly capitulating to the radical left, is it? And besides that, Newsmax has other things to worry about…
UPDATE: Trump extended on his rant about DirecTV in a subsequent post saying that it “should CANCEL CNN & MSDNC,” because “their Ratings are so pathetically bad.” And he insists that Newsmax and OAN (whose ratings are a fraction of CNN and MSNBC’s) should be put back on because “THE REPUBLICAN PARTY DEMANDS IT!!!” Really? So the media should be forced to do whatever wannabe dictator Trump and the totalitarian Republican demand? Yep, that’s what he believes.
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