Trump rages against ‘Radical Left’ AT&T over ‘disgraceful’ move to drop Newsmax

The ex-president froths as right-wing channel removed from DirecTV service

Joe Sommerlad
Friday 27 January 2023 08:17 GMT
Donald Trump allowed back on Instagram and Facebook, Meta announces

Donald Trump is famously addicted to television, obsessing over ratings throughout his presidency and even preferring to watch the Capitol riot play out live across the rolling news channels on 6 January 2021 rather than intervene as members of his inner circle begged him to do.

While the Republican was once dependent on Fox News for favourable coverage, he has more recently experienced a more fractious relationship with the conservative broadcaster and preferred its upstart right-wing rivals like Newsmax and One America News (OAN).

But, on Wednesday, US streaming service DirecTV – formally part of AT&T but now an independent entity – announced that it would be dropping Newsmax from its lineup, just as it had previously ditched OAN. The move provoked a furious reaction from the ex-Apprentice host.

“WOW. AT&T DIRECTV REMOVES NEWSMAX FROM ITS CHANNEL LINEUP,” Mr Trump complained on his Truth Social platform. “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.

He continued: “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!!!”

DirecTV has actually offered an explanation for its decision, according to The Daily Beast, making it clear that the call was made because Newsmax had begun to demand higher rates for showing its content while making its programmes available for free elsewhere.

Christopher Ruddy, Newsmax’s CEO, has denied that claim and insisted instead that his organisation has fallen victim to a “blatant act of political discrimination and censorship”.

Mr Trump and his supporters may want to claim this is “deplatforming” but the news is happening to arrive on the very same day that the former president was himself “replatformed” by Silicon Valley giant Meta.

The company moved to restore his Facebook and Instagram accounts after a two-year suspension over his role in instigating the attempted insurrection at the Capitol, making a nonsense of the conservative movement’s claims that its pundits are regularly “silenced” by left-leaning tech firms.

How effective any Trump-led boycott might be is also doubtful, given that disappointed Newsmax viewers can still find its content available for free via its website, on YouTube and on other streaming services including Amazon Fire TV and Roku.

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