Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis on Tuesday called on Congress to investigate Big Tech’s de-platforming of conservative news networks.
DeSantis was in Sarasota to discuss a new higher education proposal that, among other things, would substitute “indoctrination” in leftist wokeism with teaching classical principles of Western civilization.
But the Republican governor also noted that congressional Republicans should probe the pro-woke political “litmus test” being applied to the conservative news media.
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During a press conference, DeSantis was asked about DirecTV de-platforming Newsmax, the conservative network based in Florida.
He said telecom companies should be held accountable if they practice “intellectual discrimination.”
“There should be no ideological litmus test when you have these big companies that have the decision to make or break a news network or any type of network,” said DeSantis.
Newsmax was the second conservative outlet dropped by DirecTV.
As The Free Press recently reported, the broadcaster had previously banned One America News Network at the demand of liberals. The same far-left forces have also advocated the dropping of Fox News.
In response, 42 Republican lawmakers, including Rep. Matt Gaetz, pushed DirecTV to answer for its decision. In a recent letter to the CEOs of DirecTV and its parent company, AT&T, the GOP lawmakers complained about this “assault on free speech,” and promised “extensive oversight” of how Democrats colluded with major telecom and media companies “to limit, restrict, and circumvent First Amendment rights.”
DeSantis said that was appropriate, given DirecTV’s recent actions.
Companies like DirecTV will “ give different rationales for why they don’t want to do it,” he said. “But the reality is they have so much other content that is very lightly viewed, and yet they keep that on.”
That referred to a point raised by the House Republicans.
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In their letter, the lawmakers DirecTV carries 11 liberal outlets, including a particular one run by a member of DirecTV’s board. That channel, Vice News, receives more money from DirecTV than Newsmax, even though its viewership is likely lower.
The lawmakers asked DirecTV for rating and payment data for all those 11 outlets compared to Newsmax.
Continuing, DeSantis said, “It seems the One America News and Newsmax are the ones being targeted. So I think it does warrant an investigation.”
“I think this is something the Congress really needs to look at. And I think that they need to ensure that there’s not intellectual discrimination going on when it comes to what people are able to view.”
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