Florida’s Rep. Matt Gaetz Accuses AT&T of “Blatant Censorship” After It Stops Broadcasting Newsmax on DirecTV Service

Toby Hazlewood

Gaetz calls for DOJ investigation into AT&T

Matt GaetzPhoto byShutterstock

On January 31, Florida man and Republican Congressman Matt Gaetz appeared on the conservative news outlet - Newsmax - to express his anger that the network had been removed from the DirecTV service operated by the AT&T corporation.

In the opinion of the outspoken Gaetz, the decision by AT&T amounts to 'blatant, content-based censorship" that denies Americans who subscribe to the service, access to diverse viewpoints. Gaetz called for the matter to be investigated by the Department of Justice, citing his concerns and reservations as justification for the move.

Gaetz is rarely one to keep his opinions to himself, and has often shared where he thinks the Department of Justice should, and shouldn't focus their attentions. In November of 2022 he called for the DOJ's investigation into Donald Trump to be dropped with immediate effect. His request appears to have gone ignored so far.

Wider outrage amongst the GOP

There has been widespread anger from many at the core of the GOP in response to the news of Newsmax being dropped by AT&T.

The one-term former president Donald Trump was keen to share his outrage, describing the decision as:

"​​a big blow to the Republican Party, and to America itself."

He continued, stating that:

"(the) Radical Left seems to have taken over the mind and soul of AT&T."

Matt Gaetz' fellow Republican - Lauren Boebert of Colorado - went further with her comments.

Speaking in the House of Representatives, she called for the House Oversight Committee to investigate AT&T for the move and suggested that she would make it personal, promising that she would make it her personal priority to "strip (AT&T) of the ridiculous, wasteful subsidies" it receives.

Whether Gaetz and Boebert will follow-through on their threats towards AT&T remains to be seen.

Gaetz looking for publicity?

As is usually the case when it comes to his public statements, Matt Gaetz seems intent on taking up causes that will guarantee him the most media coverage. At the start of this year, he introduced a bill that proposed to keep C-SPAN television cameras in Congress so that Americans can watch the proceedings live at all times.

It was the presence of these cameras that captured the tortuous process of voting that eventually saw Republican Kevin McCarthy installed as Speaker of the House.

It was those same cameras that also captured the moments that Gaetz appeared to be threatened by other House Republicans in the moments before the vote that eventually appointed McCarthy. Up until then, Gaetz had been voting against the California Republican but whatever was said, appeared to change his mind.

Attention seeking?

Besides taking every available opportunity to appear on TV, Gaetz has also ensured he remains in the public eye by frequently taking contrarian and controversial stances when it comes to voting.

In July of 2022 he was one of 20 house Republicans who voted against the Frederick Douglass Trafficking Victims Prevention & Protection Reauthorization Act of 2022. The bill sought to prevent human trafficking and to help those who have been victims of the horrendous crime, and passed by 401 votes to 20.

It would seem then, that whether it's taking up the cause of conservative news organizations, or voting on legislation with his own interests at heart, Matt Gaetz is happy to do whatever will get him the most publicity above all else!

Do you think that corporations like AT&T should be obliged to carry Newsmax and other conservative news media organizations' output? Is this really a matter of censorship? Let me know your thoughts in the comments section below.

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