Ted Cruz And Mike Lee Know What Is Future Of Journalism And It Is These Clowns At OAN

Republican Senators Ted Cruz and Mike Lee are a couple of the red blooded-est American capitalists you can ever meet. Except when they're not.

They're very clear that the Constitution guarantees insurance companies the right to terminate your policy and deny you coverage for pre-existing conditions, because the free market knows best. Except when it doesn't.

They know that the government should get out of the way of American businesses and quit picking winners and losers. Also that businesses have the constitutional right to turn away customers because they disagree with their "lifestyle" choices. Except ... LOL.

These free speech warriors took a few moments out of their busy schedule distorting the eminent record of the first Black, female Supreme Court nominee to demand an explanation from AT&T for the decision by its subsidiary DirecTV not to renew its contract with One America News Network (OAN). Because they are serious politicians doing serious business!

In October, Reuters revealed AT&T's role in birthing the rightwing propaganda network that did so much to flog lies about a stolen election, after which the telecom giant faced a wave of bad publicity and calls for a boycott. So it wasn't exactly shocking in January when DirecTV said it wasn't going to renew the affiliation agreement with OAN when it expires in January. Nevertheless, OAN's owners sued DirecTV last week to block what will likely amount to a death blow, since OAN relies on DirecTV for a reported 90 percent of its revenue.

Not to put too fine a point on it, but the lawsuit is batshit. William Kennard, the chairman of AT&T's board, also sits on the board of Staple Street Capital, a private equity firm that owns a stake in Dominion Voting Systems. Dominion Voting Systems has sued OAN for defaming it by airing eleventy million hours of programming accusing the company of rigging the election for President Biden. OAN's theory is that Kennard used his position to pressure DirecTV to drop OAN so as to deprive the network of funds to pay its lawyers to fend off Dominion.

It makes total sense, if you think about it. But first you have to eat a bucket of paint chips and huff a gallon of glue.

And yet, Cruz and Lee's screeching telegram is clearly based on that idiotic lawsuit — although they managed to consistently misspell DirecTV, probably because they were overwhelmed with "grave concern for the future of journalism and political discourse in America."

After explicitly referring to Kennard, Staple Street, and Dominion's suit against OAN, they allege "serious questions about the role of political influence in DirectTV programming decisions, as well as whether AT&T’s Chairman has allowed personal financial considerations to influence his oversight of a company in which AT&T holds a majority share — possibly in conflict with his fiduciary obligations to AT&T shareholders."

Hey remember that funny time when Ted Cruz tried to lead a boycott of Nike because it didn't do a Betsy Ross flag shoe or something? Anyway, companies responding to political influence is bad now.

It should be pointed out that Cruz and Lee aren't even the first ones to try this shit with AT&T. Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton is leading a consortium of America's dumbest AGs — lookin' at you, Mississippi, Montana, Missouri, South Carolina, and Louisiana! — demanding that DirecTV reverse its "unwise business decision" to cut ties with OAN. And of course Trump himself engaged in a fit of public onanism over AT&T's decision to "eliminate OAN, a very important voice."

But while Trump just screamed incoherently and the Paxton crew tut-tutted over the suppression of "different perspective from the legacy media’s liberal orthodoxies," Cruz and Lee are the first ones to explicitly adopt OAN's cockamamie theory about Kennard masterminding a plot to kneecap the network so it can't pay its lawyers. And they're demanding that AT&T tell them in writing within 10 days "Did any employee or agent of AT&T at any time convey or suggest to any employee or agent of DirectTV an instruction or request not to renew OANN?"

Because how will Americans process current events if they're deprived of the opportunity to hear Dan Ball launder Kremlin propaganda and complain about Rep. Ocasio-Cortez's white boyfriend?

Look for this shit to start getting major play as soon as Judge Brown Jackson is confirmed. Third verse, same as the first.

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Liz Dye

Liz Dye lives in Baltimore with her wonderful husband and a houseful of teenagers. When she isn't being mad about a thing on the internet, she's hiding in plain sight in the carpool line. She's the one wearing yoga pants glaring at her phone.


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