Top Jewish leaders representing millions of American Jews urge AT&T to ‘reconsider’ decision to remove Newsmax

Nearly two dozen key Jewish community leaders across the United States, representing millions of American Jews, have called on global telecommunications giant AT&T to “reconsider” its recent action to pull Newsmax from its network schedule, citing “fair coverage “Conservative News Channel Issues and Israel,” warning of the risk of losing “significant support from the Jewish community” as a result.

In a letter addressed to AT&T and its video programming platform DirecTV, as well as private equity firm TPG Capital, which owns a significant part of DirecTV and serves as its operating manager, 23 senior Jewish leaders expressed “serious concern” over the recent cancellation of Newsmax by AT&T. .

The letter represents Jewish leaders across the political spectrum. Mailed this week to AT&T CEO John Stankey, AT&T Chairman William Kennard, DirecTV CEO William Morrow, and TPG CEO Jon Winkelried, questions and challenges the recent removal of the Newsmax channel from DirecTV, specifically asking executives about any return plans. the network to your systems.

“We, the undersigned leaders of the Jewish community in the United States, write to you to express our serious concern about your decision to remove Newsmax from DirecTV systems,” the letter begins.

Noting their role as community leaders who “represent millions of American Jews,” the letter noted Newsmax’s role as “a crucial way for us to reach out to our fellow Americans to share our perspectives on anti-Semitism, anti-Zionism, the State of Israel and other matters important to our community.”

He goes on to lament that “it has been difficult to find fair coverage of issues of concern, including coverage of the State of Israel, in the mainstream media”, while accusing many in the media of having “turned a blind eye to the sharp and dangerous rise in anti-Semitism”. In america.”

In contrast, the letter states, Newsmax “has been an invaluable voice” as several Jewish figures who “are not found on other networks” are frequently invited.

“We found that Newsmax provided fair coverage of Jewish and Israeli issues – and served as an important platform for us to speak out against the dangerous rise of anti-Semitism,” it continues.

The letter concludes by asking the telecom company to “reconsider” its decision to remove Newsmax.

“We believe that AT&T benefits from keeping Newsmax on the air (and) by removing this channel, their companies will lose significant support from the Jewish community,” he says.

The letter’s signatories include key members of the Jewish community, some who have spent decades in public policy, including:

  • Arthur Schneier, Senior Rabbi of the Park East Synagogue
  • Malcolm Hoenlein, Executive Vice President, Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations
  • Alan Dershowitz, Professor Emeritus of Law at Harvard University
  • Abraham Foxman, former head of the Anti-Defamation League (ADL)
  • Joe Lieberman, Former US Senator from Connecticut
  • Norm Coleman, former United States Senator from Minnesota
  • David Friedman, former US Ambassador to Israel
  • Matt Brooks of the Republican Jewish Coalition
  • Mort Klein, President of the Zionist Organization of America (ZOA)

Last month, DirecTV suspended service to Newsmax, cutting the conservative cable channel out of millions of American homes.

According to AT&T, the decision was made for “cost-cutting” reasons, despite paying large sums in cable licensing fees to leftist channels with lower ratings.

Newsmax CEO Christopher Ruddy described the move as a “blatant act of political discrimination and censorship”.

Cable TV fees are necessary for news and other channels to exist and grow.

Newsmax’s withdrawal of 13 million homes was felt by many American Jews who turn to the conservative cable news network for news coverage.

Community leader Bryan Leib, who serves as a spokesman for the letter’s signatories, expressed his “deep” disappointment that “the fourth highest-rated cable news network in the country and a staunch ally of Israel, covering the issues that concern Jewish Americans, has been removed by AT&T.”

“Considering the rise of anti-Semitism and anti-Zionism in the US, we believe that Newsmax is needed now more than ever,” he added. “We believe that now is the time for AT&T to reverse this decision and get Newsmax back on the air.”

Last week, Republican senators and members of Congress he picked up the platform for the task, sending a Letter to the CEOs of DirectTV and its controlling shareholders, AT&T and TPG, demanding more information about their decision to blacklist Newsmax.

Former President Donald Trump, who launched his third presidential campaign in Mar-a-Lago last year, pointed to DirecTV’s decision as another reason for Republicans to retake the White House in 2024.

“This is just one of the many reasons we must WIN 2024,” he wrote in a post on Truth Social.

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, the 2024 presidential candidate, also criticized DirecTV’s decision.

“The reality is they have so much other content that is taken very lightly and yet they keep it up and it looks like it’s One America News and Newsmax that are being targeted so I think it deserves investigation,” he said.

Follow Joshua Klein on Twitter @JoshuaKlein.

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