DirecTV recently advised that it was dropping One America News Network from its lineup due to apparent “business needs,” according to a report in NPR. In response to this announcement, former President Donald Trump issued a statement where he stated:
“If AT&T/DirecTV cancels OAN, I hope that everyone will boycott and cancel DirecTV. It is a very popular channel, far more popular than most would understand, and they are being treated horribly by the Radical Left lunatics running the networks. Instead of being allowed to grow, their voice is being shuttered. Don’t let it happen, cancel DirecTV. If you feel infringed by what this Communist movement is doing, cancel DirecTV!”
Trump makes an important point. Conservative voices are under assault, as is the notion of American patriotism. But Americans can’t have their cake and eat it, too. They must take a stand against such conduct. If they don’t, they are simply enabling such conduct and allowing it to continue.
One unfortunate example involved the National Football League. In 2020, Roger Goodell, the Commissioner of the National Football League, encouraged players to peacefully protest racial inequality and other injustices. As a result, players chose to either kneel on the field or remain in the locker room during the national anthem. At the time, many Americans were appalled at such unpatriotic and disrespectful conduct, which continues to date (although to a lesser extent). Despite this, many continue to watch NFL programming, attend NFL games, and buy league merchandise.
The NFL is only one of many examples. For example, various social media companies have been accused of suppressing conservative speech by virtue of adding “disclaimers” to various posts, blocking posts relating to certain topics, and blocking certain people from using their platforms altogether. Sadly, at the present time, some, or all, of these social media companies enjoy broad legal protection when it comes to such conduct. Still, Americans continue to support these companies by using their services despite the apparent censorship many experience every day.
On one hand, DirectTV has every right to determine its programming. Clearly, if “business needs” drove the decision to drop the network, there would be very little cause for debate. However, as reported by NPR, “AT&T, a majority owner of DirecTV, has faced calls to drop OAN for its support of conservative conspiracy theories-such as the falsehood pushed by Trump and many Republicans that the 2020 presidential election was stolen.”
Given such reporting, and due to apparent universal efforts by the Democrats and their various mouthpieces and proxies to suppress conservative speech, the decision to drop a conservative network is a bit suspicious and should concern all Americans. After all, this is not, for example, a network’s decision to drop a television series with poor ratings from the air, which happens regularly. Rather, it is a decision to completely drop from the air a network that has a certain political bias.
The question, of course, is what Americans can do about these various “decisions.” Like the companies that choose to allow certain forms of protest, prohibit certain types of speech, or decide not to carry certain types of programing, Americans also have choices. Nobody forces them to buy certain types of merchandise, watch various sporting events, use certain social media platforms, or utilize specific cable providers. Rather, they make such choices on their own.
In doing so, Americans are sending an inconsistent message. By giving them their business, Americans are enabling these companies to engage in the very type of conduct they oppose. If they really want to make a difference, they must take a stand.
While difficult and inconvenient at times, there are pro-freedom alternatives.
Mr. Hakim is an attorney and columnist. His articles have been published in The Washington Examiner, The Daily Caller, The Federalist, American Thinker, and other online publications. He is also a regular guest on OANN’s Tipping Point.