On Friday night, popular YouTube podcaster Tim Pool took his “FedCast” podcast to the US Capitol to sit down with Representatives Matt Gaetz and Dan Bishop, both members of the Freedom Caucus, as well as Steven K. Bannon. Once the sound issues were resolved, listeners got an insider look into the recent debacles facing this Congress ranging from the banking crisis to the J6 discoveries and more.
During the podcast, it was disclosed that the J6 Sham Committee led by Rep. Bennie Thompson, who admittedly didn’t even view the J6 footage, was using subpoenas that were “coercive in nature”. They didn’t actually expect a response back from these companies, but rather it seems to be an attempt to make sure they’re being “good corporate citizens.”
“There is a value at times to a subpoena, even if you aren’t seeking information back as a result of that subpoena. An example is how they dealt with social media companies:
Imagine being a social media company and getting a subpoena and demands saying ‘show me everything you’re doing to get these extreme views off of your platform…show me everything you’re doing to stop the next insurrection…show me everything you’re doing to look at the profile of people who support building the wall, and election integrity, and the Second Amendment, and let us know that you’re actually being good corporate citizens.
You see that’s not a subpoena intended to actually get usable information back…it’s coercive in nature.”
1/ According to @mattgaetz on @Timcast , the J6 Cmte used subpoenas to gather irrelevant information from private contractors like “how many cupcakes were delivered” on Jan 5. But shockingly, they also used subpoenas that were “coercive in nature”: pic.twitter.com/wRRKhBhcJ5
— CannCon (@CannConActual) March 13, 2023
This is a tactic strikingly similar to one used by Representative Anna Eshoo and former Rep. Jerry McNerney in February of 2021. In a letter sent to the heads of AT&T, Verizon, Roku, Amazon, Apple, Comcast, Charter, Dish, Cox, Altice, Alphabet (Google), and Hulu, the Representatives asked:
1. What moral or ethical principles (including those related to journalistic integrity,
violence, medical information, and public health) do you apply in deciding which
channels to carry or when to take adverse actions against a channel?
2. Do you require, through contracts or otherwise, that the channels you carry abide by any
content guidelines? If so, please provide a copy of the guidelines.
3. How many of your subscribers tuned in to Fox News, Newsmax, and OANN on U-verse,
DirecTV, and AT&T TV for each of the four weeks preceding the November 3, 2020
elections and the January 6, 2021 attacks on the Capitol? Please specify the number of
subscribers that tuned in to each channel.
4. What steps did you take prior to, on, and following the November 3, 2020 elections and
the January 6, 2021 attacks to monitor, respond to, and reduce the spread of
disinformation, including encouragement or incitement of violence by channels your
company disseminates to millions of Americans? Please describe each step that you took
and when it was taken.
5. Have you taken any adverse actions against a channel, including Fox News, Newsmax,
and OANN, for using your platform to disseminate disinformation related directly or
indirectly to the November 3, 2020 elections, the January 6, 2021 Capitol insurrection, or
COVID-19 misinformation? If yes, please describe each action, when it was taken, and
the parties involved.
6. Have you ever taken any actions against a channel for using your platform to disseminate
any disinformation? If yes, please describe each action and when it was taken.
7. Are you planning to continue carrying Fox News, Newsmax, and OANN on U-verse,
DirecTV, and AT&T TV both now and beyond any contract renewal date? If so, why?
OANN was dropped by AT&T and DirectTV in January 2022 when their contract expired. Verizon followed suit in July of 2022, which was its largest remaining distributor after DirectTV cancelled OANN.
According to abc27, Verizon’s decision not to renew OANN was due to “economic considerations”:
“Our negotiation with OAN has been a typical, business as usual carriage negotiation like those that routinely happen between content distributors and content providers…
Our company has long advocated for providing customers with the ability to choose what content they want to watch, and our Fios TV platform offers a wide and diverse choice of programming options, including a la carte options, that strive to meet our millions of customers’ various content needs and preferences,” Verizon said.
In January 2023, 41 Republicans led by Rep. Wesley Hunt of Texas, sent a letter to AT&T and DirectTV regarding the censorship of OANN and NewsMax.
In the letter below, the Congressmen inquire with DirectTV as to why Vice Media, being 1 of 11 “liberal news and information channels…appears to receive higher fees than NEWSMAX is requesting despite having a fraction of the audience [of NEWSMAX].” It is also mentioned that one of Vice Media’s Board members also sits on the board for DirectTV.