Newsmax IDs Its List of America's 23 'Liberal News Networks' -- Topped by ABC, CBS, NBC, CNN ... and The Weather Channel?
As it rhetorically battles DirecTV in what has somehow become the Carriage War of the Century, Newsmax calls out the conservative bonafides of America's mainstream TV networks
Has Newsmax drifted so far right that even the most centrist channels look like they should be broadcast out of Berkley, Calif. with a hammer and sickle inserted into their logo?
As it has rhetorically sought to bring DirecTV to heel in a pay TV carriage war this week, primarily by harnessing the intense heat energy of identity politics, Newsmax noted in several press statements that its satellite TV nemesis unfairly pays program licensing fees for "22 liberal news channels."
We asked a Newsmax press rep just who those channels were. Boy, did he deliver ... he even gave us one extra.
Who's on the list? America's largest, most mainstream broadcast networks, each owned by publicly traded companies and mandated by the FCC to appeal to the broader consumer interest; CNN, a rival cable news channel currently in the midst of renewing its centrist vows under the whip of media entrepreneur John Malone; and The Weather Channel, now owned by Byron Allen, a fast-hustling media entrepreneur who's done some fundraising for Dem political candidates ... but come on, just how "liberal" can The Weather Channel really get?
Newsmax's 23 'Liberal News Networks'
5. CNN Headline News
9. Comedy Channel
13. Weather Channel
16. The Grio
17. Justice Central
18. CNN International
19. CNBC World
20. BBC World News
21. CNN en Espanol
Many of these channels, the rep told us, have been identified by third party surveys as "leaning" left.
Our view: There's a big difference between a 24-hour "news" channel focused on red-meat conservatism and a Big Four broadcast network, perceived to lean slightly leftward in big, broad Morning Consult surveys.
Our further point: If you're Newsmax, and your perspective is that DirecTV co-owner AT&T -- the Dallas-based telecom that was not that long ago a major supporter of former president Donald Trump's corporate tax cut -- is so left of center that it's intentionally trying to "silence conservative voices," well, maybe you've drifted pretty far to the right ... so far, that America's most mainstream broadcast outlets now look like Che Guevara to you.
Or maybe you're just pretending to think this because you want to find a way to force DirecTV to pay you carriage fees.
Not true, counterclaimed Newsmax. After all, the rep told us, Newsmax hasn't bashed the idea of Americans immunizing themselves against a deadly virus! The channel hasn't been among the detractors of the Biden Administration's decision to support Ukraine in its life-or-death defense against a brutal invasion by a dangerous Russian dictator. It even allowed the First Lady of the United States to appear on its channel.
What a centrist!
For its part, Next TV has heard this, er, wrap before. A year ago, after founder Chris Ruddy shoveled it to us for about 40 minutes on the phone, we committed a total of around 16 hours of elliptical workout/TV watching time to Newsmax ... and segments that might as well have been titled, "Bad Things About Joe Biden." That'll get the ol' heart rate up to 130!
In our opinion, which on frequent occasion gets humbled by Ms. Next TV, this channel is very far to the right of the American political spectrum. That's just our truth.
"That's subjective," the rep told us.
NEXT TV NEWSLETTER
The smarter way to stay on top of the streaming and OTT industry. Sign up below.
Daniel Frankel is the managing editor of Next TV, an internet publishing vertical focused on the business of video streaming. A Los Angeles-based writer and editor who has covered the media and technology industries for more than two decades, Daniel has worked on staff for publications including E! Online, Electronic Media, Mediaweek, Variety, paidContent and GigaOm. You can start living a healthier life with greater wealth and prosperity by following Daniel on Twitter today!