By David McQuade
Have you noticed of late that the "tip of the progressive sword," CNN, has become even more unhinged, more ideologically driven, more doggedly anti-Trump and his voters, more intolerant of conservative ideals, more committed to late-term abortion on demand, more sympathetic to "democratic socialism" and fewer borders and far more committed to the get-Trump "impeachment" narrative?
There's a good reason they feel so emboldened, even after the temporary ratings boost of the Russia hoax blew up in their faces:
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Since AT&T's acquisition of Time Warner exactly one year ago, the once-withering "news network" has again found confidence and a solid financial footing, thanks to your generosity via AT&T Mobile and DirecTV subscriptions, AT&T's bread-and-butter business.
CNN owes each of us who engage with any kind of AT&T services a huge debt of gratitude. But if you're conservative, don't expect a thank-you note any time soon. What you can expect from CNN parent AT&T is higher rates as reported by the L.A. Times after the merger. Promising "lower prices" to the Department of Justice and consumers alike before the merger, snickers the Times, "Now AT&T has a message for everyone who believed the pitch: Suckers!"
Ironically, it's conservative "suckers" that are responsible for at least half of AT&T's financial underpinnings of CNN. As a result of conservatives' blind loyalty to the once-monopolistic "phone company," CNN/Warner Media "News Chairman" Jeff Zucker takes your money for granted and doesn't even try to appease your half of the country any longer – the half he and his new bosses appear to loath with a vengeance.
To elitist, hyper-partisan Zucker and his hand-in-glove ideologues at AT&T and CNN, you and your fly-over-state family are intolerable racists and bigots, inferior human beings. You're homophobic and Islamophobic. If you prefer law and order – or a southern border – you are xenophobic immigrant-haters who enjoy caging children of color and separating them from their parents. Regardless of your skin color, you must at least be a white supremacist. Worse, you're probably a "Nazi'' in goosestep with the president you voted for.
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So naturally, given your deplorable track record as a human being, your rights and even votes should be marginalized and minimized. And just to be sure someone right of center never gets elected president again, the Electoral College should be abolished once and for all so that California and New York can forever dominate our national elections.
To CNN, if you are a law-abiding gun owner or, God forbid, a member of the NRA, you're a domestic terrorist or member of "a cult of death" who should rush to relinquish your Second Amendment rights to the likes of Reps Maxine Waters or Eric Swalwell before they have to confiscate them for your own good.
Under AT&T's liberal ownership, CNN anchors are again financially stable and thus emboldened to say such things out loud and repeatedly, or at least have guests and whole-cloth "experts" say them ad nauseum.
With your money to the rescue, Don Lemon and his reported $1.25 million annual salary can rest easy, despite his show's well-deserved ratings decline, before beginning his nightly Trump-bashing. Similarly, the disproportionately high salaries of Chris Cuomo, Jim Acosta, Ana Navarro and all the other conservative-bashers at the partisan "news network" are now equally secure, regardless of ratings.
Your ongoing partnership with AT&T will ensure that anti-Trump and anti-conservative CNN personalities continue to be generously compensated as they fan the flames of civil unrest and gin up a dangerous level of division – a level of division about to boil over into a dangerous nightmare we'll wish we could awaken from.
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… That is unless conservatives wake up first, take personal responsibility and begin to behave like the massive, market-altering bloc we are.
Since the folks at CNN can no longer mask their animosity for your half of the country, it's only fair to point out that their progressive savior, AT&T, is skating on very thin ice as we speak. Here's why:
After a lone judge defeated the U.S. antitrust action intended to block the AT&T/Time Warner merger, the Department of Justice justifiably arguing that one of the largest distributors of content would suddenly become one of the largest providers of content and thereby disadvantage the consumer, AT&T rushed to close the deal within days.
"Take that, Trump DOJ!" But be careful what you wish for boys, because you just may get it ...
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As a result of the mega-merger, AT&T is reportedly attempting to shoulder the most onerous and obscene debt load of any non-financial services company in American history, taking on an unprecedented $60 billion to complete their heady $85.4 billion acquisition. Added to AT&T's existing debt for distribution acquisitions like DirecTV, the uber-progressive communications giant is over its skis an unprecedented $180 billion – and they want you to pay for their hubris with "increased fees" across the board.
"Take that, sucker AT&T, DirecTV and U-verse subscriber!"
Further, an article in the Wall Street Journal around the time of the merger pointed out that because of cord-cutting, wholly owned DirecTV has become a $49 billion albatross around the neck of the communications giant. AT&T's U-verse finds itself in the same quicksand.
In short, AT&T has become a bloated mastodon struggling in a tarpit of its own making. Frankly speaking, it could not happen to more deserving guys.
Under AT&T's four year-long stewardship of DirecTV, it remains one of the nation's largest purveyors of "near hardcore porn" as they like to call it, destroying families for fun and profit, proudly using colorful show descriptors on the guide like "Filthy Young Deviants." Yet, despite their willingness to pander to the lowest common denominator while denying positive alternative networks distribution (like an up-and-running Christian worldview alternative to MTV), they still manage to hemorrhage subscribers. The Wall Street Journal pointed out that they lost 1.4 million subscribers over the last 24 months – 650,000 in just the last quarter.
Although they've demonstrated loathing for you and your kind regularly, they desperately need your subscription dollars now more than ever before to underpin not lavish lifestyles, but their progressive worldview as reflected by their wholly owned "news channel" over the past 12 months.
But it's precisely because of this massive debt that they've inadvertently served up to you – on a silver platter – both the fulcrum and the lever for sweeping media change in America.
All you need do now is gently "pull" the lever they've inexplicably placed in your hands and immediately switch mobile and television providers to one of many other great choices available today, some with far better rates as I recently discovered.
In so doing, you will help forever change the media landscape and again be treated like you're half the country – because you are half the country.
Oh, and when conservatives stop "taking one for the progressive team" and disconnect from AT&T in meaningful numbers, we will send seismic shockwaves through Madison Avenue and the entire media industry, thus demanding the respect we've been denied for far too long.
When the giant sleeping baby (conservatives as a whole) awakens, pulls its thumb out of its mouth and begins to act like a responsible adult again, media executives from New York and L.A. will shake in their Prada boots for fear of paying a similar price.
When the neck that turns the head of media, AT&T, agrees to play fair with conservatives again – and they most certainly will out of self-preservation – other notedly progressive corporations like Amazon, Netflix, Disney, Google and Facebook will quickly sit up, take notice, and reconsider their role in life as heavy-handed, partisan liberal proxies. (Are you listening, Disney? You entertain our children for crying out loud. Stop advocating for late-term abortion.)
Anyone want to be next?
Who knows – Fox News may finally get its fair share of Fortune 100 advertisers and not resort to running annoying direct response ads to survive, despite massive ratings. This while AT&T's pet news network, with a third of the ratings or less, enjoys advertising from just about every major brand. Apparently, American corporations you do business with revere the progressive left far more than they do you and your family.
But with your help that's about to change.
AT&T executives may be committed social activists, but they are not idiots. They understand better than anyone that the stars have to align perfectly for them at this extraordinarily vulnerable moment lest their newly acquired assets like Time Warner/CNN end up at fire sale. But it shouldn't fall to us to solve a financial crisis for the overtly progressive communications company – one that has proven stubbornly antithetical to everything you hold dear.
For this reason and in good conscience, I will no longer pay homage to AT&T, DirecTV, or any other communications service the company proffers. So, until they demonstrate a true change of heart, I'm out. And this after decades of calling AT&T my mobile provider and many years of subscribing to DirecTV.
AT&T is not too big to fail; remember once-dominant Texaco or Pacific Gas and Electric. "The bigger they are …"
When they fail it's doubtful that there will be a private equity bailout for such a massive debt load and suddenly fewer subscribers like you and me to help shoulder it. And since AT&T's CNN has only become exponentially more divisive, more anti-Trump and more anti-conservative over the past year, rest assured that there will be no Obama-like "too-big-to-fail" government bailout for AT&T under the administration they go out of their way to poke in the eye every day.
That's why we must act now.
In addition to dropping them as a provider of services, a conservative stock sell-off is in order as well. Ethical investing is a responsibility we should start to take much more seriously.
We witnessed in horror CNN's giddy coverage of the Gestapo-like takedown of 66-year-old Roger Stone in his shorts at 6 a.m. when they "just happened" to be in the right place at the right time. But know beyond doubt that CNN would just as gleefully cover a similar takedown of every single conservative in America, including you, if it were possible to do so.
That most certainly includes the president you voted for, who is doing his level best to keep our nation under God from going over the increasingly godless, progressive-socialist cliff, while attempting to preserve your religious freedoms and make America great again for the sake of your kids and grandkids. I'm sure he would appreciate a supportive hand about now.
Speaking of our kids and grandkids, we owe them better. For their sakes we must use this opportunity to send a clear message to progressive media giants who are willing to walk all over our children and use them as pawns in their increasingly macabre and nihilistic game of big business. I care more about my grandchildren then I do their balance sheets.
And for heaven's sake, conservatives have to stop the copout that "we don't do boycotts," as though we're somehow above that despite the enormous power we gift to soulless corporations. Corporations have clearly proven their willingness to boycott your values without a millisecond's hesitation – and they do so with your money.
Our families have become little more than piñatas stuffed with disposable income to media companies like AT&T; they keep whacking at us while the "candy" continues tumbling out for them. But that's our bad, not theirs.
Think of disconnecting from AT&T services not as a "boycott," but a "buy-cott," at least until they stop whacking us and decide they'd rather be in business than be social activists.
"It's a new day and there's a new sheriff in town." Us.
I think we all know deep down that this is a raging battle-royal for the heart, soul, and future of our once Nation Under God. As Christians or conservatives in an unquestionably market-driven culture, we have every right to redirect our vast purchasing power into companies that don't use our own money to bludgeon us. #iDisconnect from AT&T.
David McQuade founded cable channel Z Music Television, "The Positive Alternative" to MTV, and has worked extensively in the television and film industry for over three decades as an executive and media strategist.