As Republicans gear up for hearings in Congress to investigate how Democrats colluded with AT&T to censor One America News Network (OAN) from DirecTV, attention may also fall on private equity fund TPG Capital, which owns a significant portion of DirecTV and has demonstrated left-wing bias in the past.

AT&T owns 70 percent of DirecTV, which makes the telecom giant’s claims that DirecTV is “independent” unpersuasive. Nonetheless, AT&T did sell a major stake representing 30 percent 0f the company to the private equity firm TPG in 2021. AT&T also appointed TPG the operational manager of DirecTV.

DirecTV Reportedly Refused to Air Advertising for ‘Rigged’ Documentary: ‘Woke Political Censorship,’ Says Citizens United (iStock / Getty Images Plus)

With AT&T’s consent, TPG has significant influence over DirecTV including appointing two of its partners, David Trujillo and John Flynn, to the Satellite TV company’s board.

TPG epitomizes woke capital, with a website boasting about how “Promoting diversity, equity and inclusion is a core value at TPG” and a “longstanding commitment to fostering strong ESG performance.”  TPG’s management team has given 90 percent of its political donations to Democrats.

Trujillo, for example, is a major donor to Hillary Clinton, Chuck Schumer, and Xavier Becerra among other establishment Democrat politicians. In addition to his personal political donations, TPG subsidized the far-left news network Vice Media, investing $450 million into the leftist media company.

As Breitbart News reported, DirecTV censored OAN after Democratic Reps Anna Eshoo and Jerry McNerney wrote letters in 2021 to numerous Cable and Satellite distributors demanding they answer for why they allow OAN, Newsmax, and Fox. The Democrats wanted these networks censored because they supposedly “radicalized individuals to commit seditious acts” and carried “encouragement or incitement of violence” – though there was never any evidence the networks encouraged such acts.

But TPG and DirecTV have no problem with Vice encouraging and excusing left-wing political violence. Vice aired a glowing interview with an Antifa fugitive who allegedly murdered a Trump supporter. Vice explicitly defends Antifa violence:

For antifa, the use of physical violence is always what we might call “counter-violence”: They understand that there is an inherent violence to the ideology of white supremacy, and they are willing to counter it with physical force: like punching a neo-Nazi!

Just like AT&T’s investment in CNN, TPG’s investment in Vice has been a total failure. It purchased its stake in Vice at a $6 billion valuation, which has since sunk to $3 billion.

Despite its failing ratings, Vice still profits from DirecTV. According to leading market analyst Kagan, DirecTV spends tens of millions of subscribers paying $0.09 a month for Vice – resulting in tens of millions of dollars annually – despite having virtually no viewership.

Adam Candeub, a telecom law professor at Michigan State who served as head of the National Telecommunications and Information Agency (NTIA) and previously worked as a media attorney with the FCC noted this could potentially create legal problems for TPG and DirecTV.

According to Candeub, “if the FCC attributed ownership of Vice and DirecTV, then the carriage regulations would not allow it to discriminate in favor of affiliated news networks (in this case, Vice Media) against similarly situated networks such as OANN.”

DirecTV’s discrimination against conservatives in favor of the many leftwing news channels its carries, including Vice Media, has not helped its bottom line. Last week, it announced massive layoffs due to dwindling subscriber numbers. Despite its floundering financials, DirecTV won’t eliminate many leftist channels it carries with low or no ratings. Eliminating Vice, for example, would save DirecTV approximately $18 million a year.

While many have implied that the Republican House would give political support to DirecTV merging with Dish Network, its satellite TV competitor, DirecTV’s blatant deplatforming of OAN may create friction for such an outcome.

Prof. Candeub also notes that if that were to happen, then the FCC could scrutinize the censorship. “The FCC must consider viewpoint diversity as part of the public interest review of Cable and Satellite MPVD mergers. DirecTV’s ideologically based deplatforming of conservative stations is a pretty clear case of reducing the diversity of news sources.”

A senior FCC official agreed. While he emphasized that he was not speaking on DirecTV or any specific company, he told Breitbart News: “as a general matter, the FCC must consider public interest considerations in mergers, which by statute includes ensuring that cable and satellite distributors ‘provide the widest possible diversity of information sources and services to the public.’”

Allum Bokhari is the senior technology correspondent at Breitbart News. He is the author of #DELETED: Big Tech’s Battle to Erase the Trump Movement and Steal The Election.