One America News Network
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“”The Herrings run OAN on this McDonald's business model where you keep the customer happy and the business runs itself. If the customers happen to be crazy conspiracy consumers, then that’s what they’re selling. They are grifters in the outrage culture.
|—Martin Golingan, former OANN producer|
|— Kyle Kulinski|
One America News Network, also abbreviated as OANN or OAN News, is a far-right, pro-Trump, ultraconservative propaganda media outlet founded by Robert Herring Sr., the founder and owner of American Wealth Entertainment.
The idea behind OANN came directly from AT&T executives who wanted a second right-wing network to compete with Fox News. Ninety percent of OANN's revenue stream comes from AT&T-owned television platforms, especially DirecTV. OANN's lawyer, Patrick Nellies, stated in court, "If Herring Networks, for instance, was to lose or not be renewed on DirecTV, the company would go out of business tomorrow."
OANN is like Fox News but more unhinged: Alex Jones and QAnon stuff is given as much credence as more mainstream news. It has literal Kremlin operatives as on-air talking heads. They proudly proclaim that they know the difference between an apple and a banana.
OANN was launched on July 4, 2013 and "provides an independent source of credible national and international news around the clock." They are a redundantly self-proclaimed "dependable and reliable source of credible news reporting." OANN says that it delivers "just the facts, empowering you to form your own beliefs" and has been praised for their reporting on current events. However, they fail with political news, promoting extreme conservative causes and engaging in constant liberal and left-wing smearing and bashing to draw a more far-right conservative audience.
In a severe blow to the network that will test whether they can survive without AT&T, on January 14 2022, DirecTV announced that they would not be renewing their contract with OANN, which was due to expire in early April. Naturally, OANN anchors responded to this news in their typical conspiratorial, unhinged style, framing the decision as "an extension of a purported communist plot to steal the 2020 presidential election" and begging viewers to find compromising "dirt" on AT&T board chairman William Kennard (including a racist plea asking viewers to find evidence that Kennard, who is Black, said "racial slurs against white people").
In July 2022, media giant Verizon announced that it was dropping OANN from its cable television lineup, reducing the network's reach to a tiny presence and calling in doubt its long term viability. The dramatic loss of 20 million cable subscribers came at a time when the network is facing ongoing litigation over charges that they spread fake news about the 2020 United States presidential election.
Misinformation and propaganda
“”This completes the merger between Russian state-sponsored propaganda and American conservative media.
|—Clint Watts, research fellow, Foreign Policy Research Institute|
Over time, One America News Network has become overtly supportive of Russia's global agenda. Kristian Brunovich Rouz, a Russian national and employee of the Russian government owned Sputnik News propaganda network, is an on-air reporter for One America News Network. His reports include fabricated smear jobs on Hillary Clinton and George Soros, and they occasionally sneak in Kremlin propaganda. None of Rouz's news segments include the disclosure that he works for Russia’s state-owned media.
On July 5, 2017, The Washington Post, citing more than a dozen current and former OANN staff members, reported that Herring "directed his channel to push Trump's candidacy, scuttle stories about police shootings, encourage anti-abortion stories, minimize coverage of Russian aggression, and steer away from the new president's troubles". In addition, Herring banned stories using polls that didn't show Trump in the lead during his presidential campaign.
“”We started out with the premise of news straight down the middle. But the bias does reveal itself in the story selection. The owner really felt this was what was needed. He saw the popularity of Trump before almost anybody, and Trump became our bread and butter.
One anchorman told The Post that if they were liberal, they would still be hired, but you had to report conservative stories.
Lies about U.K Crime later spread by Trump
In the morning of October 20, 2017, A segment on OANN had a chyron reading, "Report: U.K. Crime Rises 13% Annually Amid Spread Of Radical Islamic Terror." A few minutes later, this falsity was repeated by Donald Trump in a tweet saying,
“”Just out report: "United Kingdom crime rises 13% annually amid spread of Radical Islamic terror." Not good, we must keep America safe!
This tweet caused outrage with British officials.
Media Matters for America traced Trump's tweet to OANN's early morning segment and Snopes debunked Trump's and OANN's claim. They noted that "The number of arrests relating to 'international terrorism' and the number of terror-related homicides and attempted murder offenses increased in the year ending June 2017; crime as a whole increased by 13 percent." They also noted that these statistics came from the UK's Office of National Statistics' June 2017 Crime Survey of England and Wales, not the UK in general. In addition, the Office of National Statistics included statistics on offenses recorded in a 12-month period and said, "The 13% increase in police recorded crime from the previous year reflects a range of factors including continuing improvements to crime recording and genuine increases in some crime categories, especially in those that are well-recorded."
Smearing Roy Moore's opponents
During the 2017 Alabama Senate race, OANN wanted Roy Moore to win desperately. That includes pushing conspiracy theories against his opponents. On November 10, The Gateway Pundit started to spread rumors that The Washington Post offered $1000 to a woman so she could lie about being sexually abused by Moore. Their reference was from a Twitter account named @umpire43 and his supposed real name, Doug Lewis, who they say is a Navy veteran who served for the Secret Service. OANN was one of the many that fell for The Gateway Pundit's bait. It turned out that "Doug Lewis" was a real military veteran named Jason D. Jones that died in 2007 and that the person running @umpire43 was a fraudulent account that was deleted on November 13. Afterwards, The Gateway Pundit's article carried a disclaimer saying, "UPDATE: We have not been able to confirm these allegations by Doug Lewis."
Despite this, OANN's attempts to normalize Moore and attack his opponent weren't over. On November 27, 2017, OANN used an article from Breitbart to smear against a victim of Moore for her "violent past". The next day, after playing a commercial praising Moore and calling his sexual allegations false and "a scheme by liberal elites and the Republican establishment", OANN host of The Daily Ledger, Graham Ledger called Moore's political opponent, Doug Jones, a "real fascist left radical" and "on a constitutional level" cannot be elected.
On election night, OANN didn't let facts get in the way of its coverage. In a Dewey Defeats Truman moment, they announced that Moore won the election "by a large margin" and posted an article on its web site saying the same thing, despite the fact that Moore lost.
Syria chemical attack
False Bible ban in California
April 19, Liz Wheeler interviewed California State Assembly member, Travis Allen, to talk about California's Assembly Bill 2943. Wheeler and Allen said that the bill's intent was to ban the sale of Bibles.
WHEELER: This is essentially criminalizing religious beliefs. And I don’t mean to speak in hyperbole here, but if this bill were to pass, would this prohibit the sale of the Bible, that teaches these things about sexual morality?
ALLEN: Well, literally, according to how this law is written, yes, it would. This is, you know, PC culture, politically correct culture, gone horribly awry. This is really directly hitting at our First Amendment rights as American citizens. Now the Democrat legislators in this building, right behind me, the California state legislature, they want to tell you how to think, what sort of books that you can read, write and purchase.
However, what Wheeler and Allen said during that segment about California's A.B 2943 was greatly misrepresented. The bill was proposed to enhance prohibition of Sexual orientation change efforts (SOCE) in California. The bill does not mention anything about the Bible. The thing that got the religious right angry was that the bill would apply to services whose purpose was to encourage SOCE to LGBT people. Many thought that this included Bibles. An attorney and policy advisor from Sacramento told Snopes that the bill would prohibit conversion therapy "as a commercial service in exchange for monetary compensation" and "It does not apply to the sale of books or any other kind of goods, and it does not prevent anyone from speaking or writing on the subject of conversion therapy in any forum."
Endorsing South African 'white genocide' conspiracy
Supporting Giuliani's Ukraine conspiracy theories
In December 2019, OANN devoted three hours to Donald Trump's prime ratfucker Rudy Giuliani, so he could advertise various conspiracy theories related to Joe Biden and Ukraine. The network faced widespread condemnation for this stunt by completely integrating Giuliani's bullshit into their own reporting work.
Buffalo police shoving incident conspiracy theories
In early June 2020, OANN's reporting on the Buffalo police shoving incident included the conspiracy theory that the protester who was pushed to the ground in this incident (75 year old Martin Gugino) was actually involved in an antifa plot.
OAN's chief White House correspondent in 2020, Chanel Rion, pushed the conspiracy theory on the network that COVID-19 was created in a North Carolina laboratory. To support this opinion (which completely contradicts the expert opinion), she cited "Greg Rubini", a QAnon supporting Twitter account who claims to have sources inside the US government up in high places, and tweeted a long thread alleging that COVID-19 was a "GENETICALLY ENGINEERED" "DEEP STATE plot to destroy the Trump economy", and that "Fauci (NIH) funded the production of the Corona Virus at the North Carolina BSL-3 lab". (Buzzfeed News later discovered that "Greg Rubini" was a 61-year old sound engineer named Gregorio Palusa, who lived not in the United States, but in Trieste, Italy.)
Media Matters' Matthew Gertz tweeted on May 9, 2020 that OANN ran a segment stating that there was "'mounting evidence of a globalist conspiracy' by the Clintons, Soros, Gates, Fauci, & Chinese gov't to use coronavirus 'to establish sweeping population control' by backing remdesvir over hydroxychlorquine". According to Gertz, OANN also cited the widely debunked YouTube bullshit documentary Plandemic in the process.
2020 United States election conspiracies
After Joe Biden won the 2020 presidential election over Donald Trump, OANN sought to pickup disaffected conservative viewers, who were upset that outlets such as Fox News actually reported Biden as the winner, and were not repeating the baseless lies and misinformation Trump was pushing on his Twitter feed (suggesting that, reality notwithstanding, Trump had actually won.) As a result, OANN began repeating many of these bullshit conspiracy theories being pushed by Trump and his online fans. Among them was a conspiracy theory (most notably promoted by Louie Gohmert) that the "real" results of the election were routed to a server in Frankfurt, Germany. US Army forces supposedly raided the software company where the server was, and the results stored on the server supposedly showed that Trump won in a landslide (bizarrely winning even California, a state no Republican presidential candidate has won since 1992, and with a bigger margin than Indiana, a state that has not voted for a Democratic presidential candidate since 2008, and before that, 1964). (All of these events only took place in the imagination of certain over-fanatical Trump supporters.) OANN also reported another claim (made without any evidence) that voting machines made by Dominion "deleted" votes (but only votes for Trump in states Trump lost, of course).[note 1]
On 5 February 2021, OANN ran a "documentary" called Absolute Proof, produced by cushion manufacturer and election conspiracy theorist Mike Lindell. Under the threat of lawsuits by the companies slandered by their earlier "reporting," they ran an incredible disclaimer prior to the airing of Lindell's three hour screed. OANN appeared to have run the Lindell pseudo-documentary as a paid advertisement, but it seems unlikely that this will save the network from being sued by Dominion Voting Systems and Smartmatic.
OANN correspondent Christina Bobb is not only reporting on the controversial Maricopa County, Arizona recount of the 2020 election results, but she is helping to pay for it, a clear violation of journalism ethics.
In a news segment that excited the most bloodthirsty within the QAnon crowd (and led others to comment on the fascist undertone of the network), OANN's Pearson Sharp aired a segment where he called for execution for "traitors who meddled with our sacred democratic process and tried to steal power by taking away the voices of the American people". (Of course, he was referring to fanciful "radical Democrats" that supposedly tampered the vote so that Joe Biden could win the 2020 election, instead of the actual pro-Trump insurrectionists who tried to meddle with the democratic process on January 6 2021.)
From August 24 to August 28, 2015, Sarah Palin, former governor of Alaska and vice presidential candidate, was a guest host for On Point at OANN. That week, she interviewed Donald Trump, Ted Cruz and
Cubic Zirconium and Polyester Diamond & Silk (Lynnette Hardaway and Rochelle Richardson). Palin, with Breitbart's Kevin Scholla, reacted to ESPN after they suspended Curt Schilling from commenting duties after posting a picture of Hitler and two lines saying, "It's said that only 5-10% of Muslims are extremists. In 1940, only 7% of Germans were Nazis. How'd that go?". Of course, with Scholla being a person from Breitbart and Palin being herself, instead of going with the more rational and far more reasonable answer of avoiding controversy, they decided to go with the bizarre claim that ESPN is "pushing a far-left liberal agenda" and "swallowing ISIS propaganda". Robert Herring's son, Chris Herring praised Palin's segments for that week and OANN would love to have Palin back as a guest host.
- Reportedly OANN's source of misinformation for the "deleted votes" was a thread on the website thedonald.win, a Reddit-like social media site that became the refuge for users of /r/The_Donald after Reddit quarantined, then booted this subreddit off of their network for multiple incidents of bad behavior.
- The tech entrepreneur who founded Trump’s go-to TV news network by John Shiffman (Oct. 7, 2021, 11 a.m. GMT) Reuters.
- How AT&T helped build far-right One America News by John Shiffman (Oct. 6, 2021, 11 a.m. GMT) Reuters.
- OAN - This is an apple. YouTube, 27 October 2017.
- "DirecTV to sever ties with OAN and drop the right-wing conspiracy channel later this year" by Oliver Darcy and Brian Stelter, CNN Business, 2022 January 14
- "OAN panics as DirecTV drops network, asks viewers to find “dirt” on AT&T chairman" by Jon Brodkin, Ars Technica, 2022 January 20
- Jeremy W. Peters and Benjamin Mullin, OAN, a Dependable Trump Promoter, Faces a ‘Death Blow’. Archived from The New York Times, 26 July 2022.
- Justin Baragona, MAGA Cable Channel OAN Could Become Impossible to Find on TV. Vanity Fair, 21 July 2022.
- Kevin Poulsen, Trump’s New Favorite Channel Employs Kremlin-Paid Journalist. The Daily Beast, 22 July 2019.
- An inside look at One America News, the insurgent TV network taking 'pro-Trump' to new heights by Marc Fisher (July 5, 2017) The Washington Post.
- Rachel Leah, Watch a pro-Trump network call the Alabama election for Moore, "by a large margin". Salon, 17 December 2017.
- This California State Assembly bill would BAN the Bible! on YouTube.
- Michael Calderone, ‘Stunning piece of propaganda’: Journalists blast One America News series. Politico, 19 December 2019.
Mark Lukasiewicz, dean of the Lawrence Herbert School of Communication at Hofstra University, said “the advocate is in the driver’s seat” in the OAN series, with Giuliani bringing forth documents on screen and helping conduct interviews. “The role typically played by an investigative journalist is played by Rudy Giuliani,” he said.
- Sean Collins, Giuliani returns from Ukraine with new, very questionable “evidence” that the Bidens committed “multiple crimes” vox.com, 16 December 2019.
- "The frequent overlap between Trump’s conspiracy theories and Russian propaganda" by Aaron Blake, Washington Post, 2020 June 9
- "Meet the Propagandists and Conspiracy Theorists Behind the One America News Network" by Ali Breland, Mother Jones, 2020 June 9
- "Pro-Trump OAN pushes wild conspiracy theory that novel coronavirus was created in a North Carolina lab" by John Whitehouse, Media Matters, 2020 March 18
- "A Popular QAnon Twitter Account That Claims To Have Explosive DC Dirt Is Really Just A Random Italian Guy" by Craig Silverman and Alberto Nardelli, Buzzfeed News, 2020 June 4
- "YIKES! OAN ran a segment last night on "mounting evidence of a globalist conspiracy" by the Clintons, Soros, Gates, Fauci, & Chinese gov't to use coronavirus "to establish sweeping population control" by backing remdesvir over hydroxychlorquine. It cites Plandemic's Mikovits!", @MattGertz, Twitter, 2020 May 9, archived on 2020 Dec 8
- "YouTube temporarily suspends, demonetizes OANN" by Ashley Gold, Axios, 2020 November 24
- U.S Govt Research Finds African Countries Using Ivermectin Have Much Lower Rates Of COVID Mortality, OANN 15 September 2021
- China Virus ‘Breakthrough’ Cases Surge Globally As Concerns Mount Over Ineffective Vaccines, OANN 12 August 2021
- "Fact check: Map showing Trump landslide based on false report of seized election servers in Germany" by Camille Caldera, USA Today, 2020 November 18
- "Fact check: Story of Army raid to seize election servers in Germany is false" by Camille Caldera, USA Today, 2020 November 17
- Claim: "Dominion Voting Systems “deleted 2.7 million Trump votes nationwide.”", by Daniel Funke and Samantha Putterman, Politifact / The Poynter Institute, 2020 November 12
- "Far-right finds new online home in TheDonald.win" by Siddharth Venkataramakrishnan, Financial Times, 2020 August 10
- "OAN to air three-hour movie from MyPillow CEO" by Cameron Jenkins, Hill, 2021 February 5
- Matthew Gertz, OAN is airing MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell's documentary about how the election was stolen for twelve consecutive hours today. Here's the disclaimer at the top indicating that it is paid programming, "opinion only," and OAN doesn't endorse statements re: Dominion/Smartmatic. Archived from the original on Twitter, 5 February 2021.
- David Corn, Dominion Voting Lawyer Suggests OAN May Be Next for a Mega-Lawsuit (And the MyPillow Guy, too.) Mother Jones, 5 February 2021.
- One America News is the face of the Arizona election audit. Its reporter is also helping pay for it. by Paul Farhi & Elahe Izadi (June 18, 2021 at 8:00 a.m. PDT) The Washington Post.
- "OAN host suggests mass "execution" of those who oppose Trump's voter fraud claims" by Zachary Petrizzo, Salon, 2021 June 24
- "Dominion sues Newsmax, One America over U.S. election fraud claims" by Jan Wolfe and Tom Hals, Reuters, 2021 August 10
- 'On Point' with Gov. Sarah Palin & Donald Trump. One America News Network on YouTube, 28 August 2015.
- 'On Point' with Gov. Sarah Palin & Sen. Ted Cruz. One America News Network on YouTube, 28 August 2015.
- Diamond and Silk Broke About a Million Laws Thursday in Congress, and They Might Need a Lawyer by Jason Johnson (4/27/18 7:00pm) The Root.
- On Point With Sarah Palin, The Stump For Trump Sisters, 8/25/15. One America News Network on YouTube, 11 May 2016.
- Jon Greenberg, Schilling throws wild pitch with Nazi stat. Politifact, 28 Aug 2015.
Schilling tweeted that in 1940 only 7 percent of Germans were Nazis. That figure is too low. It might be close for the more limited fraction of Nazi supporters who formally joined the party, but it ignores the Nazis’ electoral domination in 1932 and the popularity that came after the first military victories in 1939. The vote results and the assessment of the experts we reached point to a much larger figure in the range of 35 percent. That’s five times larger than the figure in the tweet.
- On Point With Sarah Palin, ESPN's Leftist Agenda, 8/28/15. One America News Network on YouTube, 28 August 2015.
- Brian Stetler, Sarah Palin was 'tremendous' as host on Fox News challenger, boss says. CNN Business, 31 August 2015.