One America News Network

One America News Network (OANN), alternately referred to as One America News (OAN), is a news channel launched on 4 July, 2013 owned by Herring Networks, Inc. which is considered right-wing[1][2] to radical right wing.[3][4][5][6][7][8][9] The Guardian newspaper describes OAN as "more right wing than Fox [News]"[4] Vanity Fair and The Independent in London have claimed the channel promotes falsehoods and conspiracy theories.[10][11] The network is headquartered in San Diego, California, and operates a news bureau in Washington, D.C.[12] and New York City.

One America News Network
LaunchedJuly 4, 2013 (2013-07-04)
Owned byHerring Networks
Picture format1080i HDTV
(downconverted to letterboxed 480i for the SDTV feed)
SloganYour nation, your news
CountryUnited States
LanguageEnglish
Broadcast areaUnited States
HeadquartersSan Diego, California
Sister channel(s)AWE
Websitewww.oann.com
Availability
Satellite
DirecTVChannel 347
Cable
Verizon FiOSChannel 116 (SD)
Channel 616 (HD)
IPTV
CenturyLink PrismChannel 208 (SD)
Channel 1208 (HD)
AT&T U-verseChannel 208 (SD)
Channel 1208 (HD)
DirecTV NowIPTV

Claiming to target a conservative and right-of-center audience,[13][14] OAN offers national and international news programming throughout the day. Its prime time political talk shows illustrate a conservative perspective.[15][10][16] The channel regularly features pro-Donald Trump stories.[15][17]

History

Formation

OAN was announced on 14 March, 2013 by Herring Networks, Inc., a family-owned national video programming company, which also owns sister channel AWE (formerly WealthTV; the initialism being an acronym for "A Wealth of Entertainment"). The OAN channel originally debuted in partnership with The Washington Times.[12] On television, the network predominantly uses the acronym "OAN", whereas on Twitter it is more frequently known as "OANN". The network's web URL domain is at "OANN.com" but the site banner reads "OAN"[18].

The channel initially launched with the stated intention to target a conservative-leaning audience. OAN President Charles Herring told the Conservative Political Action Conference "Fox News has done a great job serving the center-right and independent audiences... But those who consider themselves liberal have a half-dozen or more choices on TV each day..."[19] Herring also emphasized the network's separation of news from opinion content. Straight news would be reported throughout the day, with limited opinion and commentary on evening talk shows including The Daily Ledger, hosted by Graham Ledger and The Tipping Point, hosted by Liz Wheeler.

Promotions for the channel touted the network's lack of commentary and focus on straight news reporting.[20] The channel was launched on 4 July, 2013.

In July 2014, OAN relocated its news and production studios out of The Washington Times building to a new location at 101 Constitution Avenue NW, near the United States Capitol. This marked the end of OAN's relationship with The Washington Times, which had provided news and analysis[21].

As of June 2019, One America News Network claimed it had reached 35 million homes[4]. Its website lists availability via DirecTV, Verizon Fios, AT&T U-verse, Prism TV, and other distributors.[22]

In June 2019, OANN had approximately 150 staff.[4]

Programming

In August 2014, OAN launched the show On Point with Tomi Lahren. Many clips from the program went viral, and by 2015, Lahren had gained widespread attention for her commentaries. On August 19, 2015, Lahren aired her final show at OAN.[23][24] On the week of August 24, former Republican vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin guest hosted a program on the network.[25][26]

Content

OANN is known for its pro-Trump content, promotion of conspiracy theories and criticisms of the mainstream media.[4]

Pro-Trump content

OANN is pro-Trump.[15][27][28][29][4] Robert Herring, Sr., founder and CEO of the network, has ordered producers to promote pro-Trump stories, anti-Clinton stories, and anti-abortion stories, and to minimize stories about Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election.[15] According former and current employees at the channel as well as internal e-mails, the executives of the channel have "directed his channel to push Trump’s candidacy, scuttle stories about police shootings, encourage antiabortion stories, minimize coverage of Russian aggression, and steer away from the new president’s troubles."[15]

During the 2016 presidential campaign, the channel ran a special titled "Betrayal at Benghazi: The Cost of Hillary Clinton’s Dereliction and Greed."[15] Herring, the owner of the channel, sent his producers a report falsely claiming that Hillary Clinton had a brain tumor, and asked them to check up on it.[15] He also shared a report with producers claiming that Planned Parenthood had promoted abortion, and ordered them to minimize coverage of Pope Francis's US visit due to the Pope's calls for action on global warming (see Laudato si').[15] Herring also repeatedly ordered his producers not to cover stories pertaining to Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election.[15]

In October 2017, the channel claimed without evidence that a "report" had been published which showed "U.K. Crime Rises 13% Annually Amid Spread of Radical Islamic Terror".[30] President Trump later repeated this falsehood, suggesting that he learned of it from OAN.[31][32]

In June 2017, OAN was granted a permanent seat in the White House's James Brady briefing room.[33] The network's Chief White House Correspondent, Trey Yingst, was one of the top five most called-upon reporters covering the Trump Administration.[34] OAN has been repeatedly called on by President Trump during Presidential press conferences, including in February 2017 when Yingst asked the President about his campaign's contacts with the Russian government.[35] Also in February 2017, One America News was invited to a network lunch with President Trump.[36] In August 2017, President Trump praised OAN, saying "It's a great network." In response, OAN CEO Robert Herring stated OAN considers itself a tough but fair presence in the White House press corps.[37]

OAN supported the Trump administration's revoking of CNN reporter Jim Acosta's press credentials. Most major media outlets, including the conservative Fox News, opposed this decision. In a statement, OAN CEO Robert Herring attacked Fox News, saying he "can't believe Fox is on the other side."[38][39][40]

OANN broadcasts every Trump speech uninterrupted.[4]

Murder of Seth Rich conspiracy theories

OANN promoted conspiracy theories about the murder of Seth Rich.[10]

Roy Moore sexual misconduct report controversy

After The Washington Post reported allegations against Alabama Senate candidate Roy Moore that he had molested or made inappropriate sexual contact with a number of women under the age of 18 (including a 14-year old), OAN "became a source of both positive coverage and stories that could cast doubt on his accusers."[41] In November 2017, One America News aired a segment citing a false rumor by an anonymous Twitter account that The Washington Post had offered $1,000 to Roy Moore's accusers.[42][43][44] One America News described the tweet as a "report" and described the tweeter as a "former Secret Service agent and Navy veteran".[42][43] The Twitter source had a history of tweeting falsehoods and conspiracy theories; the Twitter account had also made repeated and inconsistent lies about its identity, including appropriating the identity of a Navy serviceman who died in 2007.[43] After it was revealed that the story was a hoax, OAN did not retract its report.[42]

During his Senate campaign, Roy Moore cited OAN when he defended himself against the accusations.[45] Moore cited a OAN story that alleged his "Accusers Have Ties to Drug Dealers & Washington Post".[45][46][47]

During the night of the Alabama Senate election, OANN announced Moore had swept the election "by a large margin" when, in actuality, Moore had lost the race.[48] In its announcement, the network cited "unofficial polling", and the news anchor extended the OAN CEO Robert Herring's congratulations to Moore on having run a "fine campaign."[48] OAN's website also published an erroneous article claiming Moore had won "despite attacks from Democrats about unverified allegations."[48] During election night, OAN also reported "a number of people have been caught trying to sneak into voting booths and vote illegally"; however, Alabama Secretary of State's office said it had no credible reports of voter fraud.[49]

Conspiracy theory about David Hogg

In February 2018, one of the hosts on OAN tweeted a conspiracy theory that a 17-year old survivor in the Stoneman Douglas High School shooting, David Hogg, had been coached to speak against Trump by, and was "running cover" for, his retired FBI agent father.[50][51] Donald Trump Jr. "liked" the OAN host's tweet.[51] The younger Hogg responded, describing the conspiracy theory to Buzzfeed News as "immature, rude, and inhuman".[52]

Syria chemical attack

In April 2018, while on an al-Assad regime-led tour of the area of the Douma chemical attack, an OAN correspondent claimed there was no evidence that a chemical attack had occurred.[53] The correspondent said, "Not one of the people that I spoke to in that neighborhood said that they had seen anything or heard anything about a chemical attack on that day" and that residents "loved Bashar al-Assad."[53]

In May 2019, OANN published a report claiming the "terrorist-linked" White Helmets had admitted to staging fake chemical weapons attacks, which were intended to put blame on the Assad regime.[28] The Daily Beast characterized this story as a "smear" that could be traced directly as Russian disinformation.[28]

Hiring of Jack Posobiec

In 2018, OANN hired far-right conspiracy theorist Jack Posobiec as a political correspondent.[54][55][56][57] Posobiec was a prominent proponent of the Pizzagate conspiracy theory and Murder of Seth Rich conspiracy theories.[4][29]

False story about Bible ban

In April 2018, OANN ran a segment falsely claiming that a California bill would ban the sale of Bibles.[58] Within 24 hours, the OANN video was viewed 2.4 million times on Facebook.[58] Snopes determined that this claim was a misrepresentation, noting the bill actually targeted gay conversion therapy.[58]

Unsubstantiated claims about Ammar Campa-Najjar

During the mid-term campaign for the US 2018 election, OANN ran a segment claiming that Democratic congressional candidate Ammar Campa-Najjar's "father praised the deaths of the Israelis, saying they deserved to die." The Washington Post fact-checker noted that there is no attribution to this statement in the OANN segment. An OANN commentator also claimed that groups connected to the Muslim Brotherhood donated to Campa-Najjar's campaign and that the FEC website showed this. The Washington Post fact-checker said it "couldn’t find evidence of this after searching Campa-Najjar’s filings with the Federal Election Commission." Nevertheless, the OANN segment was used in attack ads by Campa-Najjar's Republican opponent Duncan Hunter to support the false suggestion that Campa-Najjar was tied to terrorism .[59]

Interview subject with a fake name

In July 2019, the network interviewed a pro-Trump activist about allegations of anti-conservative bias on Reddit. OANN identified the man as Dennis F. Charles and said he was a "a conservative social media analyst."[29] However, that was not his name and OANN did not disclose that he was using a pseudonym.[29]

Russia probe

OANN is known for downplaying threats posed to the United States by Russia. According to a former OANN producer, on his first day at OANN he was told, "Yeah, we like Russia here."[4][6] One of OANN's reporters, Kristian Brunovich Rouz, simultaneously works for the Russian propaganda outlet Sputnik; when Rouz runs segments on OANN that relate to Russia, OANN does not disclose that he also works for Russian state-owned media.[17]

Fabricated story about Hillary Clinton funding Antifa

OANN ran a wholly-fabricated story alleging that Hillary Clinton's political action committee secretly gave $800,000 to Antifa.[17]

George Soros smears

OANN has run stories falsely claiming that George Soros, a Jewish-Hungarian philanthropist, collaborated with the Nazis when he was a 14-year old.[17] The network has also accused Soros of funding migrant caravans to the United States.[17]

Reception

In March 2015, USC media professor Marty Kaplan praised the network for its focus on what he viewed as impartial news reporting, writing in The Huffington Post that, "Ten minutes of OAN tells me eight stories; 10 minutes of Fox or MSNBC tells me one story, to make me mad" while noting that its opinion segments were "as delusional and incendiary as anything on conservative talk radio or Fox."[60] Don Kaplan of the New York Daily News echoed similar sentiments, writing in December 2016 that, "it's by far one of the most fair news outlets around, serving up a daily diet of ad-free, non-ideological, nonstop news—without smirking, snarky anchors or much fanfare" while stating that its opinion segments "skew hard to the right."[61] The Washington Post's Marc Fisher considers the network "a reliably sympathetic voice of the [Trump] administration’s goals and actions".[62]

Media Matters for America criticized One America News Network host Liz Wheeler for advancing conspiracy theories relating to the Planned Parenthood 2015 undercover videos controversy and other abortion topics and tying tangentially related news stories to the "so-called liberal hypocrisy on abortion."[63]

Controversy

On 10 September, 2019, the One America News Network filed suit in federal court in San Diego, California against MSNBC host Rachel Maddow for $10 million after Maddow described the network as "paid Russian propaganda" on her program on July 22. Maddow had referenced a Daily Beast story identifying an OAN employee as also working for Sputnik News, which is owned by the Russian government-owned news agency Rossiya Segodnya. Sputnik News has been accused of deliberately disseminating disinformation, and is often described as an outlet for propaganda. Also named in the suit were Comcast, MSNBC and NBCUniversal Media.[64]

Ratings

OAN does not subscribe to Nielsen ratings, citing the rating companies' high price. In March 2019, OANN cited Comscore set-top-box viewership data to claim it was the "fourth-rated cable news network" that month.[65]

See also

References

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  2. Dagnes, Alison (2019), Dagnes, Alison (ed.), "Negative Objectives: The Right-Wing Media Circle and Everyone Else", Super Mad at Everything All the Time: Political Media and Our National Anger, Springer International Publishing, p. 179, doi:10.1007/978-3-030-06131-9_5, ISBN 9783030061319, retrieved 2019-06-22
  3. Spencer Ackerman, Sam Brodey, and Adam Rawnsley (October 29, 2019). "Nunes Aide Is Leaking the Ukraine Whistleblower's Name, Sources Say; Derek Harvey, a former intelligence analyst, has also been spreading disinformation about an aide to Adam Schiff". thedailybeast.com. Retrieved October 29, 2019.CS1 maint: uses authors parameter (link)
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  5. Ellen Cranley Trump favorite One America News has been called 'paid Russian propaganda' — this is what happened when I watched it for a week October 28, 2019
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  63. Tulbert, Julie. "How one host on far-right network OANN is pushing conspiracy theories about Planned Parenthood". Media Matters for America. Retrieved 26 August 2018.
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