The right-wing media landscape has long been dominated by Fox News. But in the Era of the Trump Cult a couple of wannabe “news” manglers have popped up to challenge the King of the Shill. And one of those challengers just got chit-canned by their founder and biggest financial supporter.
DirecTV has announced that they will cease to carry One American News Network (OAN) in their channel offerings. That’s a profoundly significant development considering how OAN came to be. DirecTV’s majority owner, AT&T, was recently exposed as having bankrolled the ultra-rightist outlet. As reported last October…
“A Reuters review of court records shows the role AT&T played in creating and funding OAN, a network that continues to spread conspiracy theories about the 2020 election and the COVID-19 pandemic. […]
“AT&T has been a crucial source of funds flowing into OAN, providing tens of millions of dollars in revenue, court records show. Ninety percent of OAN’s revenue came from a contract with AT&T-owned television platforms, including satellite broadcaster DirecTV.”
With the loss of AT&T’s backing it is questionable as to whether OAN has the resources to continue as a viable operation. They are attempting to transition to streaming platforms, but persuading people to pay for their shameless, Trump-fluffing programming may prove to be an unattainable goal.
The futility of that effort isn’t mitigated by the support OAN gets from Donald Trump, where his official spokes-shill, Liz Harrington, is a regular guest. It will be fun to see how Trump reacts to this news. Expect to see some fireworks from the perpetually pissed off ex-prez. Not that it will do any good. [UPDATE: Right on cue, Trump threw a tantrum the next day at his rally in Arizona]
Despite months of Trump hyping OAN – and simultaneously bashing Fox News – OAN has not budged from their position at the bottom of the heap. Their audience is too low for Nielsen to measure. And losing millions of potential DirecTV viewers isn’t going to help.
The cancelation by DirecTV isn’t the only problem that OAN is facing. They are currently being sued by Dominion Voting Systems and Smartmatic software for disseminating Trump’s lies about election fraud. Separately, they are being sued by two former Georgia election workers who are victims of Trump’s election deceptions that were prominently pushed by OAN.
It is long past time that OAN pay a price for their plague of poisonous propaganda. How can any television service distribute a channel that has actually advocated mass executions for “tens of thousands” of people who the network delusionally claimed were trying “to carry out a coup against the [Trump] presidency” because they didn’t buy into Trump’s election fraud lies?
And that goes for Verizon FIOS, that still carries OAN, and any streaming service that is considering doing so. It is simply irresponsible to propagate such transparently false and dangerous programming. Hopefully the pending litigation will cause some of these companies to reconsider their relationship with OAN. And Newsmax and Fox News while they’re at it.
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