For more than a year and a half the crusade to keep Donald Trump’s cult convinced that the 2020 election was “rigged” has been supported by right-wing media outlets including Fox News, Newsmax and One America News Network (OAN). Their flagrant dishonesty resulted in the deadly insurrection in Washington, D.C. by brainwashed Trump disciples intent on preventing President Biden’s victory from being certified and undermining democracy.
Another result of the conservative press disseminating blatant lies about election fraud was the filing of billion dollar lawsuits against them by voting systems companies:
In addition to these lawsuits, OAN was sued by two election workers in Georgia who the network (and Rudy Giuliani) asserted had engaged in criminal misconduct while counting votes. There was never any evidence to support the charges and the network knew it. Which is why they recently settled with the election workers. And now they have aired a concession that their “reporting” was untrue. OAN admitted that…
“Georgia officials have concluded that there was no widespread voter fraud by election workers who counted ballots at the State Farm Arena in November of 2020. The results of this investigation indicate that Ruby Freeman and Wandrea ‘Shaye’ Moss did not engage in ballot fraud or criminal misconduct while working at State Farm Arena on election night. A legal matter with this network and the two election workers has been resolved to the mutual satisfaction of the parties through a fair and reasonable settlement.”
— One America News (@OANN) May 10, 2022
For the record, Georgia officials concluded that “there was no widespread voter fraud” a year and a half ago. It was OAN who continued to peddle lies about it until faced with this lawsuit. And their falsehoods fueled Trump’s “Big Lie” the election was “stolen,” wherein he had even cited the falsely accused election workers by name at his cult rallies.
This admission of “fake news” by OAN only relates to the incidents in Georgia. However, the network is still on the hook for broader allegations of defamation in the other lawsuits and they have altered their editorial stance on election fraud. In fear of further litigation, they placed a disclaimer on the air prior to a crocumentary by MyPillow’s Mike Lindell, disavowing any connection to it or its preposterous assertions. It’s title, “Absolute Proof” had the conspicuous flaw of containing no proof whatsoever. Not unlike the crocumentary by convicted election fraudster, Dinesh D’Souza.
OAN is going to have considerably more trouble arriving at a settlements with Smartmatic and Dominion. Their slander was more than just defamatory. It caused substantial financial and reputational harm. But OAN’s future is already in doubt since they were dumped by their biggest distributer, DirecTV.
And the same problem exists for Newsmax and Fox News. These propaganda pushers need to learn that there are consequences for deliberately promulgating malicious lies.
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