‘OAN News’ Terminated By DirecTV, In Win For Democracy

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DirecTV is moving forward with plans to drop One America News from its cable offerings next month. The far-right network is a center for conspiratorial nonsense about topics including the last presidential election and the COVID-19 pandemic, and Trump himself has apparently taken an interest in its fate. Recently, he admonished his followers to “[demand] that OAN be allowed to stay on the air. It is far bigger and more popular than anyone knows, and importantly, it represents the voice of a very large group of people!” Actually, it doesn’t, at least in viewership terms — “when Nielsen briefly measured One America News in spring 2019, the network only averaged 14,000 total daily viewers,” The Daily Beast explained, although it could have grown.

One America News has sued DirecTV and its majority owner, AT&T, over the impending shut-out from DirecTV’s cable line-up — and remarkably, the lawsuit is seeking $1 billion in damages. The network’s side claimed that DirecTV and AT&T used “unchecked influence and power” to “unlawfully destroy an independent, family-run business and impede the right of American television viewers to watch the news media channels and programs of their choice.” One America News also claimed that, with the announcement of the impending drop, “AT&T and DirecTV signaled to the public that something was wrong, hurting OAN’s business and standing in the news media business.” Well, something was wrong. Originally, a DirecTV spokesperson confirmed to The Washington Post that the company “informed Herring Networks [which owns One America News] that, following a routine internal review, we do not plan to enter into a new contract when our current agreement expires.” That was in January, and the contract in question ends in April.

Trump took notice of One America News well before their DirecTV debacle. Trump cited the outlet in a tweet claiming that millions of his votes had been somehow deleted across the country — which was obviously utter nonsense. One America News has been among the far-right interests targeted by election-related defamation litigation from election technology companies including Dominion Voting Systems and Smartmatic, both of which were falsely alleged to have been involved in the non-existent rigging of the last election for Joe Biden. As previously reported on this site, One America News was also targeted in a defamation case filed by Ruby Freeman and her daughter Wandrea “Shaye” Moss, who served as election workers in Georgia in the 2020 election cycle. Both women were alleged to have been involved in carrying out the imaginary rigging of the election — and they faced serious threats in the wake of these lies. On January 6, 2021, a group of Trump supporters apparently surrounded Freeman’s home, which she’d just recently fled amid the deluge of harassment. At another point, someone showed up at Moss’s grandmother’s house, saying they were there to make a “citizen’s arrest” connected to the imaginary fraud.