One America News Network (OANN, also known as OAN) is a right-wing, pro-Trump cable channel founded in 2013 by Robert Herring, CEO of Herring Networks (which also includes the luxury goods channel, A Wealth of Entertainment or AWE).
According to a 2021 Reuters investigation, AT&T was behind the birth of OAN, with 90% of the station’s income reportedly coming from the telecommunications giant (even though it denies having a financial interest in the channel). Once AT&T came under pressure to drop OAN for spreading the Big Lie and other conservative conspiracy theories, DirecTV—largely owned by AT&T—dropped Herring Networks’ programs in early 2022. Verizon also failed to renew its contract with the beleaguered network several months later.
Based in San Diego, California, OAN has spread lies and conspiracy theories about Democratic megadonor George Soros, Covid-19, and the 2020 presidential election, among others, with one OAN host calling for the execution of people who don’t believe Trump’s Big Lie. In interviews with the New York Times, 16 current and former OAN reporters said that the channel “had broadcast reports that they considered misleading, inaccurate or untrue.”
January 6, 2021
- OAN heavily promoted the March to Save America at the Ellipse. “As far as the president goes,” Kylie Kremer, executive director of Women for America First, said in one interview, “we certainly know he’s been watching… we’re hoping that he just comes right out from the White House and joins us.”
- After Jan. 6, OAN spread the debunked claim that antifa was responsible for the attack on the Capitol. In one segment no longer archived on its site, the organization made the unsubstantiated claim that there were “mountains of video evidence” demonstrating antifa involvement in the Jan. 6 attack.
- A year after the attack, OAN ran a segment (which has since been removed from its site) describing the violence that day as “the patriotic demonstrations at the Capitol” and claimed that Democrats and liberal pundits had intentionally overblown and misrepresented the events for their own gain.
- In June 2022, instead of airing the televised hearings of the House Select Committee investigating the attack on the Capitol, OAN presented counterprogramming featuring a documentary celebrating the people who participated in the insurrection.
The Big Lie
- OAN has consistently promoted the Big Lie on air and in clips uploaded to the outlet’s online platform. Before votes had even been fully tallied, OAN correspondent Christina Bobb called the election for Trump on Nov. 4, 2020, and made unsubstantiated claims of “rampant voter fraud.” She also accused Democrats of encouraging their “antifa buddies” to create havoc at the polls. YouTube did not remove the video from its platform.
- After the FBI search of Trump’s Mar-a-Lago home on August 8, 2022, Bobb resurfaced in the spotlight for being the lawyer who signed a statement in June affirming that all materials requested by the Justice Department’s subpoena had been turned over. Based on the huge amount of government documents found on the property two months later, that was clearly untrue, meaning Bobb may face legal consequences of her own.
- According to reporting by the Center for Media and Democracy (CMD), OAN correspondent Jack Posobiec, a rightwing extremist with close ties to white nationalists, organized a Nov. 7 Stop the Steal protest in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.
- OAN has repeatedly issued misleading reports about election fraud and given a platform to political figures including Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.) and MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell, a chief purveyor of the Big Lie.
- After the election, once Trump began to sour on the coverage he had been getting on FoxNews, he urged his supporters to tune in to OAN instead as a “great” alternative.
- OAN continues to independently report on false claims of election fraud as though they are credible. For example, on Feb. 25, 2021, OAN published a segment (that has since been removed from its site) alleging that “credible evidence of voting fraud remains unexplained, raising doubts over the election results.”
- In August 2021, Dominion Voting Systems filed a massive lawsuit against OAN for falsely accusing it of rigging its voting machines to favor Biden.
- OAN has promoted election audits based on false claims that the 2020 presidential election was still undecided. In a March 28, 2021 segment, for example, OAN correspondent Pearson Sharp claimed that “there’s still serious doubts about who’s actually president” in a justification of election audits in Arizona and Michigan.
- In 2021, OAN ran “exclusive livestream” coverage of the widely discredited, months-long audit in Maricopa County, Arizona.
- OAN correspondent Christina Bobb actively solicited donations on air to raise funds for election audits through Voices & Votes, the nonprofit she created to pay companies like Cyber Ninjas to conduct partisan audits like the one in Maricopa County, Arizona.