DirecTV to drop rabidly pro-Trump One America News

"Millions of viewers will no longer be subsidizing this hateful content with their monthly pay-TV bills," said one campaigner.

Facing a wave of grassroots pressure, one of the largest television providers in the U.S. reportedly plans to drop the far-right, rabidly pro-Trump One America News Network, an outlet that has come under fire for disseminating falsehoods about the 2020 election results, the coronavirus pandemic, and other major issues.

Bloomberg reported late Friday that DirecTV has informed OANN’s owner, Herring Networks Inc., that it intends to “stop carrying the company’s two channels when their contract expires” in early April.

The move comes after civil rights organizations and other advocacy groups called on DirecTV and AT&T—which owns a 70% stake in the satellite-TV provider—to sever ties with OANN for “spreading anti-democratic disinformation, promoting Covid-19 conspiracy theories, and fueling racism.”

According to a recent Reuters investigation, AT&T—the world’s largest telecom company—”has been a crucial source of funds flowing into OAN, providing tens of millions of dollars in revenue.”

“The dangerous conspiracies and lies regularly aired on OANN have worsened a public-health crisis and given oxygen to baseless claims about the irrefutable outcome of our last presidential election,” Nora Benavidez, senior counsel and director of digital justice and civil rights at Free Press, said in a statement Friday.

“OANN can say whatever it wants on its own soapbox, but it does not have an automatic right to a national audience through DirecTV,” Benavidez added. “We welcome the news that DirecTV has made the decision to stop carrying OANN, especially knowing millions of viewers will no longer be subsidizing this hateful content with their monthly pay-TV bills.”

Angelo Carusone, president of Media Matters, also applauded DirecTV’s move, calling OANN “a cauldron of misinformation and extremism.”

“Without DirecTV, OAN would certainly not exist in its current form and possibly not at all,” said Carusone. “Now that OAN’s anchor distributor has dropped them, Verizon FiOS (OAN’s second major distributor) should follow suit. And certainly no other cable provider should pick them up.”

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Jake Johnson is a staff writer for Common Dreams. Follow him on Twitter: @johnsonjakep

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