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'Routine' decision to drop OANN came after year of coercion

'Routine' decision to drop OANN came after year of coercion


'Routine' decision to drop OANN came after year of coercion

DirectTV says it is making a routine business decision by dropping One America News Network from its satellite TV lineup but that decision comes after parent company AT&T was pressured for most of 2021 to get rid of the right-wing nuisance.

DirecTV has told Herring Broadcasting, the parent company of One America News, it is not renewing its contract that expires in April. It reached that decision "following a routine internal review," a spokesman said.

Curtis Houck of the Media Research Center points out the left-wing media was complaining about the conservative outlet this time last year, when frustrated Trump voters had soured on Fox News and were turning to OANN and rival Newsmax after his re-election loss.

According to Houck and MRC, a year ago this week, a CNN panel suggested the growing audience at OANN and NewsMax represented a problem. “Companies have freedom of speech,” a panelist said during the segment, “but I'm not sure we need Verizon, AT&T, Comcast and such bringing them into tens of millions of homes."

That was quite an audacious claim to make about a media outlet considering the pearl-clutching national media claimed Trump's presidency had threatened democracy and the future of journalism.

Looking back at that CNN segment now, Houck calls it “chilling” that a news outlet was publicly telling corporations they should drop a right-wing rival.

In fact, it was all-hands-on-deck effort to go after right-wing media after Trump's loss. Democratic lawmakers Anna Eshoo and Jerry McNerney wrote to AT&T, Comcast, Dish, and Verizon and demanded to know why they were allowing “misinformation” that had created a “polluted information environment that radicalizes individuals to commit seditious acts and rejects public health best practices.”

Houck, Curtis (MRC) Houck

In its own story this week about DirectTV dropping OANN, left-wing NPR admitted AT&T was being urged to drop OANN for supporting “conservative conspiracy theories” such as the “falsehood” the 2020 presidential election was stolen.

The NPR story gave one example of that pressure. A non-profit political group called Public Knowledge, which states on its own website it supports “freedom of expression,” complained that OANN’s “conspiracy theories” and COVID-19 “misinformation” moved the cable news outlet from a “participant in the marketplace of ideas to a peddler of toxic lies.”

“If you think that DirectTV and AT&T are going to stop with OAN, and not continue to Newsmax, Fox, and Fox Business,” Houck warns, “you are sorely mistaken.”

His warning would probably called a “conspiracy theory” by the same left-wing sources that targeted OANN, except that letter from Democrats did indeed mention Fox News and Newsmax.