DirecTV to drop conservative network One America News

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DirecTV to drop conservative network One America News

The largest satellite provider in the United States said late Friday it would drop One America News, a move that could financially cripple the right wing TV network, known for fuelling conspiracy theories about the 2020 election.

The announcement by DirecTV, which is 70 per cent owned by AT&T, comes three months after a Reuters investigation revealed that OAN founder AT&T inspired him to create the network. The court testimony shows that OAN gets almost all of its revenue from DirecTV.

The Reuters report drew calls for AT&T and DirecTV to drop OAN, a favorite of former President Donald Trump, because the network has become a source of false claims about the election and COVID vaccines.

President Joe Biden said on Thursday that COVID conspiracy theories are putting lives at risk. I appeal to social media companies and media outlets: Please deal with the misinformation that is on your shows, Biden said. OAN is owned by San Diego-based Herring Networks, a family of conservative tech entrepreneurs. Robert Herring Sr, CEO, did not respond to requests for comment by e-mail and phone. He said that his network provided an important voice in an interview with Reuters last year. If I think I m right, I just go for it, he said.

According to testimony by OAN s accountant reviewed by Reuters, DirecTV provided 90 per cent of the conservative network's revenue.

After a routine internal review, we informed Herring Networks that we do not plan to enter a new contract when our current agreement ends, DirecTV said in a statement.

The OAN-DirecTV contract is about to expire in the next few months. DirecTV began airing OAN in April 2017, a deal that began shortly after OAN and AT&T settled a lawsuit over oral promises during negotiations.

Some conservatives expressed outrage on Twitter that DirecTV and AT&T planned to drop OAN. A former Fox News host, Lou Dobbs, said that Corporate Media is crushing what little dissent remains.

The pro-Trump right has powerful outlets on television and online, including Fox News, the conservative cable news outlet founded by Rupert Murdoch.

Liberals were cheered by the news. NAACP President Derrick Johnson called it a victory for us and the future of democracy. Johnson said in a statement: "At a time when we are seeing our rights infringed on, OAN only seeks to create further division. We must always choose truth over lies and common sense over hysteria." The news follows a lawsuit filed by two Georgia election workers who accused OAN and Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani of spreading false vote-rigging claims about them in the aftermath of the 2020 presidential election. The claims were debunked by state authorities. OAN has denied it has done anything wrong.

DirecTV did not elaborate on why it planned to drop OAN. An AT&T spokesman said the company airs many news channels that offer viewpoints across the political spectrum. The Reuters investigative report in October cited sworn statements in which OAN founder and son testified that the inspiration for the conservative network came from AT&T executives.

The elder Herring said that they wanted a conservative network. They had only one, which was Fox News, and they had seven others on the other side. When they said that, I jumped to it and built one. A transcript shows that if Herring Networks were to lose or not renewed on DirecTV in 2020, the company would go out of business, an OAN lawyer told the court. The content appears to be provided to The Globe by the originating wire service. It hasn't been edited by Globe staff.