Fact-checking AT&T’s defense of single-handedly funding OAN | Media Matters for America


CLAIM: “DIRECTV offers a wide variety of programming, including many news channels that offer a variety of viewpoints, but it does not dictate or control programming on the channels. Any suggestion otherwise is wrong.” FACT: Another misdirection — OAN’s critics are not suggesting AT&T controls its programming. Rather, OAN would not exist were it not for AT&T’s financial support and distribution, as well as support from close personal relationships between the Herring family, which owns the network, and AT&T executives. Even worse, Reuters reports that Herring “has testified that the inspiration to launch OAN in 2013 came from AT&T executives.” “They told us they wanted a conservative network,” Herring said during a 2019 deposition seen by Reuters. “They only had one, which was Fox News, and they had seven others on the other [leftwing] side. When they said that, I jumped to it and built one.” Since manufacturing the demand, AT&T has been the primary distributor for OAN’s indiscriminate lies, racism, and conspiracy theories being blasted into the homes of millions of its subscribers. OAN’s programming is completely out of control, and AT&T, which is in the best position to rein in this threat to democracy, has actively decided against doing so.

Source: Fact-checking AT&T’s defense of single-handedly funding OAN | Media Matters for America

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