Months after the inauguration of President Biden, One America News Network, a right-wing cable news channel available in some 35 million homes, has continued airing segments questioning the validity of the 2020 presidential election.
OAN correspondent Pearson Sharp said, “There is still really serious doubt about the president.” March 28 report.
The segment was one of a portion of reports similar to a channel that has become a type of Trump TV for the post-Trump era, an outlet whose reporting has aligned itself with the former president’s complaints at a time when he Platform is forbidden from major social media.
Some coverage of the OAN does not fully support employees. In interviews with 18 current and former OAN Newsroom employees, 16 said the channel aired reports that they believed to be misleading, inaccurate or untrue.
Going by most of the reporting of the OAN, it is almost as if the transfer of power had never taken place. The channel did not broadcast live coverage At Mr. Biden’s swearing-in ceremony and inaugural address. In April, news articles on the OAN website consistently featured Donald J. Trump called “President Trump” and President Biden as “Joe Biden” or “Biden”. That practice is not followed by other news organizations, including OAN contestants Newsmax, A conservative cable channel and news site.
OAN has also promoted Theory debated that the rioter On 6 January, there were leftist agitators who attacked the Capitol. Towards the end of March 4 news section Describing the attack as an act of “antifa” and “anti-Trump extremists” – and referred to the president as “Beijing Biden” – Mr Sharp said “history will show that it was a Democrat, and not a Republican” , Which called for this violence. ”The investigation has found no evidence that those who identify with Antifa as a loose collective of antifascist activists were involved in the Capitol riot.
Charles Herring, president of Oran’s proprietary company Herring Networks, defended the report, raising doubts over the election. “Based on our investigation, voter irregularity clearly occurred in the November 2020 election,” he said. “To what extent is the real question.”
The Herring Network was founded by Mr. Herring’s father, tech entrepreneur Robert Herring, who, along with Charles and another son, Robert Jr., employs about 150 employees for the channel at their headquarters in San Diego at age 79.
Nielsen does not report audience figures for OAN, which is not a Nielsen customer. (Charles Herring cited Nielsen’s “hefty fees”) In a poll last month, Pew Research reported 7 percent of Americans received political news from the OAN, including 14 percent of Republicans. In contrast, 43 percent of Americans and 62 percent of Republicans received political news from Fox News, the poll found.
While OAN appeals to a relatively small audience, its coverage usually reflects the views held by Republicans. In A Reuters / Ipsos poll Last month, nearly half of Republicans said they believed the January 5 attack, which killed five people, was a largely non-violent protest or the act of left-wing activists. Six of the six people polled said they too considered Mr. Trump’s claim that the election was “stolen”.
OAN, which began in 2013, gained attention when it fully aired Mr. Trump’s publicity speeches before the 2016 election. In recent months, it has attracted viewers who may have left Fox News, which was released on election night, Mr. Biden was the first news outlet to project Arizona as the winner of the major swing state. A promotional advertisement in mid-November, OAN Fox news “Joining mainstream media” in censoring factual reporting.
OAN’s stories “appeal to those who want to believe the election was not valid,” said Stephanie L. Adderley, an associate professor at Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism. “These are two mutually confirming statements from those who want to believe it and continue to receive that fire from the OAN.”
Producer Marty Golingan at the channel since 2016 said that OAN has changed in recent years. At the beginning of his employment, he said, it focused more on neutral coverage based on reports from The Associated Press or Reuters. He said it was seen as an abusive upstart where he could produce a sneaky feature story, he said.
During Trump’s presidency, it turned out to be right, Mr. Golingan said. And while he was seen tearing up pro-Trump supporters in the Capitol, he said, he worries that his work may have helped inspire the attack.
He said that he and other OANs disagreed with most of the channel’s coverage. “Golgappan, referring to his colleagues, said,” Most people did not believe that voter fraud claims were being run on air.
He recalled seeing a photo of a man in the Capitol crowd holding a flag with the logo of the OAN. “I was like, well, that’s not good,” Mr. Golingan said. “That’s what happens when people listen to us.”
Charles Herring defended OAN coverage. “A review process with multiple checks is in place to ensure that news reporting meets the company’s journalistic standards,” he said. “And, yes, we do have our fair share of mistakes, but we do our best to keep them to a minimum and to learn from our missteps.”
Mr. Golingan said that since Inauguration Day, OAN’s News Director, Lindsey Oakley, reprimanded him for referring to Mr. Biden as “President Biden” in the news copy. Ms. Oakley did not respond to requests for comment.
Charles Herring said, “OAN staffers use the term White House President President Biden and can then use Mr. Biden.” “The term Biden or Biden administration can also be used.” He declined to answer a question on the channel’s use of “President Trump” for Mr. Trump.
The news producer, Alicia Britton, said she was one of more than a dozen employees who left OAN in the wake of the capital riot. Criticizing some of what the channel reported, he said that it does not depend on the standards of journalism.
“Many have expressed concern,” Ms. Britton said in an interview. “And the thing is, when people say anything, you will get into trouble.”
Charles Herring confirmed that in recent months about a dozen OAN workers had been laid off, many of whom were not high-level workers.
Several current and former employees stated that the elder Mr. Herring takes a special interest among the OAN staff in the assignment. The next day after Trump supporters created a ruckus in the Capitol, Mr. Herring instructed OAN employees in an email, which the New York Times reviewed, “to report everything Antifa said yesterday.”
Some “H stories” are reported by Christian Rouge, an OAN correspondent who wrote for Sputnik, a site supported by the Russian government. In Report good On the epidemic in May, Mr. Rouse said that Kovid-19 may have “started as a global conspiracy to establish population control,” with Bill and Hillary Clinton, billionaire George Soros and Bill Gates having ties , And “deep states.”
Former OAN producer, Ms. Britton, while checking a website, recalled that Mr. Rouse had cited returning some of her reporting. “It really took me to this chat room where it’s just conservatives commenting towards each other,” she said.
The newspaper’s director, Ms. Oakley, in an email to employees last month, warned manufacturers against ignoring or playing Mr. Rouge’s work. “Their stories should be considered ‘H stories’ and treated as such,” she wrote in the email, which the Times reviewed. “These stories are often slugged and copy-edited by me according to Mr. H.’s instructions.”
OAN’s online audience is significant, with about 1.5 million subscribers to its YouTube channel. With nearly 1.5 million views since it went online on November 24, in its most popular video, election technology company Dominion Voting Systems was criticized, using the tool in more than two dozen states last year, including several Trump won. Hosted by OAN White House Correspondent Channel Ryan, the video shows a man who said he infiltrated the Dominion and heard company executives say they would “make sure” Mr. Trump lost.
Dominion has sued Fox News and Mr. Trump’s two lawyers, Rudolph W. Accusing Giuliani and Sidney Powell of making or promoting defamation claims. A lawyer for Dominion, who did not respond to requests for comment, has said the company is considering further legal action.
Producer Mr Golingan said that some OAN employees expected Dominion to sue the channel. “A lot of people said, ‘This is crazy, and maybe if they sue us, we’ll stop putting stories like this,” he said.
After Dominion filed its first defamation lawsuit, OAN aired a two-hour video featuring MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell, Made his case There was that widespread voter fraud. YouTube removed the video the day it was posted, saying it violated the platform’s election integrity policy. Last month, an OAN report described Dominion’s “voting machines” as “notorious”.
Two of the current and former employees interviewed for this article – Dan Ball, a talk-show host, and a former reporter, Neil W. McCabe, described OAN’s coverage as unbiased. Mr. McCabe, who now writes for The Tennessee Star, said the network “gave a voice to those who are not covered yet.”
Susan Beachy contributed to the research.