One America News (OAN) purports to be a non-partisan cable news network but the devil is in the details. It’s true that most of the commentary is confined to its political talk shows Tipping Point and The Daily Ledger.
The same cannot be said about the commercial breaks, which are filled with the family-owned network’s self-produced Public Service Announcement (PSA) promos. Initially, the focus was on patriotism. The PSAs featured historic events such as the founding of the country and the First Amendment but they have become progressively more conservative. The network began airing unedited speeches by Republican presidents George H. W. Bush on political correctness and Calvin Coolidge on bureaucracy and welfare.
The network has become downright preachy in recent years. In one promo, a Christmas greeting is self censored to illustrate the so-called war on Christmas. Another is a 911 spoof that suggests accusations of racist cops will result in literal PC police. The dispatcher explains they need to know the race of the perpetrator in order to send out the corresponding police.
OAN’s latest promo features liberal celebs as boogeymen in a sermon titled “If I Were The Devil.” The audio recording is from the late right-wing radio broadcaster, Paul Harvey, a friend and supporter of Senator Joseph McCarthy. . . as in McCarthyism. Harvey cites the rise of atheism, science, drugs, pornography, homosexuality as causes for the moral decay of society.
“In other words, if I were the devil, I’d just keep right on doing what he’s doing,” he concludes.
The sermon was originally written in 1965 and the words have been updated over the years but the imagery is the work of the network. It shows ISIS terrorists destroying Iraqi statues juxtaposed with protesters tearing down a Confederate statue in an effort to take over the country.
Trump is the go-to punchline of late night hosts Bill Maher and Stephen Colbert, who are presented as agents of the prince of lies. They deceive their audience into thinking “what is bad is good.” And celebrities such as Kathy Griffin, George Clooney and Michael Moore are “fanning the flames” for higher ratings. Griffin no doubt made the list after staging a mock beheading of Trump. Clooney has also been critical of the President. The actor says Trump’s America of “building walls and scapegoating minorities” is paralleled in his new movie Suburbicon, which is set in 50s. Moore actually predicted Trump’s win and believes he’ll be “re-appointed” but he’s actively working against that possibility. The activist is throwing his weight behind the National Popular Vote interstate compact, which hopes to get enough states to voluntarily cast their electoral votes for whomever win the popular vote.
OAN isn’t the first to demonize the opposition. In fact, Trump called Hillary Clinton the Devil multiple times during the campaign. The hyperbolic language did not go unnoticed by Colbert. He fact checked it in an interview with Satan, who was more concerned with being associated with Trump.
Sign on the dotted line
OAN CEO Robert Herring reportedly requires new employees to disclose their party affiliation.
“He’d flat out ask, ‘Who did you vote for? Are you a Bernie supporter? Are you for abortion?'” an anchor revealed. “It’s not like you wouldn’t get hired if you were liberal. But when it came to decisions about what stories we did, he made it clear he wanted the conservative ones.”
It’s clear who Herring supports. Trump coverage garnered big ratings for the struggling network, which runs limited commercials and depends on subscriber fees.
“We should ALWAYS take the trump speeches live in their entirety,” executive producer Lindsay Oakley told staff in memo. “I don’t want producers’ personal feelings getting in the way of the news content we provide. Trump is being treated unfairly by the mainstream media and we need to provide the other side. … Not to mention we have loyal viewers that tune in specifically to see the Trump speeches live because no one else carries them. We also see some of our highest ratings during the Trump speeches.”
Herring’s Twitter account is devoted to pandering to Trump supporters. He equated a Washington Post illustration of Trump’s face being peeled off a television screen with the image of Kathy Griffin beheading Trump. If you take away all the illegal voters in California, Trump won the popular vote claims Herring. And he insists that Trump’s real approval rating is over 50%.
While OAN anchors may not explicitly state the network’s position, they’re not exactly subtle about it either. They put a positive spin on everything Trump does while framing the opposition as out of touch. Their coverage of the Emmys focused entirely on low ratings, which they attributed to Americans tuning out because they’re tired of “Hollywood elites” bashing Trump.
OAN has done a hell of a job destroying their credibility.
OAN sets its sight on Hollywood
OAN aired a slanted segment captioned “Hollywood’s hypocrisy on gun control” following the Las Vegas shooting, in which over 500 were wounded with 59 deaths. The shooter, Stephen Paddock, stockpiled 33 weapons many of which were illegally modified with a “bump stock” that essentially transforms a semi-automatic weapon into a fully-automatic weapon. Many celebrities have taken issue with the notion that the 2nd Amendment entitles Americans to weapons designed to wage war.
Action movies are big business. The segment claims Hollywood is being hypocritical because gun manufacturers pay to have their products featured in movies such as Die Hard, which subsequently increased Glock sales. That’s like saying The Fast and the Furious franchise can’t be for speed limits or seat belts because it gave car manufacturers paid placements.
The reporter accuses the Entertainment Merchants Association (EMA) of “warning” Vice President Joe Biden not to investigate links between the entertainment industry and gun violence following the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting. In fact, the EMA sent a well-reasoned open letter explaining that the industry already vigorously polices itself with its rating system. Furthermore, it suggests the government look at the numerous studies already done since the Columbine shooting 1999. In contrast, there have been no government studies on real-life gun violence for over two decades. Republicans in the pocket of the National Rifle Association (NRA) shut down research after it threatened to strip funding from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) in l996.