January 18, 2021
One America News Network—the far-right pay-to-play cable channel, which, since 2013, has spread conspiracy theories about the 2020 election, the January 6 Capitol attack, and the safety of coronavirus vaccines—will be dropped by one of its largest television distributors later this year, reports The New York Times.
The decision by the distributor, DirecTV, a satellite and streaming network with about 15 million subscribers, will come as a significant setback for One America News and its owners, the Herring family. Losing its slot on the DirecTV lineup will almost certainly diminish the network’s overall audience and cut into its annual revenue.
DirecTV did not elaborate on the precise reasons behind its decision. “We informed Herring Networks that, following a routine internal review, we do not plan to enter into a new contract when our current agreement expires,” a spokesman for DirecTV said in an email on Saturday, January15. DirecTV also plans to drop a second channel owned by the Herrings called AWE, which features lifestyle and entertainment programs.
Chanel Rion, the chief White House correspondent for One America News, derided DirecTV in a Twitter post on Friday, January 14, that referred to the decision to drop the channel. “With moves like this, DirecTV will have to become state-owned to survive,” Ms. Rion wrote, adding, “They would have better luck in Pyongyang.”
One America News, which is based in San Diego, launched in 2013. Beginning with the 2016 election, the network acted as a venue for viewpoints and coverage aligned with Donald J. Trump and his right-wing allies.
Its anchors have regularly questioned the outcome of the 2020 election. The network is facing defamation lawsuits from two election technology companies, Smartmatic and Dominion Voting Systems, both of which have accused the channel of spreading falsehoods that they manipulated vote tallies to swing the election to current President Joe Biden.
One America News has also promoted the false theory that left-wing agitators, and not Trump supporters, were the primary instigators of the Capitol riot.
The channel also has aired false and misleading reports about the safety and efficacy of coronavirus vaccines. In June, one anchor, Pearson Sharp, told viewers: “The fallout from the coronavirus vaccine continues to grow, and the toll on human life is now worse than anyone could have imagined.”
DirecTV is one of only a few major television distributors that carries One America News; another is Verizon Fios. The channel is also available to stream online, and it maintains a popular YouTube page with more than 1.4 million subscribers.
Research contact: @nytimes