How this Big Telecom company built Trump’s favorite propaganda network
Donald Trump’s favorite propaganda network peddles dangerous conspiracy theories and COVID misinformation, LGBTQ hate, election lies, and white supremacy. Fox News, right?
Actually, it’s One America News Network — which is so far-right that it makes Fox News look like Bernie Sanders — and the largest telecommunications company in the world has been behind it.
A stunning new report by Reuters found that this certain Big Telecom company “has been a crucial source of funds flowing into OAN, providing tens of millions of dollars in revenue.”
Can you guess which company — with a long and troubling history of funding right-wing causes — it could be?
You guessed it: AT&T.
Earlier this month, Reuters released its first of two special reports that found “ninety percent of OAN’s revenue came from a contract with AT&T-owned television platforms, including satellite broadcaster DirecTV, according to 2020 sworn testimony by an OAN accountant.”
Quoting from a deposition the outlet obtained, OAN founder and chief executive Robert Herring testified that AT&T executives “told us they wanted a conservative network…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.”
If you’ve never watched OAN before — and we highly suggest that you don’t — you’ve missed out on a lot of hate, anti-semitism, conspiracy theories, baseless claims of voter fraud and a weird obsession with MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell. In addition, one OAN host called for mass executions of election officials and another called for shooting unhoused people.
As Media Matters Bobby Lewis recently wrote, “OAN and all of its lies would not exist, and could not survive, without AT&T’s blessing. Whatever the figure AT&T has paid to help keep OAN alive, the network has been using the airwaves to push toxic — and often dangerous — misinformation.”
It’s no wonder that this is Donald Trump’s favorite propaganda network, and we’re not surprised that AT&T would be behind a ultra-conservative propaganda network.
For years, we have been raising the alarm that AT&T has been funding conservative causes and right-wing politicians. We recently highlighted that AT&T is the top corporate funder of Texas lawmakers behind the state’s egregious abortion ban. And their millions in donations to insurrectionist members of Congress and state lawmakers who push racially-motivated voter suppression or anti-LGBTQ bills. And we’ll never forget the $2 million that AT&T donated to Donald Trump’s inauguration.
At CREDO, our customers never have to worry that we would fund a far-right propaganda network, Republican lawmakers or right-wing causes. We donate millions every year to progressive organizations working on economic justice, civil rights, climate justice and so much more. Since 1985, we’ve given hundreds of groups more than $92 million, thanks to our customers who use our products and services every day.
If you or someone you know is still an AT&T customer, consider what that phone bill is funding — and consider making the switch to the mobile phone carrier that shares your values. Visit CREDOMobile.com and find a phone and plan that’s right for you and your family.