AT&T and DIRECTV: Drop One America News
Reuters has released a bombshell report1 revealing that AT&T helped build the far-right One America News Network (OANN). According to the report, OANN founder and CEO Robert Herring Sr. testified that the inspiration to launch OANN in 2013 came from AT&T executives. And in the intervening years AT&T has been a crucial financial lifeline for OANN — to the tune of tens of millions of dollars. A whopping 90 percent of OANN’s income comes from a contract with AT&T-owned TV platform DIRECTV. In fact, in 2020 OANN testified that its value “would be zero” without the deal with DIRECTV.
OANN provided a supportive and uncritical platform for Donald Trump and his administration. The network is a critical part of the larger right-wing media system that peddles racist conspiracy theories2 online and off. And OANN played a pivotal role in undermining the 2020 election and fomenting the Jan. 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol.
AT&T’s support of OANN is but one manifestation of AT&T’s history of supporting racist policies.3 In recent months, the company has come under fire for subsidizing members of Congress who tried to overturn the 2020 election — and for supporting bills and legislators who are working to dismantle voting rights4 and reproductive freedom.5
One America News is spreading lies that endanger public health and undermine our elections and democracy. Demand that AT&T and DIRECTV drop OANN now.
1. “How AT&T Helped Build Far-Right One America News,” Reuters, Oct. 6, 2021
2. “One America News Network,” Media Matters for America
3. “Tell AT&T to Stop Funding ALEC,” The Nation, March 27, 2012
4. Dollars vs. Democracy: Companies and the Attack on Voting Rights and Peaceful Protest, Greenpeace, May 2021
5. “Corporate Political Spending in Texas,” UltraViolet, Aug. 2, 2021