Recent court findings revealed how AT&T has been funding One America News Network almost entirely alone. The findings show that 90% of OANN’s revenue comes from a contract with AT&T-owned television platforms, including DirecTV. According to OANN founder Robert Herring Sr., AT&T executives came up with the idea to launch OANN in 2013. In other words, even though AT&T is CNN’s parent company, it was also behind the furthest-right cable network’s initial existence. How does that work?
Following the report, we knew some organizations would pressure AT&T to sever ties with OANN. And it took less than two weeks.
The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) plans to meet with AT&T on Thursday and pressure the company to drop OANN immediately. The NAACP’s released statement even used the word “immediately.” Meaning, the NAACP is serious. AT&T better cut ties with OANN fast.
“NAACP President Derrick Johnson will be meeting with AT&T leadership tomorrow, October 21st. The meeting will focus on the need for AT&T to drop OAN immediately,” the NAACP said in a Wednesday release.
“AT&T is directly supporting efforts that undermine our democracy and suppress our right to vote. It’s reprehensible.”
Johnson adds he is “outraged.”
“We are outraged to learn that AT&T has been funneling tens of millions of dollars into OAN since the network’s inception. As a result, AT&T has caused irreparable damage to our democracy. The press should inform the American public with facts, not far-right propaganda and conspiracy theories.”
So does AT&T have the backbone to stand up to the NAACP? Doubtful. If I were to guess, AT&T will soon cave and drop OANN from DirecTV’s cable packages, thus sinking OANN’s linear reach.
AT&T told The Hill that company executives look forward to meeting with the NAACP and hearing its concerns.