Its headlines look like they’re written to please an audience of one.
“Political Strategist: President Trump’s reelection looks good in state-by-state analysis of chances.”
“Pres. Trump touts strong approval rating as economy remains solid.”
“GOP businesswoman Scherie Murray announces campaign for AOC’s seat.”
It’s been called an “obscure” pay-cable TV station, but One America News Network, which at time feels more like Fox News than Fox News, is President Donald Trump’s new favorite news channel. It worked hard to get there, and as a 2017 Washington Post article noted its “taking ‘pro-Trump’ to new heights.”
The President has noticed, occasionally tweeting out their stories.
“There’s not one shred of evidence that President Trump has done anything wrong.” @GrahamLedger One America News. So true, a total Witch Hunt – All started illegally by Crooked Hillary Clinton, the DNC and others!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 10, 2019
On Monday The Daily Beast‘s Sr. National Security Correspondent, Kevin Poulsen, noticed another reason why OANN may be Trump’s favorite new news outlet.
“One of the on-air reporters at the 24-hour network is a Russian national on the payroll of the Kremlin’s official propaganda outlet, Sputnik.”
Kristian Rouz, “originally from the Siberian city of Novosibirsk, has been living in San Diego, where OAN is based, since August 2017, reporting on US politics for the 24-hour news channel,” The Daily Beast reports. “For all of that time he’s been simultaneously writing for Sputnik, a Kremlin-owned newswire that played a role in Russia’s 2016 election interference operation, according to an assessment by the U.S. intelligence community.”
What kind of journalism does Rouz practice?
There’s “a wholly fabricated 2017 segment claiming Hillary Clinton is secretly bankrolling antifathrough her political action committee,” while other “smears target billionaire financier George Soros.”
In one segment, Rouz amplified a thoroughly debunked claim that Soros collaborated with the Nazis during World War II, when the Jewish philanthropist was 14 years old. Another Rouz story accused Soros of secretly funding migrant caravans.
Former FBI Special Agent Clint Watts, who served on the Joint Terrorism Task Force and has testified before Congress, weighed in.
“This completes the merger between Russian state-sponsored propaganda and American conservative media,” Watts, now a research fellow at the Foreign Policy Research Institute, told The Daily Beast. “We used to think of it as, ‘They just have the same views’ or, ‘They use the same story leads.’ But now they have the same personnel.”
Trump’s most unhinged supporters paying $5 a pop to use special emojis on YouTube
The pro-Trump cable network One America News is cashing in on QAnon conspiracy theorists on its YouTube channel.
OAN viewers can pay $4.95 a month to become "members" of the right-wing channel, which then allows them to use customized emojis to signal their recognition of the conspiracy theory's lore, reported The Daily Beast.
"It’s not clear how many people have signed up for the OAN YouTube membership, when OAN started offering the emojis, or how many of those sign-ups were driven by the opportunity to use QAnon emojis," writes The Beast's Will Sommer. "But the creation of the emojis reflects a decision to monetize, not expel, the conspiracy believers. If QAnon fans are going to spam QAnon in the OAN comments, it seems the network has decided they might as well get some money out of it."
Former federal prosecutor explains how AG Barr could help Trump steal the election — and take the US to ‘a very dark place’
Between the coronavirus pandemic, civil unrest in major U.S. cities, huge anti-racism protests, bitter political divisions, a heated Supreme Court battle and President Donald Trump’s ruthless voter suppression efforts, the United States’ 2020 presidential election is turning out to be even more chaotic than the elections of 2000 and 1968. Trump has a devoted loyalist in U.S. Attorney General William Barr, and former federal prosecutor Barbara McQuade discusses the effect he could have on the 2020 election in a disturbing op-ed published in the Washington Post on September 22.