On small step for AT&T one giant step for sanity in broadcasting. The bad ship OAN is ready to sail off the edge of the flat earth in April, unable to bring its own brand of conspiracy theories and disinformation to the MAGA masses, due to a change in management at AT&T and they are not taking it well. Maybe it’s a blessing, or perhaps it’s merely an eventuality that OAN’s end is in sight.
It could be a blessing for OAN to fold its tents and depart quietly now, rather than being bankrupted by Dominion Voting Systems, who sued them in August, 2021. On the other hand, it may have just been a matter of time in any event before cooler corporate heads prevailed and decided that they didn’t want to continue to bankroll the fact-free pseudo news network.
If you’ve followed this story at all, back in October Reuter’s did a story, “Trump TV: The AT&T Connection” revealing that OAN was the monster to AT&T’s Dr. Frankenstein. Since then, AT&T has had a shift in corporate personnel, and the new broom has decided to sweep clean. AT&T owns Direct TV, which was the main source of distribution for OAN, and Direct TV dumped OAN last Friday. OAN is now dependent upon its relationships with “Verizon FiOS, which only makes OAN available to a few million American homes and is experiencing a decline in subscribers, and CenturyLink Prism, a struggling service that looks to be in its final days.”
That is hardly an auspicious future to contemplate. So last week, in an attempt to avoid this fate, OAN host Dan Ball decided that soliciting salacious gossip about racist slurs and extramarital affairs on the part of the AT&T exec who made the call to drop OAN from Direct TV was a great way to handle things. This is the Mike Lindell School Of Public Relations, where if somebody does something you don’t like, you tell your trolls to go harass them, or in this case, to dig up dirt. Daily Beast:
At the end of Monday night’s broadcast of his show Real America, and after saying earlier in the show that OAN “is now at war with AT&T,” Ball told viewers that he was going to “remind them every single day” until DirecTV pulls the plug in April that “we need your help.”
Airing a graphic that featured AT&T’s customer support number and a picture of AT&T chairman William Kennard, Ball noted that Kennard had “connections to the Obamas and Clintons for decades.” (Kennard, a former Federal Communications Commission chairman in the George W. Bush administration, served as U.S. ambassador to the European Union under former President Barack Obama.)
Urging his audience to “raise hell” by calling the AT&T support line “every hour” to demand they keep OAN, the conservative host then accused Kennard of “doing nothing but a political maneuver by pressuring DirecTV” to boot the network from its service.
Besides begging OAN viewers to “blow up” AT&T’s phone lines with demands that they keep his channel, Ball also called on them to send them any salacious information about the conglomerate’s chairman.
“If you have any dirt on Mr. Kennard, I’d love to see it and put it on this program,” the Real America host exclaimed.
“You bring me concrete evidence of whatever it may be: cheating on his taxes, cheating on his wife, saying racial slurs against white people,” Ball added, unsubtly referencing the fact that Kennard is Black. “Whatever it may be. Find it for me. Bring it, and we will air it.”
He wrapped his plea by saying “everybody’s got dirty little sins and secrets they’re hiding” and that Kennard “deserves to have his exposed” over DirecTV deciding to cut ties with One America News.
Here’s a link to his rant on Facebook, if you want to listen to it. At least he isn’t broadcasting from under the bed, like Mellissa Carone does in her Facebook posts. Only the best people, right?
That was on Monday and it was an effort in futility. No dirt on Kennard, OAN is still having the plug pulled in April. That led the owner of OAN, Robert Herring, Sr. to try a different tack, that of going to the viewers to fix the problem, but this time not with vengeance, but by petitioning other carriers to pick up OAN. This approach is going to go the way of the other, which is to say nowhere and fast.
“Now we don’t know exactly what we are going to do yet. But don’t worry, we have a lot of options,” he proclaimed. “We have always been and are still more than happy to talk to the cable providers throughout the country.”
Herring added: “We would also like to ask you, our viewers, to please reach out to the cable provider in your area—whether it’s Spectrum, Dish, or any of the other great providers—and let them know that you would like for them to carry One America News. We only charge 10 cents per household per month. That is a great deal by any standard, given all of the amazing content our team puts out.”
Here’s a thought and this isn’t meant snidely: What about TMTG, Trump Media and Technology Group? Truth Social is supposed to launch February 21. Why not debut OAN on a new platform as well?
Let’s keep on eye on both, shall we, Truth Social and OAN. Until February at least, we’ll hold off on saying bon voyage to both.