The close relationship between Donald Trump and Fox News is well-known, but it appears that the president has a new favorite. The Guardian reports that Trump has been shifting his attention to One America News Network (OAN), which he has been giving praise (and access) to as of recently.
Although OAN is much more obscure than Fox News, its focus on downplaying Russian threats, attacking mainstream media, and promoting conspiracy theories makes it a serious contender for Trump’s attention. In addition, the network was the first to carry Trump’s campaign speeches live and in full during and after the 2016 presidential election — something that Fox News doesn’t even do.
“We’re the only network that I know of that will carry the president’s speech in its entirety and, regardless of who’s the president,” said Charles Herring, president of Herring Broadcasting and son of OAN’s founder, Robert Herring.
“I really don’t care who the president is: left-leaning, right-leaning, you like him, you hate him, it just seems like that’s a function of the news,” he added.
However, The Washington Post reported that former OAN employees revealed restrictions placed on the staff, in an effort to push the outlet in a direction that Robert wants.
“The owner of the company became the de facto news director,” said a former OAN producer, who quit because of coverage biased toward Trump.
“He has a ton of influence over every aspect of the newscast. He has stories written on his whim.”
Trump just gave the first question of this press conference to Emerald Robinson, OAN's chief White House correspondent pic.twitter.com/EGI83e2vnR
— Melanie Schmitz (@MelsLien) June 12, 2019
Cassie Leuffen, who was an anchor at OAN from its inception and through the 2016 election, said that the original premise was “news straight down the middle,” but added that the story selection began to reveal bias stemming from the owner’s desires.
“He saw the popularity of Trump before almost anybody, and Trump became our bread and butter.”
Not only that, but Jack Posobiec, a conservative figure known for pushing conspiracies — such as Pizzagate — in a battle against the left, is on OAN’s Washington team. Political scientist Dan Cassino believes that Posobiec’s presence is not positive and says he is an example of the worst of the far-right’s online movement.
As The Inquisitr previously reported, Fox & Friends host Brian Kilmeade recently broke with Trump — a rarity considering the morning show’s team is typically loyal to the president. In particular, Kilmeade disagreed with the comments Trump made during his ABC News interview with George Stephanopoulos, in which he admitted he would take dirt on opponents from foreign sources. After Kilmeade’s comment, the remaining Fox & Friends hosts quickly changed the subject.