One America News, the small misinformation chain that feeds Trump’s tweets

When Donald Trump on Tuesday suggested that a police brutality against a seventy-year-old was in fact a “coup,” he takes up a dissertation defended on One America News. This is not the first time the president has promoted this little channel, which is even more right and “Trumpophile” than Fox News.

This is Donald Trump’s latest conspiratorial extravagance. The President proposed that Tuesday, June 9, on Twitter, that an incident between a 75-year-old protester and the Buffalo police was a “set” of the “antifa” movement. An uncertain claim that is contradicted by surveillance films that were immediately criticized by all media. Even the very pro-Trump channel Fox News has distanced itself from this fifteenth controversial presidential tweet. It was just the small One America News (OAN) channel left to go in the direction of the US president.

This support is not surprising: OAN has only reverted permission to the billionaire president who had revealed his new conspiracy theory by looking at this ultra-conservative channel. This is not the first time the tenant in the White House is announcing the work with One America News. He cites it almost systematically as an example when he considers that Fox News is not sympathetic enough to him. He also doesn’t miss an opportunity to thank her for politically troubled times for him, such as when the OAN relentlessly attacked Democrats during the 2019 termination process or when the chain deemed Donald Trump had done a “remarkable” job of fighting the coronavirus epidemic.

Alternative to Fox

Since the health crisis began, the US president has increasingly promoted OAN on Twitter, found the Mother Jones website. A blessing for this small chain founded in San Diego in 2013 by Robert Herring, an entrepreneur who became rich at Tech. The chain actually only has about 14,000 viewers in major US cities, compared to 631,000 for Fox News, according to an estimate from Nielsen Media Research. But thanks to Donald Trump’s Twitter feed, OAN has an audience of 82 million Internet users …

From the beginning, this channel presented itself as an alternative to Fox News, pushing the contact on conspiracy theories much further than its conservative big sister and putting the political marker further to the right. A niche that would gain popularity with the arrival of Donald Trump on the political scene in 2015. The OAN was quick to embrace Trumpism, and shortly after the businessman came to power converted to a conservative politician, the channel has become the first media to broadcast the tribunal’s speech in its whole.

Donald Trump, “as a keen media observer, quickly noted the existence of the NAO”, tells the New York Times. The White House welcomed with open arms a correspondent for this channel with a weak audience along with mainstream media for press meetings from the president.

From conspirator to conspirator and a half

It is Chanel Rion who plays this role with regard to the President as not to annoy these colleagues. It is a pure product of the type of “journalism” that Robert Herring promotes for his channel. Chanel Rion, a convinced conspirator, circulated theories suggesting that leading Democrats belonged to a Satanist sect that performed ritual murders or that relatives of Hillary Clinton were responsible for a Democrat employee. On her website, she presents herself as an anti-Clinton, fiercely opposed to Barack Obama and “all liberal left-wing intellectuals.” Shealso followed former New York mayor Rudy Giuliani, who became a lawyer and attorney for Donald Trump in Hungary to “investigate” the allegedly shady cases of the Biden family.

Despite this impressive Trump conspiratorial resume, Chanel Rion is not the star of the chain. Currently, the man is Kristian Rouz. It was he who inspired Donald Trump’s tweet when he said on the air that the scene of police brutality against the Buffalo septuagenarian was just a set. “Information” he went to “Conservative Treehouse”, a blog so full of conspiracy theories thateven some right-wing pages that Breitbart thinks are “bizarre”, points out The Daily Beast.

This slope of “conservative tree house” for the most extreme conspiracy should not disturb Kristian Rouz, himself a wonderful follower of these theories. In the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic, he assured the air that the virus was being used as a “population control” weapon by the Chinese government by Bill Gates, Georges Soros, Anthony Fauci (the respected infectious disease specialist in the US administration) and the “eternal” Bill. and Hillary Clinton.

The Russian-born “reporter” also criticized for working with One America News for Sputnik, a Russian news institute that is considered a propaganda tool for the Kremlin.

Dangerous marketing

But the chain’s reputation in the far-right Nebu Loan depends a lot on the personality of another member of the OAN: Jack Posobiec, aka “Mr. Pizzagate”. It was he who popularized 2016, this crazy dissertation according to which a Washington pizzeria served as a backbone for a huge pedophile network with several prominent members of the Democratic Party. Donald Trump’s impression, he made himself known to the French public during the 2017 presidential election when he was one of the first to circulate “MacronLeaks”, these tens of thousands of emails online following a hack aimed at relatives of Emmanuel Macron.

This chain is therefore carried by personalities who act as knights of “Trumpism” before they even do journalism. The fact that the US president promotes it on a tweet-length basis may pass, during normal times, for the fifteenth key to a “man who places loyalty to his person above all,” as the Mother Jones website recalls. But in the wake of a serious health crisis and demonstrations against police violence, this illumination of a media that also openly pours disinformation and conspiracy “is a real risk to human safety,” said Phil Napoli, media and propaganda specialist at Duke University, North Carolina, interviewed by CNN. In times of crisis, this expert recalls, the promotion of unreliable information from the government can lead to people taking risky behaviors or setting (a little) oil on fire from social tensions (already well-driven).