How AT&T helped build far-right One America News

A Reuters review of court records shows the role AT&T played in creating and funding OAN, a network that continues to spread conspiracy theories about the 2020 election and the COVID-19 pandemic.

OAN founder and chief executive Robert Herring Sr has testified that the inspiration to launch OAN in 2013 came from AT&T executives.

“They told us they wanted a conservative network,” Herring said during a 2019 deposition seen by Reuters. “They only had one, which was Fox News, and they had seven others on the other [leftwing] side. When they said that, I jumped to it and built one.”

Reuters

The stunning extent to which Trumpism is centered among Fox News-watching Republicans

…there is a powerful Fox News Party operating within the Republican Party,” PRRI’s CEO Robert Jones told The Post in an email. “Fully 40 percent of Republicans say they most trust Fox News to provide accurate information about current events and politics, and this group looks different from other Republicans on nearly every issue.”

“They are President Trump’s foot soldiers within the party,” he added. ” … So when the president talks directly to Fox News, it essentially functions as a command and control center linking him to his most stalwart supporters.”

Washington Post

Related:

Watching Fox News makes you more stupid

More Evidence that Exposure to Right-Wing Media Rots Your Brain

In recent weeks, three studies have focused on conservative media’s role in fostering confusion about the seriousness of the coronavirus. Taken together, they paint a picture of a media ecosystem that amplifies misinformation, entertains conspiracy theories and discourages audiences from taking concrete steps to protect themselves and others.

“We are receiving an incredible number of studies and solid data showing that consuming far-right media and social media content was strongly associated with low concern about the virus at the onset of the pandemic,” said Irene Pasquetto, chief editor of the Harvard Kennedy School Misinformation Review, which published one of the studies.

…those who relied on conservative sources, such as Fox News and Rush Limbaugh, were more likely to believe in conspiracy theories or unfounded rumors, such as the belief that taking vitamin C could prevent infection, that the Chinese government had created the virus, and that the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention was exaggerating the pandemic’s threat “to damage the Trump presidency.”

Washington Post


Related:

Republicans, Democrats Move Even Further Apart in Coronavirus Concerns

Growing share of Republicans say ‘the worst is behind us’

Google Bans Two Right-Wing Outfits From Monetizing Their Unsubstantiated Claims

ZeroHedge and The Federalist

Google has banned two far-right websites from its advertising platform after research revealed the tech giant was profiting from articles pushing unsubstantiated claims about the Black Lives Matter protests.

The two sites, ZeroHedge and The Federalist, will no longer be able to generate revenue from any advertisements served by Google Ads.

A Google spokesperson said in an email that it took action after determining the websites violated its policies on content related to race.

Google’s ban of the websites comes after the company was notified of research conducted by the Center for Countering Digital Hate, a British nonprofit that combats online hate and misinformation. They found that 10 U.S-based websites have published what they say are racist articles about the protests, and projected that the websites would make millions of dollars through Google Ads.

NBC News

Faux News Sued for Calling Coronavirus “A Hoax”, Airing False Information

An obscure Washington state group has become the first in the nation to sue Fox News over its coronavirus coverage, asking a state court to keep the cable network from airing false information about the pandemic.

The 10-page complaint — filed Thursday in King County — also names as defendants Fox News Corp., owner Rupert Murdoch, AT&T TV and COMCAST.

It seeks an injunction to prohibit the conservative-leaning outlet from “interfering with reasonable and necessary measures to contain the virus by publishing further false and deceptive content.”

Times of San Diego

When Right-Wing Media Poses a Threat to National Health and Well-Being

How Right-Wing Pundits Are Covering Coronavirus

Conservative media stars aren’t worried. Neither is President Trump.

“This sort of media spin poses a clear and present danger to public health,” said Charlie Sykes, a longtime conservative host and author who published a book, “How the Right Lost Its Mind,” in 2018. “If you have people out there who feel all of this is overblown, and feel the need to act out their lack of concern by not taking precautions, it could be exceptionally dangerous.

“That’s not just a problem for the right wing, that becomes a real threat to the general population,” added Mr. Sykes, who is also a contributor to MSNBC. “When people start dying, the entertainment value wears off.”

NY Times

Related: Watching Faux News makes you stupid.