An inside look at One America News, the insurgent TV network taking ‘pro-Trump’ to new heights
One America News is an obscure TV channel struggling to emerge from the cellar of the cable ratings, but it is nonetheless one of President Trump’s favorite media outlets. It’s not hard to see why: On One America newscasts, the Trump administration is a juggernaut of progress, a shining success with a daily drumbeat of achievements.
One America — a tiny father-and-sons operation that often delivers four times as many stories per hour as its competitors — promises “straight news, no opinion,” promoting itself as the antidote to the Big Three cable news networks’ focus on punditry and the one big story of the moment.
But since its inception in 2013, and especially since Trump began his march to the White House, One America’s owner, Robert Herring Sr., a millionaire who made his money printing circuit boards, has directed his channel to push Trump’s candidacy, scuttle stories about police shootings, encourage antiabortion stories, minimize coverage of Russian aggression, and steer away from the new president’s troubles, according to more than a dozen current and former producers, writers and anchors, as well as internal emails from Herring and his top news executives.
OAN, based in San Diego, made its first splash in the opening weeks of the Trump campaign, when the channel became the first to carry Trump’s campaign speeches live and in full — a decision followed quickly by the owner’s directive that other candidates’ rallies not be given the same treatment, according to internal emails.
Since then, OAN has become a reliably sympathetic voice of the administration’s goals and actions. Trump’s former campaign manager, Corey Lewandowski, has a deal to appear regularly on the channel. The network’s White House reporter, Trey Yingst, has become an administration favorite who was called on at the daily news briefings 27 times in Trump’s first 100 days in office. On Friday, OAN won a seat in the White House briefing room, albeit in the back row and shared with the BBC.
In a volatile TV news landscape where the longtime ratings leader, Fox News, is suffering through a period of internal turmoil, One America has tried to elbow itself into the big leagues, publicly wooing former Fox star Bill O’Reilly to join OAN. Although O’Reilly didn’t take the bait and the channel is available in only about 30 million homes, a far cry from Fox News’s 90 million, One America is growing — in viewer numbers, in influence in Republican circles, and as a potential alternative for conservatives and libertarians who believe Fox’s commitment to a right-wing perspective is weakening.
Read more at The Washington Post.