Much like its prime-time counterprogramming during the first January 6 committee hearing last week, One America News Network also chose to shield its viewers from the second one -- a hearing that explained, at length, why several of OAN’s bedrock lies about the 2020 election are simply “bullshit.”
During today’s hearing, numerous witnesses -- including Trumpworld stalwarts like former Attorney General Bill Barr, former campaign senior adviser Jason Miller, and former campaign manager Bill Stepien -- annihilated key claims about the supposed election fraud that Donald Trump repeatedly lied about, leading to the deadly assault on the Capitol.
Instead, OAN chose to air a variety of different programming, including coverage of golfer Tiger Woods’ net worth, impeachment calls from a GOP congressional candidate who praised Adolf Hitler, and a feature-length defense of the January 6 mob (which it also aired opposite the hearing on Thursday).
Dominion lies were “bullshit” and “completely nuts”
No cable news network pushed lies about Dominion Voting Systems as much as OAN. The network claimed that Dominion voting machines were used to quietly flip Trump votes to Biden in several key states. There was never any evidence for this, but OAN kept at it for months, including a demented devotion to airing MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell, who frequently melded Dominion lies with an array of other conspiracy theories about 2020.
For its incessant lies, OAN earned a $1.6 billion defamation suit from Dominion Voting Systems, which is still in court. But, ever unrepentant, OAN shielded its audience from today’s evidence that Trump’s lies about Dominion -- some of which he got directly from OAN -- were simply “bullshit.”
Former Attorney General Bill Barr: Dominion claims were “bullshit,” “idiotic,” “disturbing,” and “crazy”
Barr: Trump’s Dominion obsession had him “detached from reality” and “there was never an indication of interest in what the actual facts were.”
Former White House attorney Eric Herschmann: Dominion lies were “completely nuts” and “all over the radar”
Trump’s early victory declaration was dishonest
“The fact is that Donald Trump won a second term last night,” declared the network’s Closing Argument. “Democrats are tossing Republican ballots, harvesting fake ballots, and delaying the results to create confusion. They want their antifa buddies to cause chaos in American cities so that Americans stop focusing on the election and start fearing their own safety.”
But in the hearing that OAN didn’t want its viewers to see live, some of Trump’s former confidantes, including campaign manager Bill Stepien, noted that they told Trump and his inner circle that it was “far too early” to declare victory -- and that Trump’s decision to declare victory anyway was dishonest and unprofessional.
Stepien: “It was far too early to be making any calls like that. Ballots were still being counted. … It was far too early to be making any proclamation like that.”
Former Trump campaign senior adviser Jason Miller: “I was saying that we should not go and declare victory until we had a better sense of the numbers.”
Stepien: “I didn't think what was happening was necessarily honest or professional at that point in time, so that led to me stepping away.”
Trump’s lies about Georgia were ridiculous, dangerous
Among the many lies OAN pushed about the 2020 election, the network’s insistence upon the debunked “suitcases” conspiracy theory is a low point. OAN stuck with the completely baseless theory to the point of being sued for defamation by two Georgia poll workers after OAN specifically lied about them in pursuit of this nonsense theory.
Like the other lies OAN pushed in service to Trump, this too was debunked once again today.
Former acting Deputy Attorney General Richard Donoghue personally told Trump: “We looked at the tape. We interviewed the witnesses. There is no suitcase.”
Former Trump-appointed U.S. attorney BJay Pak: “We found that the suitcase full of ballots, the alleged black suitcase that was being seen pulled from under the table, was actually an official lockbox where ballots were kept safe. … Nothing irregular happened in the counting, and the allegations made by Mr. Giuliani were false."
Donoghue: “I told the president myself that several times, in several conversations, that these allegations about ballots being smuggled in, in the suitcase, and run through the machine several times, it was not true.”
Dinesh D’Souza’s 2000 Mules is laughably stupid
OAN devoted an enormous amount of coverage -- over eight hours in three months -- to Dinesh D’Souza’s new movie, 2000 Mules, which purports to uncover a multi-state effort to illegally submit ballots to inflate Biden’s vote totals. Much like the totally unsupported lies about Dominion, D’Souza also offered zero actual evidence for his claims, only wild assumptions to back his preordained false conclusion.
Barr: “The election was not stolen by fraud, and I haven’t seen anything since the election that changes my mind on that, including the 2000 Mules movie. … It didn’t establish widespread illegal harvesting.”
OAN aired anything it could instead of the hearing
Rather than afford its audience a glimpse of the reality behind the January 6 insurrection, OAN chose to air an array of irrelevant nonsense – peppered with defenses of the mob and attacks on the committee:
A report that Tiger Woods is now a billionaire.
Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-NY)'s complaint that Americans care more about inflation than the attack on Congress.
A Stefanik-endorsed, Hitler-praising Republican congressional candidate’s call for Biden’s impeachment.
The opening of a “Victims of Communism” museum in Washington, D.C.
“OAN exclusive” complaints that January 6 rioters are “100% being politically targeted.”
A rerun of a bizarre “documentary” defending the violent January 6 mob and suggesting the country needs a revolution.