OAN host primes viewers for midterms with predictions of fraud

Echoing 2020 misinformation, OAN’s Dan Ball suggests anything less than dominant Republican victories is a sign of Democratic fraud

Amid OAN’s constant false claims that the Democratic Party stole the 2020 election, Real America host Dan Ball is suggesting that the next steal is underway for the 2022 midterms. 

“If you don’t win this by a landslide,” Ball recently told Arizona gubernatorial candidate Kari Lake, “they cheated in Arizona. I’m just going to put it out there.” Both Ball and Lake are election deniers, and OAN has heavily promoted Lake’s candidacy for governor of Arizona.

Ball’s comment shows where denialism about the 2020 election takes us: Any election won by a Democratic candidate is fraudulent. Within the alternate universe constructed by right-wing media, Republicans would naturally win races all over the country if not for Democrats stealing elections.

At the end of a recent interview with Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL), Ball said that “looking at these polls, listening to the pundits -- even on the left -- everybody sees the red wave is coming. And it’s too late for Democrats.” Clasping his hands as if he was begging, Ball added that “I just hope there’s no funny business.” 

“We got to run clean elections,” Gaetz replied. “That’s certainly essential. … And we’ll have our eyes peeled for any funny business there.”

Ball’s latest suggestions that the midterms will be stolen follow nearly two years of OAN misinformation about the 2020 election, a necessary foundation for the rest of the network’s false claims about elections. In addition to its own coverage of a massive variety of 2020 fraud claims, OAN has also devoted mammoth amounts of airtime to individual stars in right-wing media’s election fraud universe. 

MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell has aired at least four different movies about supposed election fraud on OAN since last year -- and a three-day “cyber symposium” -- including his most recent movie, (S)election Code, which aired multiple times earlier this month (with an introduction from OAN’s Pearson Sharp). The movie lionizes former Mesa County, Colorado, county clerk Tina Peters, who allegedly made unauthorized copies of election data in a feeble attempt to prove that there was fraud.

OAN also hosted the television premiere of right-wing fraudster Dinesh D’Souza’s 2000 Mules, a pathetic attempt to prove that Democrats stole the 2020 election with so-called “mules” dropping illegitimate ballots in ballot drop boxes. Even though the movie has been widely debunked, it appears to be influential among the conservative movement. After the network heavily promoted 2000 Mules during its theatrical run, with over 8 hours of programming related to the movie, OAN will now air it repeatedly until Election Day.