OAN spread Dominion conspiracy theories just before Dominion's defamation lawsuit

And the network is providing live coverage of Mike Lindell's conspiracy theory “symposium”

This morning, news broke that Dominion Voting Systems filed a $1.6 billion defamation lawsuit against One America News Network, as well as OAN reporters Chanel Rion and Christina Bobb. In the days leading up to the suit -- and in the hours since it was first reported -- OAN aired more of the conspiracy theory content that earned it a defamation suit in the first place. 

Dominion’s defamation suit accuses OAN, Bobb, and Rion of creating and cultivating “an alternate reality where up is down, pigs have wings, and Dominion engaged in a colossal fraud to steal the presidency from Donald Trump by rigging the vote.” According to the suit, “OAN saw a business opportunity” in spreading “false and manufactured stories about election fraud,” including “verifiably false yet devastating lies about Dominion.”

In recent days, OAN has continued to attempt to connect Dominion to non-existent widespread election fraud. On August 9, host Dan Ball ran with a flimsy attempt to create an election fraud scandal from discredited hack John Solomon (according to Ball, Solomon's report was “really damning news for Dominion”). On August 7, OAN’s Bobb said that Dominion “refused to cooperate” with a fraudulent election audit in Arizona, suggesting that it is undermining election integrity. On August 6, the network aired MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell ranting at a rally in Texas about “China attacking us with Dominion.” 

And in the hours since news of Dominion's lawsuit was first reported, OAN has been carrying most of Lindell’s “cyber symposium” live, including a five-minute clip alleging “indisputable evidence” that Dominion is a “treasonous” cog in the plot by “foreign adversaries” to steal the 2020 presidential election and conquer the world.

Video file

Citation From OAN's August 10, 2021, live coverage of Mike Lindell's Cyber Symposium

OAN has lied to its audience about the 2020 election results since before the results were announced, and Dominion Voting Systems is frequently the network’s chosen bogeyman. OAN touts charlatans as election experts to spread the lie that the 2020 election was stolen from former President Donald Trump and lies that all of this narrative “relies strictly on the facts.”

OAN has suckled up to pillow salesman and fellow defamation suit target Mike Lindell, letting him spread lies about Dominion in interviews -- and selling him hours upon hours of OAN airtime for election fraud “documentaries” and relentless advertisements for his three day “cyber symposium.” And now the network is dedicating significant live coverage to the symposium as well. Lindell has already responded to Dominion’s new lawsuits, advising the company to melt its machines into prison bars.

Not content to simply talk about election fraud, OAN is also heavily invested in making the real world respond to this imaginary threat. OAN’s Christina Bobb worked behind the scenes to ensure that the Arizona Senate greenlit an “audit” of Maricopa County’s 2020 election results. She then became OAN’s lead reporter on the “audit,” which largely involved inundating the audience with false suggestions of fraud, hosting Republican legislators to indulge in the same conspiracy theories, and a mind-numbing amount of promotion for Bobb’s nonprofit. Voices & Votes, which Bobb co-founded with Chanel Rion, eventually donated over $600,000 to the Arizona “audit,” and began raising money to spread the same fraudulent mess to Georgia, Nevada, Pennsylvania, Michigan, and Wisconsin.