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One America News spent Pride Month spreading anti-LGBTQ bigotry

In a dehumanizing escalation of the right’s smear campaign against LGBTQ people, OAN hosts attacked drag queens, transgender athletes, parents, and “anyone who is on board with the LGBT ideology”

  • One America News, a right-wing channel known for remarkably bigoted programming, spent Pride Month escalating a broad, right-wing smear campaign against the LGBTQ community. 

    Amid complaints about rainbow-flag Whopper advertisements in Austria and same-sex kisses in Disney movies, network personalities and guests dismissed discrimination against LGBTQ individuals, decried LGBTQ existence as sinful, and escalated baseless accusations that trans people, drag queens, and allies were indoctrinating and abusing children, arguing queerness is a social contagion threatening American society. 

    OAN is part of a broad right-wing media-boosted moral panic that’s coming amid increasing offline and online harassment and violence, as well as discriminatory policies, against trans people, the broader LGBTQ community, and doctors who provide gender-affirming care. Over the past month, OAN personalities and guests:

  • Platformed anti-LGBTQ bigots

  • OAN hosted an assortment of prominent bigots who spread patently false claims about Pride celebrations, gender-affirming care, and inclusive education.

  • Video file

    Citation From the June 18, 2022, edition of OAN's Weekly Briefing

    • OAN heralded anti-LGBTQ bigot Matt Walsh’s new anti-trans film What Is A Woman? as “a reason to celebrate this Pride Month.” According to a Media Matters search, the network mentioned Walsh’s film over 40 times in June. Walsh also appeared in two prime-time interviews, where he spread a debunked myth that doctors are prescribing transgender children the “drugs that we give to castrate sex offenders” and “chemically castrating kids.” He also stressed, “The trans agenda ... kind of hinges on a destruction of truth.” [One America News, In Focus, 6/2/22, Tipping Point, 6/8/22, Real America, 6/15/22; Rolling Stone, 6/10/22; Bustle, 1/29/20; PolitiFact, 4/17/22]
    • OAN spread transphobic myths with the anti-LGBTQ organization American Principles Project’s president, Terry Schilling, and policy director, Jon Schweppe. On OAN’s Weekly Briefing, Schilling shared his strong concern that children given gender-affirming medication “can never orgasm” and that “we're destroying these children's lives before they can even consent to sex.” Two days later, Schweppe warned parents with public school-age children that “where the left is most interested is taking your kids, … teaching them they can be transgender, and then taking away the ability of parents to prevent that from happening.” [One America News, Weekly Briefing, 6/18/22, Tipping Point, 6/20/22; Media Matters, 9/16/20]
    • OAN hosted anti-LGBTQ right-wing podcaster Drew Hernandez after he covered Los Angeles Pride, which Hernandez said made him “feel dirty.” Discussing his experience, he stressed, “I’ve seen people get shot, I’ve seen their faces get bashed in,” but Pride was “on a whole other level.” Hernandez and hosts agreed the LGBTQ community has “a pass to expose children” to “literal grooming ... in the name of tolerance.” [Media Matters, 6/15/22; One America News, Tipping Point, 6/13/22, Real America, 6/15/22, In Focus, 6/14/22]
  • Decried LGBTQ existence as debauched, “disgraceful,” “sinful,” and “evil”

  • Though most Americans broadly support equal rights for the LGBTQ community, OAN’s programming during Pride Month repeatedly labeled the existence of LGBTQ people as immoral or “sinful.” These morality-based attacks were often pushed on the prime-time shows Tipping Point, hosted by Kara McKinney, and In Focus, hosted by Addison Smith.

    • OAN host Addison Smith: “I don't share a movement, I don’t share a worldview, with anyone who is on board with the LGBT ideology." In a segment discussing positive Fox News coverage of a transgender teen and his accepting family, Smith decried the programming as a “disgrace” and “despicable” and accused Fox of using “manipulated” statistics about LGBTQ suicides from The Trevor Project. Guest Amala Ekpunobi of PragerU added, “If we’re going to continue to push this on children, and say that it’s the right thing to do, we have done a disservice to our society, to everybody in it.” [Media Matters, 6/14/22; The Trevor Project, 12/15/21; One America News, In Focus, 6/14/22
    • OAN host Kara McKinney: “Hopefully, we can bring back shame, you know, in a good way, in a Christian way, in a wholesome way.” While hosting The Daily Wire’s Matt Walsh to discuss his anti-trans documentary What Is A Woman? McKinney lamented the existence of Pride Month as a celebration of “sexual debauchery” and advocated for “shame” to pull people “away from that sinful aspect.” [One America News, Tipping Point, 6/8/22; Media Matters, 6/21/22
    • In Focus guest Ryan Helfenbein said of parents taking kids to Pride events: “This is absolutely child abuse. The parental guardians, the parents, they bear responsibility in this. They will not be held unguilty before the final judge in the matter. Honestly, I’m speaking as a Christian right now.” Helfenbein targeted parents who brought children to a Pride drag show after the host played (edited) footage allegedly showing a performer supposedly exposing their genitals; local police found no evidence corroborating this. He said, “For those who stand on the side of righteousness, for those who stand on the side of truth, look, you don't have to be a Christian to recognize that this is so morally depraved. The reality, though, is that this is becoming a mass conversion event to wake people up. … This has become, basically, a form of totalitarianism, of authoritarianism, where they are trying to push this, force this agenda upon every single American. And we're sick of it, absolutely sick of it.” [One America News, In Focus, 6/27/22; KHQ, 6/13/22
    • McKinney warned viewers that “in other sexual chaos news,” their taxpayer dollars are funding LGBTQ nonprofits, calling them “evil that’s really destabilizing our society.” McKinney cited right-wing agitator and misinformer Chris Rufo to misgender a two-spirit indigenous person as an example of this “evil." [One America News, Tipping Point, 6/7/22; Media Matters, 6/30/22]
    • McKinney hyped an alleged schism among German Catholics over “perhaps accepting homosexuality and other forms of sexual immorality.” McKinney complained that Pope Francis has not “come down as hard” on German bishops and their “schismatic talking” about LGBTQ people as he has on American Catholics regarding “the issue of communion and abortion.” [One America News, Tipping Point, 6/1/22]
  • Misgendered trans athletes and influencers

  • OAN regularly misgenders transgender and nonbinary celebrities, athletes, and individuals, and In Focus and Real America scaled up the blatant disrespect by using dehumanizing language — including the object pronoun “it” — to refer to transgender athletes and influencers. 

    • After the Carolina Panthers hired the NFL’s first out, transgender cheerleader, OAN host Addison Smith misgendered her, declaring, “It’s just not true … that a woman is a new Carolina Panthers cheerleader. It’s not a woman.” One of Smith’s guests, anti-trans activist Terry Schilling, stressed, “You can say, oh, well let's just tolerate other people, let’s let them live their lives. But they're not just living their lives. None of us, by the way, exist independent of society. … We all live in the same country, the same state, and we send our kids to school.” [One America News, In Focus, 6/7/22;, 6/8/22
    • Smith asserted: “We could probably have a stronger survey, stronger numbers” of Americans who support banning trans athletes from sports if pollsters “would call it what it actually is. It’s not transgender women, it’s a man.” [One America News, In Focus,  6/16/22] 
    • Smith: “We don't want to live in a society that calls men being in women’s sports ‘women's sports’ because it's not.” Smith and guest Amala Ekpunobi attacked U.S. soccer star Megan Rapinoe for standing in solidarity with Trans athletes. Smith also misgendered transgender swimmer Lia Thomas and used a loss in a 2017 informal scrimmage between her team and the U.S.-under 15 boys team as a transphobic cudgel against Rapinoe. [One America News, In Focus, 6/22/22; Time, 6/19/22; CBS, 4/17/22]
    • In a segment titled “Tampax willingly sponsors men,” OAN host Dan Ball whined about the tampon company sponsoring content creators Jeffrey Marsh, who is nonbinary, and Dylan Mulvaney, who is a transgender woman. Ball jokingly asked his guest, “What are your pronouns?” and he responded, “My pronouns are freedom.” [One America News, Real America, 6/17/22; RollingStone, 4/21/22;, 6/1/22
    • Dan Ball misgendered Lia Thomas. Reacting to a de facto ban on trans swimmers issued by swimming’s governing body, he said: “Oh I'm sorry, Mr. … Thomas!” while clearing his throat. [One America News, Real America, 6/21/22
  • Downplayed LGBTQ discrimination, denounced an effort to support the community, and dismissed LGBTQ expression as a trend

  • OAN personalities and guests downplayed widespread discrimination against the LGBTQ community and chalked up an increase in LGBTQ identification to social pressure or desire for greater social capital. 

  • Video file

    Citation From the June 6, 2022, edition of OAN's Tipping Point

    • OAN host Addison Smith declared: “I can't think of anyone, Ian, any group in history, that's been more widely accepted, revered, that has more political power and more social power than the LGBT movement." Smith’s guest, The Daily Wire’s Ian Haworth, concurred that “the left and the Democratic Party require victimhood for them to exist,” because “people who were persecuted and no longer persecuted” must believe they’re still victims, “otherwise the Democratic Party in their mind wouldn’t need to exist. … The vast majority of people don’t need protecting because America is a massively tolerant place.” [One America News, In Focus, 6/3/22]
    • OAN host Kara McKinney referred to the supposed “trendiness all things gay,” and her guest suggested “social pressure – social cachet” was “perhaps encouraging more … women to identify as bisexual.” Appearing on the June 6 edition of Tipping Point, University of London politics professor Eric Kaufmann hypothesized about the possibility that “being very liberal … encourages or perhaps incentivizes people to identify both as LGBT and as sad or anxious.” [One America News, Tipping Point, 6/6/22]
    • A Real America guest denounced an effort to tackle transgender homelessness, predicting that the unhoused would “start just claiming transgenderism. I mean, that’s what I would do.” Host Dan Ball claimed San Francisco was focusing only on trans homeless people, not “regular homeless people” or homeless veterans, and led his panel on a tirade against trans people, noting that “I don’t use the word ‘biological man or woman.’ We say ‘man’ or ‘woman’ on this program. You don’t need to say ‘biological.’” [One America News, Real America, 6/3/22; California Globe, 5/31/22; San Francisco Chronicle, 6/1/22
  • Baselessly accused the LGBTQ community of indoctrinating and abusing children and attacked parents who take kids to LGBTQ-supportive events

  • OAN hosts and guests promoted a dangerous strategy of separating LGBTQ children from their supportive families and issued general calls for the arrest, criminalization, and castration of the LGBTQ community and/or its allies – especially parents. The network baselessly accused parents of child abuse if they encourage kids to interact with drag queens, attend Pride parades, or access gender-affirming care. 

    • OAN host Addison Smith denounced parents who brought kids to a Dallas drag bar event: “What you just saw there can be described in one word: evil.” “Their parents are selling their kids at the souls — their souls — at the behest of pedophile gay drag queens,” Smith continued, adding, “Yes, they are pedophiles, and everyone who condones this are pedophile sympathizers and enablers.” [One America News, In Focus, 6/6/22]
    • Throughout June, OAN host Dan Ball repeatedly told viewers to speak out against “the woke radical mob who is in favor of oversexualizing our kids” — drag queens, Pride attendees, teachers, and other on the “left” who affirm a child’s gender identity or sexual expression — “before it’s too late, for our kids’ sake.” The Real America host assured audiences it’s not “homophobic or transphobic” to say “there are some in the far radical progressive left movement that wants to groom our children and at a very, very young age … it makes me a concerned parent.”  [One America News, Real America, 6/2/22, 6/5/22, 6/6/22, 6/7/22, 6/15/22]  
    • Tipping Point guest Drew Hernandez denounced Los Angeles Pride for “somehow” getting “a pass to expose children, to groom children, and to exploit children.” Calling the presence of kids at Pride celebrations “child endangerment” and “child exploitation,” Hernandez complained that “if this was any other community, people would be arrested, Kara, but because it is the LGBTQ community, they are a protected class, they somehow get a pass. … Arrests need to be made.” Hernandez praised Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis for “criminalizing children being brought to drag queen shows,” because “people need to be thrown in jail” for this “total depravity.” [One America News, Tipping Point, 6/13/22
    • In Focus and Real America promoted Florida legislation that would terminate parental rights and charge adults with felonies if they brought their child to a drag show, denouncing these parents as “child abusers.” On In Focus, host Addison Smith introduced the law by claiming that “the left is a little obsessed with sexually abusing kids … prancing around, twerking and stripping for children under the age of 10.” Smith declared, “I refuse to call it anything but child sexual abuse and grooming,” because “the left is using this subculture” -- drag queens -- “to intentionally incept the minds of young children for gains in the radical liberal agenda that seeks to destroy America from the inside out.” [One America News, Real America, 6/10/22; In Focus, 6/10/22; HuffPost, 6/12/22]
    • Tipping Point and Real America promoted a Texas bill that would ban minors from attending drag shows, “as it should have been already.” Real America host Dan Ball interviewed Texas state Rep. Bryan Slaton, a co-sponsor of the bill, who called a drag show “a grooming event,” and falsely alleged that drag shows for children were getting the North American Man-Boy Love Association, a fringe pro-pedophilia group, “closer and closer to their goal of this being accepted. Men and children in relationships being accepted. And it's disgusting. It should not happen in Texas. … We need to cut it out. …. We chose not to take a stand on the bathroom bill, now we have drag queen story hour in the schools, porn in the schools, all this. So we have to take a stand.” [One America News, Tipping Point, 6/7/22; Real America, 6/7/22; CBS Austin, 6/7/22]
    • Tipping Point guest Landon Starbuck blamed LGBTQ people and allies for “an epidemic of child sexual exploitation and trafficking.” Starbuck asked if sexual crimes against children are “any wonder” when “grooming is allowed on our streets, in our restaurants, in our libraries, and in our schools?” Starbuck complained that “we have laws in this country, but they’re not being applied, they're not being followed,” and called for viewers to organize to “find out why that is, and what exactly is that line? When will it be enough? When will law enforcement get involved, when will prosecutors start prosecuting these crimes?” [One America News, Tipping Point, 6/17/22
    • On In Focus, OAN correspondent Justine Murray said the “punishment” for doctors who provide gender-affirming care to kids “should be chemical castration.” Murray complained that “it’s almost as if they want us all to walk around as pod people, genderless pod people, and push this on minors.” Murray compared gender-affirming care to genital mutilation (“the same tactics that Muslim countries do”), and host Addison Smith added that “this is a violent, grotesque bunch that are literally mutilating little kids.” [One America News, In Focus, 6/18/22]
  • Video file

    Citation From the June 18, 2022, edition of OAN's In Focus with Addison Smith

  • Called for more extreme anti-LGBTQ measures and policies

  • There has been a wave of restrictive bans, policies, and legal violence targeting transgender youth, the broader queer community, and their families, and OAN has called for increasingly extreme efforts.

    • Tipping Point guest Josh Hammer: “Like you, Kara, I would prefer to see cases like Obergefell be relitigated because Obergefell was wrongly decided, and it should be overturned, but it's probably not going to happen, to be honest with you. At least any time soon.” Referring to the Dobbs decision, OAN host Kara McKinney responded that “today, we see, anything I guess is possible.” [One America News, Tipping Point, 6/24/22]
    • McKinney and Smith said the international governing body of swimming “incentivizes the worst possible outcome” and will “promote child transgenderism.” The OAN hosts’ complaints came in response to the Fédération Internationale De Natation (FINA) announcing a ban on transfeminine athletes who transitioned after age 12. A FINA spokesperson already dismissed this characterization as “ridiculous” since “you can’t transition by that age in most countries.” As medical experts and sports writers have noted, the FINA ban and other de facto bans are targeted discrimination against transgender people based in bigoted medical assumptions. [One America News, In Focus 6/21/22; One America News, Tipping Point, 6/21/22; FINA, accessed 6/30/22; Associated Press, 6/22/22; CBC, 6/22/22; NBC, 6/22/22; Vox, 3/26/21
    • Smith said he hopes for “cameras in classrooms” in response to a right-wing organization claiming that a gay-straight alliance manipulated a middle-schooler into being transgender. “There is nothing that should go on in a classroom that a parent could not Skype into,” Smith claimed, saying that “this abuse” is “systemic” and deliberately hidden from parents. [One America News, In Focus, 6/17/22; CBS News, 1/21/22