One America News (OAN) is at risk of being completely blacklisted by the corporate left after Verizon Fios, the largest pay-TV network still carrying OAN, effectively blaclisted the conservative channel following pressure from leftist advocacy groups.
A channel carriage contract between Verizon and OAN was set to expire at the end of this month, and Verizon says it will not reach a deal with OAN to renew it.
Verizon’s decision came after relentless pressure from leftist organizations like Media Matters and Free Press, as well as Democrat politicians. It also followed AT&T-owned DirecTV dropping OAN earlier in the year, amid similar political pressure.
The blacklisting by two dominant cable carriers in the U.S. is part of a rapidly escalating trend in the deplatforming of conservative media — an attempt to take major conservative cable channels off the air, or to bankrupt them by denying them the cable carriage revenue enjoyed by other channels.
As Breitbart News reported last month, Democrat House members Rep. Anna Eshoo (D-CA) and Rep. Jerry McNerney (D-CA) used their clout as members of the House Energy Committee’s Subcommittee on Communications and Technology, which oversees telecom regulators, to pressure carriers into dropping OAN.
Via Breitbart News:
Telecom companies have already had an impact on national politics, with Verizon and AT&T briefly shutting down Trump’s campaign texts during the 2020 election, costing him millions of dollars. These conglomerates are vertically integrated, with the major companies also distributing Cable and Satellite TV. As with other concentrations of corporate power, the left hopes to use this to censor conservative viewpoints.
Last year Democratic Reps Anna Eshoo (D-CA) and Jerry McNerney (D-CA), both of whom sit on the House Commerce Committee which oversees the FCC, wrote to the largest cable and Satellite companies including DirecTV, Verizon, Comcast, and Cox, stating: “We are concerned about the role” each distributor “plays in disseminating misinformation to millions of [its] subscribers, and we write to you to request additional information about what actions [each distributor] is taking to address these issues.”
The rise of telecom blacklisting has been blasted by one of the top Republicans in the House, Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-NY). In a recent interview with OAN, she said Verizon was taking choice away from consumers.
“It’s not up to Verizon to determine what American citizens, what information they can access. That’s up to the consumer themselves,” said Rep. Stefanik.
Verizon claims that its decision was not made on a partisan basis, with a statement on its website stating “sometimes broadcasters and cable networks demand unacceptable price increases.” But it stops short of specifically accusing OAN of making such demands, and there is no evidence that the network did so.
Leftists have made no attempts to hide their efforts to completely destroy OAN. In a statement following the Verizon news, the George Soros-funded D.C. nonprofit Common Cause urged smaller carriers to drop the network as well.
“We hope those remaining small pay-tv providers and streaming services still carrying OANN will follow suit and deprive the outlet of any platform to spread harmful conspiracy theories,” said Common Cause in a statement.
Allum Bokhari is the senior technology correspondent at Breitbart News. He is the author of #DELETED: Big Tech’s Battle to Erase the Trump Movement and Steal The Election.