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American News Mar 4, 2021 9:04 PM EST

OAN responds to Democrat-led attempt to censor network

OAN is fighting against not only those congressmen who reached out to platforms to instruct them on what press outlets to refuse to air, but against the kind of vast Democrat-led overreach into the media landscape.

OAN responds to Democrat-led attempt to censor network
Libby Emmons Brooklyn, NY

This article was published more than 1 year ago, information might not be up to date.

House Democrats reached out to platforms to demand that they remove conservative broadcasters. Reps. Anna Eshoo (D-CA) and Jerry McNerney (D-CA) sent a letter to multiple cable, broadband, and streaming companies demanding the removal of Fox News, OAN, and Newsmax. OAN is fighting back.

OANN sent a letter, obtained by The Post Millennial, to Eshoo and McNerney, saying that their plea to platforms to remove content that they don't like "tortiously interferes with OAN's contractual relationships." The letter reads that the congressmen's missive additionally interfere's "with OAN's prospective economic advantage," as well as being a violation of "OAN's First Amendment rights." The government seeking to bar a press entity from speaking is certainly a violation of America's right to a free press.

OAN suggests that while the congressmen accuse OAN and the others of bias and misinformation, they are relying on the word of biased news outlets that themselves have peddled in misinformation. OAN writes "the Letters remarkably rely for support on a host of stories and reports from news organizations and others that have repeatedly engaged in misinformation, disinformation, conspiracy theories, and lies."

"Presumably you must realize," the letter states, "that these Biased News Outlets fall within the scope of the Letters' following statement, 'Some purported news outlets have long been misinformation rumor mills and conspiracy theory hotbeds that produce content that leads to real harm.' Your reliance on reporting of the Biased News Outlets completely undermines the Letters and renders them bereft of any credible support at all and is frankly, pathetic. Nonetheless, please note that unlike you, we do not suggest that any of those organizations be censored."

OAN notes that the questions contained in the Reps.' letters were not so much questions as they were threats. These questions were

"What moral or ethical principles (including those related to journalistic integrity, violence, medical information, and public health) do you apply in deciding which channels to carry or when to take adverse actions against a channel? Do you require, through contracts or otherwise, that the channels you carry abide by any content guidelines? If so, please provide a copy of the guidelines.

"How many of your subscribers viewed Fox News on YouTube TV for each of the four weeks preceding the November 3, 2020 elections and the January 6, 2021 attacks on the Capitol? Please specify the number of subscribers that tuned in to each channel. What steps did you take prior to, on, and following the November 3, 2020 elections and the January 6, 2021 attacks to monitor, respond to, and reduce the spread of disinformation, including encouragement or incitement of violence by channels your company disseminates to millions of Americans? Please describe each step that you took and when it was taken.

"Have you taken any adverse actions against a channel, including Fox News, Newsmax, and OANN, for using your platform to disseminate disinformation related directly or indirectly to the November 3, 2020 elections, the January 6, 2021 Capitol insurrection, or COVID-19 misinformation? If yes, please describe each action, when it was taken, and the parties involved.

Have you ever taken any actions against a channel for using your platform to disseminate any disinformation? If yes, please describe each action and when it was taken. Are you planning to continue carrying Fox News on YouTube TV both now and beyond any contract renewal date? Are you planning to continue carrying Fox News, Newsmax, and OANN apps in the Play Store? If so, why?"

Attorney Alan Dershowitz said of these questions "That's not a question. That's a threat. ... And that comes within the First Amendment, and I think there is room for a potential lawsuit for declaratory judgment at least, saying that Congress has no authority to tell or suggest or imply to cable operators that they should take people off the air as the result of content. That would violate the First Amendment."

OAN compares Eshoo and McNerney to "some of history's most brutal dictators and one of the lowest points in the American experience." OAN tells the reps that "your Letters place you in good company with some of the most brutal and barbaric dictators that ever walked the face of the earth. Not that you are brutal dictators, but the Letters, stamped with the logo of the Congress of the greatest Republic in human history, would make those dictators dance with delight."

OAN is fighting against not only those congressmen who reached out to platforms to instruct them on what press outlets to refuse to air, but against the kind of vast Democrat-led overreach into the media landscape.

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