One America News Network (OAN) has sent legal notices to Rachel Maddow, MSNBC, and The Daily Beast demanding a retraction for their publication of malicious and defamatory statements about the company.
OAN, a family-owned conservative television channel, was targeted by Maddow and The Daily Beast who accused it of being a Russian propaganda operation. OAN’s coverage of President Trump and his Make America Great Again agenda prompted Maddow to spread the conspiracy theory that an on-air news reporter, Kristian Rouz, was working on behalf of the Kremlin.
“In this case, the most obsequiously pro-Trump right wing news outlet in America really, literally is, paid Russian propaganda.”
Maddow’s report shared details of an article of a Daily Beast report written by convicted black-hat hacker Kevin Poulsen that the cable news network employs a reporter who once worked for Sputnik News. Poulsen has himself come under fire for doxing a Trump supporter the drunk Nancy Pelosi meme in an article for The Daily Beast. The piece was denounced as a “hit job” by other accredited journalists, including Jon Levine, Yashar Ali, and Michael Tracey.
“If the Fox News channel is insufficiently pro-Trump for you, you may or may not know there is another boutique news outlet that is designed specifically for Trump megafans. It’s called One America. One America News Network. The Trump White House gave this little boutique outfit a hard pass for access to the White House grounds and a permanent seat in the White House briefing room,” said Maddow on her show.
“President Trump also started quoting this little news outlet telling people they should be watching them, praising their ratings, which is the highest possible praise from this President,” she continued. “Perhaps the single most perfectly formed story of the day, the single most sparkly story of the day is this scoop from reporter Kevin Poulsen from the Daily Beast, who has sussed out that Trump’s favorite more Trumpier than Fox TV network – the one that the President has been promoting and is better than Fox – turns out that this little news network has a full time on-air reporter who covers US politics who is also simultaneously on the payroll of the Kremlin.”
“At the same time he works for Trump’s favorite One America News thing, he’s also being paid by the Russian government to produce government-funded pro-Putin propaganda for Russian government propaganda outfit called Sputnik.”
According to Maddow, Sputnik had a key role in the Russian government’s intervention of the 2016 U.S. election that saw the election of Donald Trump.
“In this case, the most obsequiously pro-Trump right wing news outlet in America really, literally is, paid Russian propaganda,” said Maddow. “Their on-air US politics reporter is paid by the Russian government to produce propaganda for that government.”
Maddow did not name the offending news reporter.
Rouz, a freelance writer who has contributed economics-related news articles to Sputnik, has “never had any decision-making authority with respect to the content that is aired on OAN,” reads the network’s cease and desist letter. “His outside work for other media outlets has no relation to — or bearing on — his work for OAN.”
Posting on Twitter, OAN host Jack Posobiec posed multiple questions to Maddow demanding proof of her assertions.
Last night on your disgraced conspiracy show you falsely claimed @OANN is "literally is paid Russian propaganda"
Do you have a shred of evidence to back up this?
Do you understand how defamation laws work?
Please feel free to respond to our lawyers
— Jack Posobiec (@JackPosobiec) July 23, 2019
“This is vile, sensationalistic reporting. These defamatory statements must be retracted immediately. One America News Network has no connection to the Russian government or any other government – no connection whatsoever, financial or otherwise,” said Skip Miler of Miller Barondess, the legal firm representing OAN.
As one of the most influential voices in liberal politics Maddow is one of the leading purveyors of the Trump-Russia conspiracy theory. She has been heavily criticized by other liberal journalists for being “lost in her cold war conspiracies.”
Ian Miles Cheong is the managing editor of Human Events