From its right-wing slant to coverage that is overtly favorable to President Donald Trump, One American News Network (OAN) is clearly hoping to beat Fox News at its own game. Fox News still dominates right-wing discourse in cable news, but in a May 27 article for the Daily Beast, Asawin Suebsaeng reports that recently, Trump has been paying more attention to OAN than he did in the past.
OAN’s “overt flattery” of Trump, Suebsaeng reports, “seems to be paying off. Fox News is still the president’s favorite media behemoth, but OAN’s team has been catching his eye…. There’s been a conspicuous uptick in his public promotion of OAN’s segments, including on his personal Twitter account.”
Suebsaeng goes on to report that according to two Daily Beast sources “close to” the president, “Trump has tuned in more often than ever to OAN.” And according to Suebsaeng, Trump is “even pitching the network to those roaming the halls at Mar-a-Lago.”
But Trump hasn’t always spoken highly of OAN, which was founded in 2013 and is owned by Herring Networks. Suebsaeng reports that a former White House official, who agreed to be interviewed on condition of anonymity, ridiculed OAN’s production values in 2017—saying, “Such great words, such awful visuals.”
Another anonymous source told the Daily Beast that when Trump first came across OAN while channel surfing, he remarked, “What the hell is this?” and criticized OAN’s lighting.
Despite OAN’s unapologetically pro-Trump coverage, Suebsaeng stresses, the president couldn’t get past the network’s production values in 2017. But times have changed, and according to Suebsaeng, Trump has recently been promoting OAN to “make the Fox News brass jealous.” Suebsaeng likens it to “showing off a new girlfriend.” And, Suebsaeng writes, “If the brass at OAN had any problems being the president’s fallback lover, they haven’t shown it . . . Staff at OAN have done everything they can to maintain close ties to the upper echelons of Trumpworld.”