OAN Programming Inspires Death Threats Against Election Officials

In an explosive new report by Vice News, OAN programming is found to have directly inspired death threats made to hundreds of poll and election workers over the past year. From Fulton County GA., home to Atlanta, to Maricopa County AZ., home to Phoenix, election officials and poll workers received angry and threatening phone calls, emails, and text messages from Trump supporters emboldened by the baseless conspiracy theory that President Trump lost the 2020 election due to fraud.

OAN, famous for being a Trump favorite, spent much of 2021 promoting unsubstantiated conspiracy claims like President Trump’s Big Lie as well as discouraging their audience from taking even the most basic coronavirus precautions. The network’s programming also actively encouraged viewers to contact election officials and poll workers. It even went so far as to reveal private telephone numbers or email addresses on-air. As Vice reports, “Barron first started receiving death threats after Trump screened an OANN news report on a jumbotron at a Dec 5th rally in Valdosta, Georgia that mentioned Barron by name. 

Derrick Risner claimed he got Barron’s number while watching a segment on OANN. ‘I was watching One American News and they put his phone number on there and they said, ‘Give the man a call,’ Risner told VICE News.”

Criminal threats are illegal in every U.S. state, as well as at the federal level. 2021’s spate of criminal threats made to election officials and workers have led to a mass-exodus from those positions, countrywide. Those resignations included that of Richard Barron, the director of elections for the aforementioned Fulton County. 

OAN network was recently informed that it’s being removed from DirecTV’s airwaves. 

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