From Wealth TV to OAN - Rich Conservatives are Brainwashing the Country

SHOULD NOT SEE TV-A few years ago, there was an obscure little broadcasting channel called AWE that referred to themselves as “Wealth TV.”

It catered to those that had more money than most of us could spend in a lifetime, any could view choices in buying a yacht, choosing mega-million-dollar homes, or even traveling to obscure or interesting countries around the world. 

To say that the people running this channel were out of touch with the average human being is an overstatement, but one has to assume that there were enough to watch them to pay their bills. With programming such as Boys Toys, Dream Cruises, Private Islands, and Platinum Playgrounds, anyone with enough money could sit back and be entertained with shows that matched their lifestyle. As you might guess, AWE was founded by an eccentric insomniac millionaire, Robert Herring. 

It didn’t take long for his news junkie focus to become bored with AWE and so in 2013 he decided to change the channel to “OAN” (One America News). All you have to do is watch this channel to realize that the name is an oxymoron. What may have started with the idea of a real news broadcasting organization made an abrupt right turn as the dawn of the 2016 approached. From that point on, OAN became a kind of “Trump tv,” and it was done to compete with Fox. OAN quickly transitioned from middle of the road reporting to a channel that tried to find the most outrageous and bizarre conspiracy theories and lies that they could tell to woo Trump to their side. . .and it worked. 

It’s quite apparent that 80-year-old Robert Herring has long forgotten his middle-class roots. Although he began his professional career as a circuit board sales rep in Orange County, California, he made his millions by founding and then selling two circuit board companies of his own. If there is one thing that we can say about many salesmen (or women) it’s that they usually have their “pitch” ingrained in their souls. 

Sales reps know that it is ALWAYS about the sale — whether the product is good, bad, destructive, or just an outright lie. This is the philosophy that Herring lives by. 

Herring is adept at seeing what “sells” and in news junkie format, he became obsessed with how MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow and Fox’s Bill O’Reilly were redesigning information by beating one or two topics to death. 

In a Washington Post article entitled An inside look at One America News, the insurgent TV network taking ‘pro-Trump’ to new heights 

In 2013, the family created its second channel, One America News. Robert Herring’s idea was to provide something that had gone missing from the cable news landscape — a basic headline service covering national and international news. Herring, long an active donor to political campaigns, had no journalism experience. 

The channel he created is a rapid-fire cavalcade of headlines. Most stories run well under a minute. Almost all of the reports are read by the anchors over video footage provided by the Reuters, Associated Press and Euronews services, as well as by RT, the Kremlin-funded news outlet that a U.S. intelligence report calls ‘Russia’s state-run propaganda machine.’”


The OAN Con: Appeal to Trump and the Trump Cult 

Herring may be noted as one of the first to recognize that Trump was broadcast gold. His bizarre, strange, ridiculous, sick and twisted presence may make a majority of us want to vomit, but there is no doubting that mainstream media saw him as a draw for the public. Herring made sure that OAN broadcast all of Trump’s Hitler-esque rallies, even when other channels weren’t. They also constantly praised Trump and never criticized or made a negative word about him. 

Just having conservative so-called news that mimicked other broadcasts wasn’t enough. Herring knew that he had to get national recognition in the WH Press Briefings. To that extent he sent so-called “reporters” to attend, and the success was shown when they were moved from the back of the room closer to the front when one of them refused to comply with social distancing and later began praising Trump’s claim for the potentially dangerous drug, hydroxycholorquine, as a COVID-19 cure. Herring knew that Trump is a narcissist and always rewards those that compliment and coo to his side. But not everything went the way of OAN, as even when Herring had a meeting with Trump at the White House, the channel received only a positive comment about their graphics. 

It has taken almost 4 years for OAN to gain favor with Trump, and one may give credit to Fox as having finally had enough of Trump as they have started to actually report “news” that wasn’t the brainwashing propaganda that Trump wanted them to tell. Looking for another source to soothe his ego, Trump began to field more questions from the OAN reporters and talk about the station in a more positive light. 

Trying to make a state-run news organization like the ones that we saw in pre-WWII Germany and Italy is a difficult job. In an article by CJR: One America News was desperate for Trump’s approval. Here’s how it got it. 

Charles Herring, OAN’s president and Robert Herring’s son, says that the network’s news shows are unbiased. ‘Our news anchors are NOT allowed to express their opinion,’ he wrote to me in an email. ‘They are presenters, and the STAR of the show is the ‘news,’ not the talent.’ But to tune in is to enter a dizzying alternaverse in which the least credible of Republican talking points are taken as fact. On OAN, Trump is perennially the victim of deep-state scheming  Democrats’ efforts to block a census citizenship question were a ploy to hijack the Electoral College. And the Pentagon, by investigating atrocities committed under the American flag, is waging a “war on warriors.” Last December, OAN ran a three-hour special in which Rion and Rudy Giuliani collaborated to ‘debunk the impeachment hoax.’ (Russian state television later rebroadcast part of the special.) 

[Andrew McCormick, CJR writer] spoke with more than a dozen former and current employees of OAN, some on the condition of anonymity because they feared reprisal. A few had kind words for the network and for their coworkers, but collectively they described a circus, where ethics are absent, turnover is high, and dissent is met with rage. At the helm, they say, is Robert Herring, a wealthy businessman and kind of mini-Trump, whose near-singular focus seems to be supporting the president and his policies. ‘[Herring] is the network,’ a former anchor told me. ‘He is in control of absolutely everything he wants to be, and if someone doesn’t like it they’re fired.’” 

Robert Herring is a kind of enigma. While he is in lockstep with most of Trump’s ideologies such as anti-immigration, racism, bigotry, and climate change denial, he also drives a Tesla, invests in stock and demands that there are no negative stories on the company. Other topics that are taboo include police brutality against Black Americans, specifically unarmed Black men. The channel may have started out with a desire to be a middle of the road reporting, but it has turned into “whatever Herring wants.” 

OAN may be parroting whatever the right-wing Trump cult wants to hear, including some of the tin foil hat stuff from the likes of Breitbart, but they have competition. Quite some time ago I wrote an article entitled: Sinclair Conservative Broadcasting Set to Spread Propaganda to almost Half of American Homes 


This is information regarding the hundreds of local broadcasting stations that Sinclair has bought up around the country: 

As newspapers shut down across the country they create what is known as ‘information deserts’ and it’s in these areas that Sinclair has jumped in to buy up local television stations so that they can fill the gap with the kind of propaganda that one would only expect to see or hear in an authoritarian regime.

Under the guise of ‘balanced reporting,’ Sinclair is manipulating what the average American sees and hears to match what THEY want you to believe. 

If you still doubt, just take a look at the video that was exposed to show the kind of cut and paste content that they are sending out in the over 193 stations that they own; which is currently 39% of American households.”


 Image source: Funny or Die


The Continuation of Crazy without Trump 

Now that Trump is becoming yesterday’s news and everyone from the State of New York to Deutsche Bank and the country of Scotland are coming after him for his criminal activities, the question to be asked is: will there be anyone to buy the nut job reporting of right-wing media? 

Rupert Murdoch knew that there was a market in the U.S. for those that would believe absolutely anything. He made his millions in the U.K. with tabloids that did this kind of lying and then founded “Fox” (not news) in the U.S. These are the same people that continue to buy our grocery store tabloids and watch shows like Honey Boo Boo and Duck Dynasty. Some have said that they aren’t the smartest tool in the shed and based on what we have seen in the last 5 years, I think a lot of us believe it. 

As Fox has lost favor with Trump, we are seeing organizations such as OAN and now Newsmax add to the Sinclair Broadcasting efforts to accomplish the Orwelian mass brainwashing with propaganda that should be obvious to even 10-year-olds. Sadly, it appears that what many around the world think of our citizens is true — Americans really ARE that stupid! 

Thus far, there are billions of dollars invested in these right-wing extremist broadcasting groups and they aren’t going to let a little thing like a lack of Trump stop them. We can only hope that the new Biden/Harris administration will work with our legislators to introduce requirements for cable “news” to offer truth in reporting. . .what a concept.


(S. Novi is a journalist that worked in the media and continues to seek out truth and integrity. A liberal and one that is suspicious of cults and empty promises. This piece appeared on Medium.com.)  Prepped for CityWatch by Linda Abrams.