- Trump allies are reportedly working on acquiring One America News Network.
- The deal comes as Donald Trump and the Republicans express concern about Fox News’ coverage.
- Survey results show that mistrust among Republicans could open the door for another conservative news media voice.
There’s been a lot of debate over just how biased the media is, with liberals typically taking the brunt of the criticism. That doesn’t mean conservatives don’t have a voice, though. Fox News has long been a vehicle for that voice, with what many consider to be an overwhelmingly right-leaning agenda.
As it turns out, Fox isn’t quite right-enough for Donald Trump and his supporters. In recent months, Trump lashed out at the news outlet on Twitter, criticizing everything from it’s pollsters to its on-air personalities. At the time, many believed that Trump was becoming increasingly desperate as his impeachment hearing heated up.
A New Conservative Voice
Now, the president’s supporters are considering taking matters into their own hands by buying their own network. According to The Wall Street Journal, Hicks Equity Partners has been pitching the idea of acquiring One America News Network in an effort to add another conservative news outlet to the mix. Thomas Hicks Jr., co-chairman of the Republican National Committee and friend to Donald Trump, owns Hicks Equity Partners.
The firm has been talking over the idea with wealthy GOP donors in an effort to secure a bid of around $250 million to take control of the channel’s parent company. One America News Network has a reputation for conservative media coverage, something that appeals to donors who are interested in being part of the bid.
One America News has just launched a live 24/7, 365 days a year, uninterrupted cable feed on Facebook, and it's only $4.99 per month. Now you can watch @OANN live, anytime, anywhere in the world! Go to our Facebook page to become a supporter today! https://t.co/V3LbeDcIdK pic.twitter.com/tfUBkCdiOC
— One America News (@OANN) August 9, 2019
Doug Deason, an investor who was pitched by Hicks and is keen to participate in the bid, told the Journal the left needs another voice outside of Fox. Others claim Fox isn’t doing enough to support Republicans, citing the network’s failure to air Donald Trump’s campaign rallies in full.
Trump himself has similarly criticized the network saying,
The Dems wouldn’t let @FoxNews get near their bad ratings debates, yet Fox panders. Pathetic!
Could One America Compete?
At present, One America has a markedly smaller audience than its mainstream peers. Last year, One America said it was available in 35 million homes across the nation. A buyout by Hicks could dramatically increase that figure. Among other things, a change in ownership could result in better production value, more diverse coverage and the ability to secure better distribution deals through pay-TV firms.
But whether One America would be taken seriously is another question. Donald Trump came out in support of the network on Twitter, saying,
Whenever possible I turn to @OANN!
According to a survey by the Knight Foundation and Gallup, Fox News is perceived as one of the most biased major news outlets— among Democrats. Among Republicans, it was seen as the least biased. The opposite was true for most other mainstream outlets like The New York Times, which was perceived as biased by Republicans but unbiased by Democrats.
A Donald Trump Channel Is Dangerous
The survey findings point to a greater trend in the media— that bias is generally accepted as long as it aligns with the viewpoint of the viewer. The survey also notes that Republicans, more so than Democrats, are skeptical about mainstream media.
According to the Gallup poll, Americans believe that 62% of TV news is biased. Democrats, however, said they believe that just 44% of TV news is biased. Republicans were much less trusting, saying that 77% of the news on TV is biased
Those results suggest there’s a market for another conservative media channel and that Republicans are hungry for more coverage of the things they deem important. It’s worth noting, though, that Trump is toeing a dangerous line tossing Fox under the bus. While conservatives may want to watch right-leaning news, a Trump-centered channel could also tamper with their trust.