If you've watched Trump's news conferences – as John Oliver does every day — you may have noticed that the president likes to call on reporters from something called "OAN." And you may have noticed as well that the OAN correspondents stroke the egomaniacal Donald even more fervently than the average Fox News toady. But exactly what is OAN?
To introduce the far-right network, Oliver serves up a few classic moments from the White House press room and its own shows – and explains its origins as (what else?) the excreta of a right-wing billionaire. There is a priceless sound-bite from anchor Graham Ledger, a Ron Burgundy type, touting the titans of industrial capitalism, none of whom he can actually identify.
Aside from irritating the White House press corps, explains Oliver, OAN is an open sewer of conspiracy theories, from the Seth Rich fiasco to the latest nonsense theory about the origins of coronavirus in some mysterious lab. No doubt this is where Trump (and his idiot sons) pick up a lot of disinformation to adorn their Twitter feeds.
It was ominous last week when the White House Correspondents Association was forced to boot OAN's Chanel Rion from the press room for failing to observe social distancing rules. As Oliver says, the network's weird combination of far-right ideology and "dirt stupid reporting" is quite dangerous in this dark hour. Nimrods like Graham Ledger are amusing in their idiocy, but they may yet get people killed.