My new favorite news network is not liberal (and not Fox)


This may be the kiss of death, but “>said when he and his father, CEO Robert Herring Sr., announced OAN in 2013.  There’s more demand than Fox News can meet, and these wealthy, conservative San Diegans were going to increase the supply. They also named their “>observes, Norquist notwithstanding, that Bush cut $19 billion of taxes when he was governor of Florida.

The other miracle is how much news you can cover, and do it well, in how little time.  Here’s a rundown of a typical 10 minutes of OAN this past weekend:

  • Air Asia wreckage search
  • 7-year-old survives plane crash
  • NYPD officer’s wake
  • Ed Brooke obit
  • Embassy bomber dies
  • Greek ferry disaster
  • Palestinians request International Criminal Court membership
  • Iran nuclear talks

 

The Air Asia piece ran 1 minute 10 seconds, which seems about right; CNN has fed exclusively on plane crashes for weeks at a time. Ten minutes of OAN tells me eight stories; ten minutes of Fox or MSNBC tells me one story, to make me mad.  Minute for minute, and nearly 24/7, OAN delivers more hard news about America and the world, more impartially, with less attitude, less lighting up of our lizard brains, and less of a makes-you-want-to-take-a-shower factor, than any other news on TV.

I said “nearly 24/7,” because there are three one-hour shows on OAN’s schedule, labeled opinion, which can be as delusional and incendiary as anything on conservative talk radio or Fox.  The Republican leadership may have taken the impeachment of President Obama off the table, but you wouldn’t know that from Graham Ledger’s OAN show.  When OAN host Rick Amato took some time off recently, filling in for him was conservative voice Dinesh D’Souza, who not long ago avoided 10 to 16 months in prison by “>Tomi Lahren,” says OAN, is, at 22, “the youngest show host in the political talk arena.” It’s weirdly entertaining to watch some of her Skyped-in guests refute the narrative they’ve been booked to endorse; their inconvenient grip on reality has no apparent impact on her march through the questions she’s planned.

If you can just manage to avoid those three shows, you’ve got a new go-to news network that’s almost always on

So far, there are no ads on OAN. Between U-verse, Verizon’s FiOS and some regional cable operators, OAN claims carriage into 10 million homes – not enough, perhaps, to be in your home, and definitely not enough, as they explain in their promos, to land classy national brands as advertisers.  Until they double their penetration, instead of running cash-for-gold and thigh-master commercials, they’re slicing up the news hour with splendor-and-beauty footage from around the world, plus 60-second bits of Americana, like the story of the Pony Express, and John Brown’s raid on Harper’s Ferry. OAN has also produced particularly sly minutes connecting American icons to conservative values.  We hear a nativist sentiment – “We have room for but one language here, and that is the English language” – and then learn the words are Theodore Roosevelt’s. There’s a minute on welfare reform, with Bill Clinton saying welfare should be “a second chance, not a way of life.” George W. Bush martyk@jewishjournal.com.

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