When MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow branded One America News Network “paid Russian propaganda” back in July, the network demanded a retraction.
Since that hasn’t worked, the conservative network decided on something stronger.
About 10 million times stronger.
One America News Network filed a $10 million lawsuit on Monday, according to a news release from the network’s law firm, naming Maddow, MSNBC, NBC Universal and parent company Comcast as defendants for a segment in which Maddow called OANN “really, literally Russian propaganda.”
“OAN asserts that, in fact, Defendants knew this statement was false and that they acted maliciously and recklessly in making it,” the news release says.
“The Complaint alleges that the statement was meant to damage OAN’s business and reputation because OAN, unlike MSNBC, presents a conservative viewpoint; and that OAN was targeted in retaliation for calling out Defendants for their anti-competitive censorship in refusing to carry OAN on its cable system,” it says.
The heart of the matter is Maddow’s coverage of a July 22 article on The Daily Beast that identified a One America News Network contributor as also being a paid contributor to Sputnik, a Russian government-owned news site based in Moscow with operations in the United States.
The letters acknowledged that the OANN contributor also worked for Sputnik, but denied the man, identified as Kristian Rouz, had any authoritative role at OANN.
”The malicious claim that OAN is a Russian propaganda operation is vile, sensationalistic reporting. You should immediately retract this defamatory statement,” the letters said.
Rouz, a Russian national, “has never had decision-making authority with respect to the content that is aired on OAN. His outside work for other media outlets has no relation to — or bearing on — his work for OAN,” the letters said.
That is definitely not the impression Maddow’s viewers would have gotten from her July 22 broadcast.
Since even before Donald Trump’s presidency began, MSNBC has been relentless in its pursuit of the Russian “collusion” story. Even among a generally anti-Trump media, MSNBC has stood out, with Maddow virtually setting the standard for liberally biased coverage. (When then-special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation came up empty in May, Maddow’s ratings paid the price.)
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One America News Network, on the other hand, is decidedly pro-Trump, which would make it a target for virtually any mainstream media outlet but particularly for MSNBC.
Launched in 2013, it is owned by Herring Networks Inc., based San Diego, according to the news release.
“One America is wholly owned, operated and financed by the Herring family in San Diego. They are as American as apple pie,” attorney Skip Miller said in the news release.
“They are not paid by Russia and have nothing to do with the Russian government,” he said. “This is a false and malicious libel, and they’re going to answer for it in a court of law.”
The Western Journal has reached out to NBC. This post will be updated with any response.
The Western Journal has also reached out to Miller Barondess, One America News Network’s attorneys, for a copy of the lawsuit.
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