Could San Diego-based One America News Network be the next right-wing media outlet slapped with a huge lawsuit?
The same day Smartmatic sued Fox News and several hosts for defamation — and $2.7 billion in damages — Dominion Voting Systems said Thursday it had asked Facebook and other social media platforms to preserve posts and data from several conservative-leaning networks.
Defamation claims revolve around media allegations that Dominion rigged the 2020 presidential election.
Lawyers for Dominion’s parent company sent letters to Facebook, YouTube, Parler and Twitter stating that the posts and data from Fox, Newsmax, One America News Network (OAN), former President Trump and others are relevant to Dominion’s pending and forthcoming claims.
Last month, Dominion filed defamation lawsuits against Trump’s lawyer Rudolph Giuliani and his former lawyer Sidney Powell. The company has stated that more lawsuits will follow.
It has previously warned the networks and others mentioned in Thursday’s letters that defamation litigation against them is “imminent,” according to Dominion.
On Thursday, OAN promoted a Friday ad with MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell, appearing for “a never-before-seen report breaking down election fraud evidence & showing how the unprecedented level of voter fraud was committed in the 2020 Presidential Election.”
Earlier this week on Newsmax, Lindell began making accusations against Dominion that led to a host rebutting election fraud claims and leaving the set in a viral video.
Friday morning’s airing of the three-hour Lindell documentary was preceded by an OAN disclaimer, saying it was an advertisement and not the work of OAN.
“OAN does not adopt or endorse any statements or opinions in this program regarding the following entities or people: US Dominion Inc. (and any related entries); Smartmatic USA Corp., Brian Kemp; Brad Rafensperger, or Gabriel Sterling,” the OAN disclaimer said. “Further, the statements and claims expressed in this program are presented at this time as opinions only and are not intended to be taken or interpreted by the viewer as established fact.”
On Tuesday, OAN aired a report on Dominion that it summarized on its website: “The Stark County, Ohio commissioner’s office is raising concerns among its constituents over the fact that the county’s board of elections awarded the contract to Dominion.”
A Fox News spokesperson referred Reuters to several segments on the network, including one in which a Dominion spokesperson debunks accusations of voter fraud.
Newsmax declined to comment. OANN did not immediately reply to requests for comment.
Earlier on Thursday, electronic voting systems maker Smartmatic sued Fox News and parent company Fox Corp., Giuliani, Powell and others, claiming they falsely accused the company of helping to rig the U.S. presidential election in favor of Joe Biden.
The defamation suit, filed in New York County Supreme Court, seeks more than $2.7 billion in compensatory and punitive damages. Smartmatic also asks for defendants to retract false statements.
The Smartmatic suit also notes the pressure Fox News has been under from rival media outlets.
Referring to Fox News, the lawsuit says: “Defendants were motivated, in part, by the desire for ratings, to cater to individuals and companies supporting President Trump, and to avoid losing viewers to competing media organizations like OAN (One America News) and Newsmax.”
A representative for Twitter declined to comment. Representatives for Facebook, YouTube, Parler and Trump could not immediately be reached for comment.
Updated at 10:30 a.m. Feb. 5, 2021
— Ken Stone contributed to this report