Protesters stood outside the One America News Network headquarters on Morena Boulevard Saturday to demonstrate against the conservative news station for what they say are lies.
At one point, OANN CEO and founder Robert Herring Sr. stepped outside the office to show protesters a sign that read “Thank you. You handled it well.”
Earlier, protesters say Herring argued with them, saying he asked them for “proof” that a segment OANN aired on the injured Buffalo protester — labeled an “Antifa provocateur” — was in error.
The protesters retorted that OANN is responsible for its stories and should provide evidence to support them.
The network hired armed guards to protect employees during the protest.
— Eddie McCoven (@EddieMcCovenTV) June 13, 2020
“There will be an increased security presence onsite,” news director Chris Schickedanz wrote in a staff memo Friday.
“The police are aware of the situation and are monitoring,” the memo added. “The gate will be locked and employee badges will be required for entry.” It also said there would be no entry or exit between the hours of 11 a.m. and 4 p.m.
Herring said Friday he was working with the San Diego Police Department “and have great respect for them. We have no fear, as you know we are well taken care of.”
As for critics of the conservative media outlet, which is more favorable in its coverage of President Donald Trump than most networks, he said: “I wish they would watch news and educate themselves on what is going on.”
On Tuesday, Rep. Scott Peters, D-San Diego, called on OANN to issue a public apology and retraction of a story about the injury of a 75-year-old man caused by police in Buffalo, New York.
John Brunelle of La Mesa was one of the organizers of Saturday’s protest. He said he was made aware of the staff email earlier Friday.
“I’m honestly not too concerned with it,” he said. “Our plan is to have a peaceful protest that draws attention to the fact that OANN is based out of San Diego and does not represent the values of our community. We have absolutely no intention of causing any disturbances or problems for anybody present at the facility on Saturday.”
Krystin Cline, 28, another protest organizer, said the decision to bring in armed guards was “just as inappropriate as having militarized police.”
Also a La Mesan and IATSE Local 122 stagehand, she added: “It’s better to try to inspire change and respect than to go directly to fear and intimidation.”
— City News Service