October 20, 2021
A Statement from Brenda Victoria Castillo, President & CEO of the National Hispanic Media Coalition (NHMC)
Disinformation and hate only thrive when those with power and influence breathe life into it. The Reuters Special Report (Report) detailing how AT&T’s funding of One America News (OAN) provided 90 percent of the OAN’s income is disturbing, to say the least. While claiming that “Hispanic and Latino Communities are a vital part” of the AT&T community, we now know it was merely a facade hiding a darker truth.
According to court records, AT&T approached OAN Founder and CEO Robert Herring Sr. to start a conservative network in 2013. This allowed for OAN to be broadcast on both AT&T’s U-Verse and DirectTV. OAN continues to propagate COVID-19 and election disinformation while also promoting hate targeting the Latinx and immigrant communities. OAN’s toxic influence has survived and flourished as a direct result of the support by AT&T.
As the world’s largest communications company, AT&T leveraged its power to make OAN’s deal heavily reliant on “fees from cable, satellite, and streaming providers, instead of commercials.” This insulates OAN from accountability through advertiser boycotts and organized protests since their primary source of income came from the fee revenues provided by AT&T alone. It’s now evident that the only reason OAN exists or has any financial value is because of AT&T.
OAN is a propaganda machine for extremism, disinformation, and hate. NHMC urges AT&T to cease its funding of hateful networks, such as and including OAN, and live up to its public stance of integrity, truth, and inclusion. For AT&T to correct itself and bring about change, they must step up and lead the way to stop hate instead of promoting it.
Yours in the Movement,
Brenda Victoria Castillo
President & CEO
National Hispanic Media Coalition