The One America News Network, a right-wing cable news channel, filed a $10 million defamation lawsuit against MSNBC, Rachel Maddow, and parent companies Comcast and NBCUniversal, for a statement the host made on a July 22 episode of “The Rachel Maddow Show.”
OAN is a pro-Trump, conservative media network owned by Robert Herring Sr., a millionaire who according to a 2017 Washington Post report, has “directed his channel to push Trump’s candidacy, scuttle stories about police shootings, encourage antiabortion stories, minimize coverage of Russian aggression, and steer away from the new president’s troubles.” OAN’s suit, filed on Monday in the Southern District of California, singles out Maddow’s July show because it discussed a Daily Beast piece about the network, which reported that OAN “employs a Kremlin-paid journalist.” The network’s suit takes aim at a quote from Maddow, who said, “In this case, the most obsequiously pro-Trump right-wing news outlet in America really literally is paid Russian propaganda,” according to the suit.
“Maddow’s claim that OAN literally is paid Russian propaganda’ is false and intended to malign and harm OAN,” the suit said. “OAN is not paid by the Russian government. In fact, OAN has taken no money outside the Herring family whatsoever. None of OAN’s content comes from the Russian government.”
The network also claims that the comment was made in retaliation to OAN for presenting “a conservative viewpoint” and further pointed to how “Comcast refuses to carry OAN because it counters the liberal message of MSNBC.”
A spokesperson for MSNBC did not immediately respond to a request for comment.