Can we civilize OAN and AT&T?

If you thought Fox News was bad, don’t turn on OAN. I haven’t. I don’t even know if our cable company includes it in their basic service, although it wouldn’t surprise me if they did, given the local clientele. But meanwhile, they’re just spewing ignorance to an amazing degree

In October, OAN used Indigenous Peoples Day to praise Christopher Columbus and Europeans for “civilizing” the “savages.” And throughout the nine-month period, OAN figures regurgitated right-wing talking points about “social justice warriors” forcing sports teams to change their names from racist slurs and “erasing” Columbus from our calendars.

Meanwhile, a Reuters investigation revealed that telecom giant AT&T had played a key role in creating and funding the far-right network, with 90% of OAN’s revenue reportedly coming from its AT&T contract.

They’re giving voice to some astoundingly stupid Italian-Americans, too.

I have a suggestion for Mr Dimino of the Italian American One Voice Coalition: find better heroes to champion. It’s not as if there is a shortage. Ever hear of the Italian Renaissance? If you need a stronger connection to America, how about Fermi, or Marconi, or DiMaggio? You don’t need to attach your identity to a genocidal looter and all-around evil guy, just because he was Italian.

Led by Tipping Point host Kara McKinney, OAN treated the discovery of more than a thousand Indigenous children’s graves as a lie meant to target churches, drawing a tenuous connection between the discoveries and a string of church vandalism and arson across Canada.

  • On July 12, McKinney called the reporting on mass graves of Indigenous people at former residential schools an “odious lie” used to “excuse” the “desecration of holy grounds.”
  • On July 23, McKinney asserted that the media had “exaggerated” its coverage of residential schools, stating, “Just like the history of slavery in America gets overexaggerated in some cases in order to be weaponized to reorder society to this day — they make everything about race — the same thing is happening with these schools in Canada.”
  • Days later, OAN irresponsibly blamed Canadian church fires on “activists seeking revenge for Indigenous students,” comparing them to “American churches [that] were burned down or vandalized” by “George Floyd protesters” in 2020. (Though some suspects have since been arrested and charged for the Canadian fires, authorities there have yet to discuss their possible motivations.)
  • In a Tipping Point segment promoting her deceptive YouTube video “The Canadian Mass Grave Hoax,” alt-right troll Lauren Southern downplayed the discoveries at former residential schools, saying, “If you scratch past the surface, none of it is true.” She later claimed that “it is a far stretch to say a pit of murdered children with thousands of bodies across Canada and a gravesite that the markers have been lost — a massive stretch, and one that … led to mass hatred and hate crimes and terrorism, quite frankly, across Canada.”

Hmm. I wonder what OAN makes of this apology by Benedictine nuns?

We acknowledge the injustice done through our community’s participation in the federal government Assimilation Policy to educate Native American youth at Saint Benedicts’ Mission boarding school on the White Earth Reservation (1878-1945), St. Mary’s Mission on the Red Lake Reservation (1888-1940s) and the Industrial Boarding School (1884-1896) on our monastery campus.

Within the past two years the Sisters of the Order of Saint Benedict have been working in collaboration with the White Earth community, its Tribal Historic Preservation Office and the College of Saint Benedict to strengthen the bonds that continue to move toward reconciliation and peace with our Native American sisters and brothers.

It’s far too little, far too late, but if the Catholic Church can acknowledge the great wrongs done, does that mean that OAN is even more evil than Catholic pillagers and desecrators of Native American culture?


  1. JoeBuddha says

    Columbus is the guy who, when welcomed by the local natives, gushed about what good slaves they’d make. What an evil MOFO.

  2. Snarki, child of Loki says

    Seems that Colombus was a monomaniacal a-hole that just caused problems for everyone.
    Enough so that the Spanish Royals tossed him in prison.
    And one of his crews marooned him and sailed away.

    The Indigenous people Colombus encountered should have scragged him PDQ.

    At least the Hawai’ians learned that lesson.

  3. F.O. says

    The more I read about the people that “the West” colonized and destroyed, the more I see “Western society” as a failure.

  4. says

    Anyway, Columbus wasn’t even Italian. Italy didn’t exist during his lifetime, and he didn’t speak Italian. He spoke Ligurian. And he sailed for Spain. Furthermore he never set foot in North America and he didn’t even know it existed. He thought he was in Asia. Making him an Italian-American icon is ridiculous.

  5. says

    Marconi isn’t a good choice. He was involved with Mussolini’s government, including being a member of the Fascist Grand Council.

    As for the OAN coverage, yes it’s terrible that liberals etc. are making Indian residential schools about race. They should just ignore that the schools were all about the forced assimilation of indigenous Canadians, and that large numbers of kids were the victims of various forms of abuse. It might make some random white people feel bad to keep talking about it.

    It’s strange that they even bothered with the story. Getting practice for when similar stories appear about American schools?

  6. raven says

    Galileo Galilei Astronomer
    Galileo di Vincenzo Bonaiuti de’ Galilei, commonly referred to as Galileo, was an astronomer, physicist and engineer, sometimes described as a polymath, from Pisa, in modern-day Italy. Wikipedia He was the first to see craters on the moon, he discovered sunspots, and he tracked the phases of Venus. The rings of Saturn puzzled him, … and he discovered 4 of the moons of Jupiter.

    The guy who invented the telescope and provided evidence for Heliocentrism.
    Giordano Bruno was an Italian Dominican friar, philosopher, mathematician, poet, cosmological theorist, and Hermetic occultist. He is known for his cosmological theories, which conceptually extended the then-novel Copernican model. Wikipedia

    Giordano Bruno was also a supporter of Heliocentrism.
    He demonstrated the Catholic church’s attitude towards people they didn’t like or found less than useful.

  7. says

    Columbus was, at best, a mediocrity who lucked into the right place at the right time. As Cervantes @5 said, he really had no clue what he was doing or where he was. Even Machiavelli was more praiseworthy than Columbus.

  8. says

    I remember Isaac Asimov once said that the only thing Columbus really proved, was that it doesn’t matter how wrong you are, as long as you’re lucky.

  9. stroppy says

    Can we civilize OAN and AT&T?
    Good luck with that.

    Indigenous people “already got august 9, the day after Thanksgiving, and the whole month of November,” yet the left now wants to give them Columbus day? The only day for Italianx Americans? Not on OAN’s watch

    Next they’ll be whining about breast cancer awareness month.

    I was watching “Rumble” last night, and it started to sink in, I heard it and recognized it as part of what makes me American, how much the musical and artistic sphere I’ve been walking through my whole life has shaped how I see and feel about the world.

    If you need a stronger connection to America, how about Fermi, or Marconi, or DiMaggio?

    Dead on. I feel no connection to Columbus other than the smell and feel of old textbooks from the 20th century.

  10. says

    When that news about OANN and AT&T came out, I dumped them as my cell phone carrier after 21 years. Not going to do business with fascism enablers.

  11. says

    Ironically in light of Columbus day starting as an act of appeasement for Italian immigrants and easing diplomatic tensions with Italy if these smucks were alive back when the holiday started they would have opposed it as “foreign” invasion.

  12. seversky says

    OAN = Outpourings of American Nationalism. I will also have nothing to do with AT&T from now on.

  13. birgerjohansson says

    The only reason these kooks are not railing about jews financing the anti-christian conspiracy is, they know that is a line even their corporate backers will not permit them to cross.
    Not because they are enlightened, but because of various political alliances among the far right (this will of course not prevent them from telling anti-semitic jokes in private).

  14. stroppy says

    I meant to put in a plug for “Rumble: The Indians Who Rocked the World”
    “…tells the story of a profound, essential, and, until now, missing chapter in the history of American music: the Indigenous influence…shows how these talented Native musicians
    helped shape the soundtracks of our lives…”

  15. davidc1 says

    Am I right in thinking that cc went round the crown heads of Europe trying to get some dosh ,I think he even
    tried getting some cash out of Henry VII ,who was a tightwad and said no .
    But if he had gave him some folding stuff ,does this mean the entire New World would have been English
    speaking ?
    Don’t know how that would have worked out .

  16. Walter Solomon says

    If I were Italian, I’d rather celebrate Tony Soprano, Super Mario, or anyone over the genocidal Columbus who may have been a Portuguese Jew rather than Italian anyway.

    And did that man say Columbus was the “foundation of Western Civilization”? facepalm

  17. cartomancer says

    How about keeping Indigenous People’s Day and having another holiday specifically for arseholes of Italian descent who care about this nonsense? You could call it Rudi Giuliani Day.

  18. Walter Solomon says

    At least the Hawai’ians learned that lesson.

    This is why I admire the Sentinelese Islanders. They don’t truck with any strangers on their island.

  19. blf says

    @7, Galileo did not invent the telescope. It’s usually said to be Hans Lippershey in c.1608, a year before Galileo built his first — without ever seeing one — after hearing about the invention.

  20. says

    Nope definitely not Galileo although he was persecuted by the church they eventually apologised 500 years too late so in their blinkered world view Galileo and the persecution were clearly fake news. As for Giordano Bruno I don’t think the church has got around to apologising for his even worse treatment. Typically for these deniers of truth though there is a radio station in Australia with the call sign ‘GB’ chosen specifically to honour Giordano. However it is home to crazed right wing conservative commentators who make hate speech and bigotry a subtle art form. So maybe he is acceptable to them.

  21. jrkrideau says

    @ blf
    Galileo did not invent the telescope.

    But he was a brilliant self-promoter. Still building his own on what where probably not great descriptions was impressive.

    @ 7 Raven
    [Galileo} provided evidence for Heliocentrism.
    Not really. He was a strong supporter of heliocentrism but did not contribute much to the scientific discourse. [1]

    Copernicus and Kepler were much more influential.

    When your theory postulates one tide a day, you may have a problem.

  22. snarkrates says

    jrkrideau@23: He was a strong supporter of heliocentrism but did not contribute much to the scientific discourse. [1]

    Beg to differ. His description of the Jovian moons orbiting the large planet provided a model in miniature for the solar system. Remember, when Galileo made his observations, Newton’s theory of gravity was not even a gleam in his father’s eye.

  23. dbarkdog says

    Every year I would ask students whether they had been taught the story of the Portuguese refusing to back Columbus because of the flat earth story. Of course they had all gotten that version in primary school. Then I would explain that Portuguese navigators knew the shape of the earth and were much better informed its circumference and the eastward distance to China, two figures Columbus had dramatically wrong. Pity Magellan, who believed Columbus and thought Asia would be a few days sailing beyond the isthmus that Balboa had crossed.

  24. birgerjohansson says

    The renaissance was full of clever italians. Anyone of those would be better than the child-rapist slave trader.
    Da Vinci would be the obvious choice.
    As for the first representative of a big polity of the Old World to travel to the Americas, pick wossname the Chinese admiral that travelled to Mexico (he mentioned locals getting alcohol from “trees”) and Peru (an old anchor of Chinese style was found there).
    He travelled to both North and South America so he is doubly qualified.

  25. Frederic Bourgault-Christie says

    What’s so hilarious about this is that it is so naked. First of all, having an IPD doesn’t actually mean you can’t also have a Columbus Day. I mean, I don’t want a Columbus Day, but nothing would stop these supposedly freedom-loving conservatives from just having their own parade and their own celebrations. But, more importantly, every time this comes up, some liberal or leftist points out, “Guys, you could celebrate lots of Italian and Italian-American people throughout history”.

    In other words, we could have a day celebrating Italian-American heritage and a day celebrating indigenous people, and all without celebrating a racist, colonialist moron. If this were at all about innocently protecting Italian-American heritage, there would be numerous compromises.

    This is transparently about keeping everything they already have and giving everyone else nothing.

  26. unclefrogy says

    well it is not about them wanting to celebrate Columbus day or Columbus either. they do not make a big deal about it any way personally. They want those who do not like it to have to celebrate it. it is about their need to control others that is the primary motivation, which is paramount in all their complaints they have to be the boss.
    for instance they use “free speech” but they do not want free speech they want everyone to listen to them and them only any disagreement is treason and silencing them
    it is all BS

  27. crimsonsage says

    How about we give the natives the whole continent and everyone else can keep the calendar?