Comeuppance can be a beautiful thing—or confusing as hell to OAN viewers. On Tuesday, as The Daily Beast reports, the conspiracy-loving news network aired a 30-second segment in which they confirmed that there indeed was no widespread voter fraud in the 2020 presidential election and that Donald Trump lost said election fair and square. It was an abrupt about-face by the right-wing channel, and one that was no doubt surprising to its viewers. But devoting half a minute to reporting the truth wasn’t by choice. It was apparently part of a settlement brought against the network by two Georgia election workers.
According to The Daily Beast’s William Vaillancourt, the pre-recorded segment (which you can watch above) “notes that an investigation by state officials into unsubstantiated claims of widespread voter fraud made by ex-President Donald Trump and Rudy Giuliani turned up nothing.” As the narrator of the segment states, “The results of this investigation indicate that Ruby Freeman and Wandrea ‘Shaye’ Moss did not engage in ballot fraud or criminal misconduct.”
They also make sure to subtly note that the segment was aired under possible duress by stating that “a legal matter with this network and the two election workers has been resolved to the mutual satisfaction of the parties through a fair and reasonable settlement.”
The lawsuit, which was brought by Freeman and her daughter Moss, claimed that the two of them—both Georgia election workers—were mercilessly harassed both online and in person by Trump cronies attempting to overturn the results of a fair election, and looking for people to blame. The mother and daughter duo’s names were first mentioned by The Gateway Pundit, an unhinged, conspiracy-filled website, then became a regular part of The Big Lie discourse.
In January 2021, when Trump pressured Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger to try to “find” votes to overturn the state’s election results, he mentioned Freeman’s name 18 times. Freeman was also visited by a publicist for Kanye West, who threatened her in an effort to extract a confession about committing election fraud.
And if that weren’t enough, video of the pair doing their jobs was hyped up by Rudy Giuliani—and Sean Hannity—who falsely claimed that it showed “blatant, clear, obvious” fraud. While speaking to Georgia State House Republicans about the video during a Zoom meeting in December 2020, Giuliani at one point can be heard saying, “We should try to get this on Newsmax and OANN.”
Wish (sort of) granted!
(Via The Daily Beast)