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Protesters Demonstrate At San Diego-Based News Outlet Known For Supporting Trump

Protesters gather at the One American News Network (OAN) headquarters in San ...

Photo by Andi Dukleth

Above: Protesters gather at the One American News Network (OAN) headquarters in San Diego on June 13, 2020.

Listen to this story by Andi Dukleth.

About two dozen protesters gathered Saturday at the headquarters of One America News, a San Diego-based cable news channel that has been criticized for tailoring its content to one of its most high-profile viewers, President Donald Trump.

Some of the protesters held signs. One read, “stop lying start caring,” another, “lies should not be a business.” A third had a drawing of what appeared to be Trump exhaling smoke from a pipe forming the letters, “OAN.”

Protest organizer John Brunelle cited an OAN report broadcast last week which suggested Martin Gugino, a 75-year old man who was hospitalized with a head injury after being shoved to the ground by Buffalo police officers, had links to the so-called antifa movement, as a reason for the protest. Gugino’s attorney has described him as a peace activist.

“The president listens to them, watches them. I don’t understand how any human being who has that much power over what the president could hear could use that for hate and for violence,” Brunelle said.

The day before OAN broadcast its story about Gugino, Trump tweeted, “Buffalo protester shoved by Police could be an ANTIFA provocateur. 75 year old Martin Gugino was pushed away after appearing to scan police communications in order to black out the equipment. @OANN I watched, he fell harder than was pushed. Was aiming scanner. Could be a set up?”

Photo by Andi Dukleth

One American News Network (OANN) CEO Robert Herring holds a sign for protesters gathered outside the OANN headquarters in San Diego, California on June 13, 2020. The sign reads "Thank you. You handled it well."

The OAN story appears to answer the president’s question. “In the video, you can clearly see (Gugino) waving his phone over the officers’ chests, which is exactly what you do if you are using a capture scanner,” reporter Pearson Sharp said.

OAN CEO Robert Herring emerged from the building twice to speak to protesters. A facebook video taken by one of the protesters showed Herring telling the group that if they could prove something OAN said was wrong that he would take it back and give them, “a hundred bucks.”

A man can be heard responding, “The burden of proof is on the person making the claim. You have to prove he is antifa.”

Earlier this week Rep. Scott Peters, D-San Diego, criticized OAN saying the story was not, "responsible journalism."

“These dangerous and unsubstantiated accusations seek to distract from the goals of peaceful protesters who want to see important changes in our country. The president also has a responsibility and duty to be honest about what is and is not happening in the streets,” Peters said in a statement.

Herring emerged to speak to protesters a second time holding a sign that read “Thank you. You handled well.” It’s not clear what the sign referred to. After interacting for a few minutes Herring crumpled up the sign. He told protesters that if they wanted to speak one at a time he would be glad to talk to them and then he walked back inside.

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