Fact Check: DirecTV Did NOT Announce It 'Will Drop ABC, If They Don't Cancel "The View"'

Fact Check

  • by: Uliana Malashenko
Fact Check: DirecTV Did NOT Announce It 'Will Drop ABC, If They Don't Cancel "The View"' Satire

Did DirecTV, an American video programming distributor, say it "will drop ABC" if the TV channel continues to broadcast "The View," a talk show originally created by Barbara Walters and, of this writing, co-hosted by Whoopi Goldberg? No, that's not true: The story first appeared on a satire website.

The claim originated in an article (archived here) published by the Dunning-Kruger Times under the title:

DirecTV Will Drop ABC If They Don't Cancel 'The View'

The article opened:

'It's a toxic show with horrible hosts.' That's the word from Joe Barron, executive vice president in charge of programming at DirecTV. The company, which has been trying tr re-brand itself with the rise of streaming services, believes this is the best way to keep a solid, happy customer base.

Here is what it looked like at the time of writing:

Screen Shot 2023-03-21 at 10.31.20 AM.png

(Source: The Dunning-Kruger Times screenshot taken on Tue Mar 21 14:31:20 2023 UTC)

However, the website where the article first appeared does not promote itself as a hard news outlet. Instead, its self-description (archived here) says:

... a subsidiary of the 'America's Last Line of Defense' network of parody, satire, and tomfoolery

The About page continues:

Everything on this website is fiction. It is not a lie and it is not fake news because it is not real. If you believe that it is real, you should have your head examined. Any similarities between this site's pure fantasy and actual people, places, and events are purely coincidental and all images should be considered altered and satirical. See above if you're still having an issue with that satire thing.

Yet, when republished on other websites and then shared on Facebook (for example, here), the article was not explicitly marked as satire:

Screen Shot 2023-03-21 at 10.42.15 AM.png

(Source: Facebook screenshot taken on Tue Mar 21 14:42:15 2023 UTC)

Moreover, the information icon with this Facebook example misled about the nature of the original source:

Screen Shot 2023-03-21 at 10.46.34 AM.png

(Source: Facebook screenshot taken on Tue Mar 21 14:46:34 2023)

The resource where the story originated was named after the Dunning-Kruger effect, a term for the phenomenon of being ignorant of one's own ignorance. It is part of a network of websites run by self-described liberal troll Christopher Blair. A 2018 BBC profile described him as "the Godfather of fake news" and "one of the world's most prolific writers of disinformation."

As of this writing, the DirecTV website did not contain any press releases making remotely similar announcements. A search across available content indicated that its customers still could access the View through this distributor's services:

Screen Shot 2023-03-21 at 10.26.07 AM.png

(Source: DirecTV screenshot taken on Tue Mar 21 14:26:07 2023)

In January 2022, the Wall Street Journal reported that DirecTV decided to drop the conservative TV channel One America News Network (OAN.)

Lead Stories debunked another claim about "The View" being cancelled here.

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  Uliana Malashenko

Uliana Malashenko is a New York-based freelance writer and fact checker.

Read more about or contact Uliana Malashenko

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