Questionable Reasoning: Propaganda, Conspiracy
Bias Rating: EXTREME RIGHT
Factual Reporting: LOW
Press Freedom Rating: MOSTLY FREE
Media Type: Organization/Foundation
Traffic/Popularity: Minimal Traffic
MBFC Credibility Rating: LOW CREDIBILITY
Founded in 2009, Oath Keepers is a far-right, anti-government American organization associated with the patriot and militia movements. The group describes itself as a non-partisan association of current and former military, police, and first responders, who pledge to fulfill the oath that all military and police take to “defend the Constitution against all enemies, foreign and domestic.” The founder and current leader of the group are Stewart Rhodes. Rhodes is a Yale Law School graduate, a former U.S. Army paratrooper, and a former staffer for Republican Congressman Ron Paul.
On January 13, 2022, Stewart Rhodes and 10 Oath Keepers were arrested and charged with seditious conspiracy in the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol. To date, this is the highest charge.
Funded by / Ownership
The website does not disclose ownership, and revenue is derived through donations and branded merchandise sales.
Analysis / Bias
Oath Keepers encourages members – some of whom are current and former U.S. military and law enforcement officers – not to obey orders they believe would violate the United States Constitution. The website publishes news stories from other sources such as Bloomberg: Trump Enlists Trey Gowdy to Help With Impeachment Fight. However, most news consists of calls to action such as Call to Action: Security Volunteers Needed in Lexington, KY to Protect Trump Rally-Goers, which helps us Prevent the Leftist Assaults on Trump Rally-Goers in Dallas. Editorially, Oath Keepers support former President Trump and the far right.
Several groups that monitor domestic terrorism and hate groups describe the Oath Keepers as extremist or radical. The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) describes the group as “heavily armed extremists with a conspiratorial and anti-government mindset looking for potential showdowns with the government.” The Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) lists the group’s founder as a known extremist and describes his announced plans to create localized militia units as “frightening.” According to the SPLC, the group espouses a number of conspiracy and legal theories associated with the sovereign citizen movement and the white supremacist posse comitatus movement. SPLC senior fellow Mark Potok describes the group as a whole as “really just an anti-government group who believe in a wild set of conspiracy theories.”
Failed Fact Checks
Overall, we rate Oath Keepers a Questionable source based on extreme right bias, promotion of conspiracy theories, and others labeling them a hate group. (D. Van Zandt 10/15/2017) Updated (01/13/2022)
Last Updated on January 14, 2022 by Media Bias Fact Check