Apparently Donald Trump is dissatisfied with Fox News, Breitbart, and Twitter as his primary propaganda outlets crucial to push his fascist agenda, so he is reaching out to an organization with much more experience at propagandizing Americans and spreading lies. Of course the widely unpopular Trump did not have many options available, but he does have a reliably despicable group happy and ready to do his bidding for an entirely self-serving reason. Unfortunately for the people of this country, Trump’s choice is yet another sign that America is on a path towards being controlled by an evangelical theocracy.
Unlike every democratic leader on the planet, Trump has spent the entirety of his time on the national stage demonizing the national media as “America’s greatest enemy;” not unlike the faithful claiming Satan as their god’s greatest adversary. In Trump’s fascist mind, the media are “enemies” because they report facts as they happen; it’s what Trump labels “fake news.”
It is because the media has used Trump’s own words in fair and accurate reporting that prompted him to threaten creation of his own news network. He desperately needs an established organization to validate every fantastical utterance from his mouth as if they issued forth from the biblical god. As it turns out, there is already an established network-in-waiting to do what the real media refuses to do and tout everything Trump does as good and godly. It is precisely what anyone with a brain expects from Pat Robertson’s evangelical Christian Broadcast Network (CBN) to do to promote theocracy, portray Trump as godly.
In particular, a partnership between the lying Trump and a CBN program, “Faith Nation” is being heralded as “a faith-based alternative to the mainstream media as well as a mouthpiece for an unfairly maligned administration to get out its ‘true’ message.” In Faith Nation’s premiere episode, hosts David Brody and Jenna Browder introduced the pro-Trump “news program” and immediately hewed to a Trump mainstay – media is fake, deliberately misleading, and can’t be trusted.
“In an age when there’s so much mistrust in the mainstream media, Americans are looking to news outlets like CBN News — and this administration is looking our way, too.”
This partnership is nothing to scoff at, and cannot be underestimated in the danger it portends for the nation’s imperiled democracy. Yes it is despicable and demonstrates how desperate Trump is to reach out to an apocalyptical faith-based “evangelical news outlet” to save his criminal administration, but it is also inherently dangerous. As noted in Vox, when Trump sat down with Hellfire-and-brimstone purveyor Pat Robertson a couple of weeks ago, the tone of the “softball” interview and embarrassing love-fest between the two confidence men informed that, “the intersection of faith, news, and propaganda make it one of the Trump administration’s most potent — and dangerous — mouthpieces.”
What makes the partnership extraordinarily dangerous is the increasing willingness of Trump to use his appeal with the evangelical malcontent class to delegitimize the media and the federal government from two directions; as inherently untrustworthy and now “implicitly ungodly.” It is likely why just recently Trump pandered to his nasty evangelical base when he took to Twitter and tweeted, out of the blue, that “In America we don’t worship government, we worship god.”
Trump’s pandering to the faithful at the same time his new evangelical propaganda network was doing an “exclusive piece about bible study for Trump’s Cabinet members” was no coincidence and likely planned well in advance. The Faith Nation’s special White House correspondent Jennifer Wishon’s “faith exclusive” report about the White House’s weekly bible study group was “explicitly designed to cast Trump and his administration as divinely ordained.”
Wishon gave special attention to the Mike Pence-hired biblical leader, Ralph Drollinger of Capitol Ministries’ shame and his unbelievably bizarre comparison of Trump’s administration to Old Testament biblical characters. Ms. Wishon told her gullible audience that:
“In [Vice President Mike] Pence, Drollinger sees many similarities to biblical figures like Joseph, Mordecai and Daniel — all men who rose to the No. 2 position in [biblical] governments at different times in history. … Like others, Drollinger compares President Trump to biblical strongman Samson.”
As an aside, it’s doubtless that Trump is furious he was not compared to biblical strongman god almighty, but not quite furious enough to risk alienating his evangelical base by saying out loud what he believes in his narcissistic black heart; that he is comparable to god or at the very least is “a god.”
Of course it is obvious that by using a fake (religious) news outlet like Faith Nation, coupled with Trump enabling its religious sophistry, he is pandering to evangelical fanatics. That pandering includes giving the evangelical “propaganda network” exclusive “open door” access to the White House to more conveniently spread pro-Trump propaganda. It is a calculated means of “destabilizing the very idea of truth.”
As noted in a recent special report by Peter Pomerantsev and Michael Weiss of the Institute of Modern Russia, Trump is following closely in the footsteps of his love-interest Vladimir Putin. The two journalists argue convincingly that Trump is using Putin’s tactics “that are central to the Kremlin’s diplomatic aims in Russia’s ‘misinformation’ war and use of blatantly fake news. The aim is not so much to persuade (as in classic public diplomacy) or to earn credibility, but to sow confusion and suspicion via conspiracy theories and to proliferate falsehoods.”
In Trump’s case the falsehood he and the Christian Broadcast Network are spreading is that only Trump tells the truth; the conspiracy theory is that mainstream media is not only untrustworthy, but ungodly. And, as is always the case with religious and fascist propaganda throughout history, if they repeat a lie long and loud enough, eventually greater numbers of people will believe it is true and offer their unconditional support. Unfortunately for a secular nation, that unconditional support can reach a fevered pitch and as Nazi Germany demonstrated, even “good people” can be caught up in religious fervor and commit horrendous atrocities. And like Nazi Germany, it all started by portraying the media as “ungodly and the enemy” and the fascist leader as the sole source of “godly” truth.
Many Americans are wont to blow off warnings about the threat of a theocratic cabal taking over America, but at this point they aren’t confused or ignorant, they are blind idiots. Trump is a lying sinner, but his religious right fanatics are true believers and his underlings are using their Cabinet level positions to “advance the kingdom of god” and preach that the Constitution’s Separation Clause is patently unconstitutional.
Now the White House is using apocalyptic Pat Robertson’s Christian Broadcast Network as its premiere propaganda outlet to portray the media as of Satan (ungodly) and Trump as America’s messiah ordained by the biblical god. That is not a conspiracy theory, it is not fear mongering, not fake news, and not ungodly; it is straight from the lying evangelicals’ lips and gleefully sanctioned by their lying demigod Donald Trump.