The Listening Post

Donald Trump: America’s editor-in-chief?

What’s behind Trump’s attacks on the media before the US midterms? Plus, Trump and the Christian Broadcasting Network.

On this week’s The Listening Post: As Americans prepare for the 2018 US midterm elections, how has President Donald Trump managed to turn the media into a useful political enemy? Plus, an unholy alliance: Trump and the Christian Broadcasting Network.

On November 6, Americans will vote in midterm elections which will be seen as a referendum on Donald Trump‘s presidency. So, it’s fitting that one of the major issues before voters is the institution President Trump can’t stop talking and tweeting about – the news media.

The stories monopolising the US airwaves as Americans head to the polls are: the coverage of the migrant caravan from Central America and the pipe bombs sent to CNN, among others – developments with significant media angles to them.

In the first part of this special Listening Post episode focusing on the US, we speak to Jay Rosen, an academic who’s been studying the US media for more than 30 years. We discuss Trump’s attacks on the mainstream media, why they work, how CNN became an object of hate, and the larger crisis of credibility US journalism faces today.

The chosen one: The Christian Broadcasting Network and Trump

There are a select few broadcasting networks that are in President Trump’s good books.

Fox News is one of them, but the president also has time for the Christian Broadcasting Network (CBN).

Over the past two years, CBN has had exclusive interviews with the president, as have many of his officials and advisers. It’s a relationship built on joint interests.

Evangelicals, especially white evangelicals, are a big part of the Republican Party‘s core vote and CBN provides the perfect go-between to keep them on-side. Then, there’s the fact that CBN’s executives have a religious vision for the US that depends on a president willing to champion their beliefs, even if he himself is not exactly pious.

The Listening Post‘s Flo Phillips reports on Trump and CBN, a political match made in heaven.


Gordon Robertson – CEO, Christian Broadcasting Network

Terry Heaton – Former executive producer, The 700 Club and author of The Gospel of Self: How Jesus Joined the GOP

Sarah Posner – Reporting fellow, The Investigative Fund and author of God’s Profits: Faith, Fraud, and the Republican Crusade for Values Voters

Nicole Hemmer – Assistant professor in presidential studies, University of Virginia and author of Messengers of the Right