Video Duration 25 minutes 27 seconds
From: UpFront

Can the ‘resistance’ win against Trump?

Activist Naomi Klein weighs in on how to beat Trump, and we debate how close Hollywood is to the military industry.

In this week’s UpFront, award-winning journalist and author Naomi Klein weighs in on how President Donald Trump is more of a brand than a politician, and what strategies his opponents can use to resist him.

In the Reality Check, we examine whether Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte’s drug war is really helping him to “save” his country.

And in the Arena, we debate whether Hollywood is too close to the United States military.

Is Trump a brand?

It’s been six months since Donald Trump assumed the presidency of the United States, and despite low ratings and criticism of his policies both home and abroad, he has seemingly maintained support from his base.

According to writer and activist Naomi Klein, Trump is more of a “brand” than a politician, whose product is an “aspiration”.

“His brand really is impunity that comes from tremendous wealth,” says Klein, author of No Is Not Enough: Resisting Trump’s Shock Politics. “This has been what he’s been selling and there is a market for it, particularly among men, who feel that their power is diminished on various fronts.”

And, says Klein, the only way for Trump’s opponents to truly get the upper hand is to provide a viable alternative.

“The only thing that’s going to beat him is an alternative that speaks to the fact that people are hurting, but isn’t selling these cheap promises of power over other people,” she says.

In a special interview, Klein discusses Trump’s stance on climate change, how he draws support and what his opponents can do to beat him.

Reality Check – Duterte’s drug war won’t save the Philippines

Since Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte announced his brutal war on drugs more than a year ago, thousands have been killed as a result.

Duterte controversially claims that he is trying to “save the next generation from perdition”, but is that really the case?

In this week’s Reality Check, we look at why Duterte’s drug war won’t solve the country’s drug problem.

Editor’s note: In the controversial clip used in Reality Check of Duterte speaking about his plans, he erroneously claims Nazi leader Adolf Hitler murdered three million Jews. The Nazi genocide actually claimed the lives of about six million Jews.

Arena – Is Hollywood too close to the military?

Many US films and television shows produced by the Hollywood studios in the past few decades, such as popular shows like 24 and Homeland, highlight the dilemmas and struggles faced by the US military and intelligence agencies.

But is Hollywood working hand-in-hand with military and intelligence agencies to legitimise their operations? Has it become a tool for Pentagon propaganda?

“To the extent that the CIA or other intelligence agencies have their fingers in the production of these shows, they’re looking to legitimate their operations,” says Roger Stahl, author of Militainment, Inc. “They’re trying to address controversial issues. They’re trying to secure congressional funding for the future. They’re trying to send a message overseas about how powerful they are and whether their purpose is noble.”

For Heba Amin, the visual artist  who famously wrote “Homeland is racist” on the show’s set, Hollywood helps to perpetuate stereotypes of Middle Easterners.

“Many people feel very frustrated not only about the ways they’re being depicted in Hollywood … but, also, in turn, about how that really affects real world politics,” says Amin. “You can’t convince an entire country to go into an illegal war in the Middle East without having previously convinced them of a certain kind of image of a bad guy.

“And Hollywood plays a very big role in perpetuating that image.”

In this week’s Arena, Homeland graffiti artist Heba Amin and Militainment, Inc author Roger Stahl discuss the US military’s close relationship with Hollywood.

Follow UpFront on Twitter @AJUpFront and Facebook.