Trump's Media Enablers
Heidi Siegmund Cuda investigates the role that social and legacy media are playing in accelerating the rise of global autocracy
Driving to Joshua Tree, California, after seeing the world premiere of Bad Faith: Christian Nationalism’s Unholy War on Democracy at the Palm Springs Film Festival, I see a billboard advertising the extremist pro-Trump newspaper Epoch Times as being ‘#1 Trusted News’.
That ain’t true.
My mind was still processing how Bad Faith exposes the methodical and well-funded decades’ long plot to turn apolitical religious non-voters into weapons of mass democratic destruction. They did it by deploying a well-oiled and well-funded media machine of lies. These lies were deployed in churches, on AM radio, and fertilised in journalism deserts throughout the US. When I see that Epoch Times ad — with its churchy looking avatar of a pious young man, I wince. I also see what they don’t advertise — a dark-money base, which includes far-right religious extremists and conspiracy peddlers Falun Gong and US Christian nationalists.