Background Briefing: February 12, 2019


Trump and Don Jr. Stir Up Hatred of the Press

We begin with the President saying today that he is not happy with the bi-partisan deal to avoid another government shutdown over his border wall as the Friday deadline looms and speak with Erin Coulehan, a writer from El Paso who covers the border and immigration for Rolling Stone, ELLE, Teen Vogue and has an article at CNN “Trump’s distorted view of life in El Paso” and another at Elle, “Inside Trump’s El Paso MAGA Rally”. She joins us to describe the dueling rallies on Monday in El Paso between Beto O’Rourke and Donald Trump and her own experience of being harassed at the Trump rally by supporter of the president wearing a MAGA hat who insulted and taunted her as a member of the “evil media” shouting “built that wall” before physically assaulting a cameraman from the BBC. We will discuss Trump’s latest ploy to invent a new reality in lieu of getting his border wall by saying we already have a border wall so now instead of chanting “build the wall” he is urging his followers to chant the new slogan on display “finish the wall”. We will also look into the demonization and baiting of the press by Trump but in particular by his son Don Jr. who did the warm-up act rambling on about liking Texas and playing with machine guns amid insults at the press and taking shots at Beto O’Rourke.


Another Sex Scandal in a Different Church

Then we examine the latest sex scandal this time not in the Catholic Church but among officials in the Southern Baptist churches including pastors, deacons, Sunday School teachers and volunteers revealed by the Houston Chronicle and the San Antonio Express-News in their “Abuse of Faith” investigation series. Frederick Clarkson, an analyst of the Religious Right for over 30 years and author of “Eternal Hostility: The Struggle Between Theocracy and Democracy”, joins us to discuss an article he wrote in 2014 exposing sex abuse in the Southern Baptist Convention and the latest revelations of 380 Southern Baptists abusing more than 700 victims.


The US Not Immune to a Fascist Takeover By a Demagogue

Then finally we speak with world-renowned educator, author and public intellectual Henry Giroux the author of “American Nightmare: Facing the Challenge of Fascism” who joins us to discuss his article at Truthout, “Resisting the Weaponization of Ignorance in the Age of Trump”. We discuss how democracies in Poland, Hungary, India, Turkey and recently Brazil have succumbed to fascist takeovers by demagogues and how the United States in not immune to the same forces of malicious ignorance and arrogant anti-intellectualism led by our own Donald Trump.