Background Briefing: June 26, 2019


Will the Religious Right Heed the Parable of the Good Samaritan?

We begin with the heart-breaking image of a your Salvadoran father face down in the Rio Grande with his two year old dead daughter clinging to him which has shocked many in this country and around the world prompting an expression of sorrow from the Pope while Trump blamed the Democrats. Diane Winston who holds the Knight Chair in Media and Religion at the University of Southern California’s Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism joins us to discuss whether Trump’s base, the Religious Right, will be moved from their focus of only caring for the unborn to start caring for living children and strangers as the Bible instructs in the parable of the Good Samaritan since we as Americans are all responsible for the children in our custody at the border. Already cracks appear in the evangelical world with theologian Russell Moore calling for those created in the image of God to be treated with dignity and compassion. This prompted a bizarre rebuke from the recent subject of a scandal himself, Jerry Falwell Jr. involving his wife and a pool boy, with Falwell attacking Moore for not having made a payroll, resulting in a twitter storm of protest on social media with one user asking “Did Jesus ever make a payroll?” With the House and Senate having passed bills to deal with the humanitarian crisis at the border, we will assess whether the bills can be reconciled and if the president will veto an aid package for the children that doesn’t have money for his wall.


The Same Media Who Piled on Joe Biden Ignore Rape Allegations Against Trump

Then we speak with a feminist, author and blogger, Amanda Marcotte who is a politics writer for Salon where her latest articles are “Trump fans think he’s a macho he-man – he’s really a moral weakling who preys on women and kids” and “Trump accused of rape, major media yawns: Why was E. Jean Carroll’s story not front page news?” She joins us to discuss the contrast between how the media piled on when a state legislator accused Joe Biden of touching her shoulders and kissing the back of her head and accusations of rape by Trump’s former wife Ivana which are now buttressed by a veteran journalist E. Jean Carroll.


How to Winnow the Crowded Field of Democratic Presidential Candidates

Then finally, just ahead of tonight’s first democratic presidential debate, we will speak with Alan Schroeder, professor emeritus in the School of Journalism at Northeastern University and author of “Presidential Debates: 50 Years of High-Risk TV” and “Celebrity-in-Chief: How Show Business Took Over the White House”. He joins us to discuss how quickly the field of 20 can be winnowed to the point when there will be an opportunity for substantive debates between fewer candidates instead of a 5 minute shot at getting recognized.