Background Briefing: February 26, 2024

The Rise of Christian Nationalism, Dominionism and the New Apostolic Reformation Movements

We begin with the rise of Christian nationalism, dominionism and the New Apostolic Reformation movements who have found a champion in the heathen Donald Trump who last week in his at times incoherent address to the National Religious Broadcasters, promised to create a task force to counter “anti-Christian bias” while demonizing his opposition saying, “it’s the people from within our country that are more dangerous than the people outside.” Joining us is Katherine Stewart, a journalist who is the author of The Good News Club: The Christian Right’s Stealth Assault on America’s Children and her latest book, The Power Worshippers: Inside the Dangerous Rise of Religious Nationalism upon which the new feature documentary God and Country by Rob Reiner is based.


The Supreme Court Appears Open To Giving Tech Giants Immunity From Content on Their Social Media Platforms

Then we look into today’s Supreme Court hearing on NetChoice v. Paxton at which the justices seemed open to the challenge from big tech companies Facebook, Google and Twitter to the Texas and Florida laws aimed at regulating their social media content. Joining us is Jonathan Taplin, an author and director emeritus of the USC Annenberg Innovation Lab who has produced music and film for Bob Dylan and the Band, George Harrison, Martin Scorsese, Wim Wenders, Gus Van Sant and many others. He was the founder of Intertainer, the first streaming Video On Demand Platform and currently sits on the boards of The Authors Guild, Americana Music Association, and has produced 12 films including Mean Streets, The Last Waltz, Under Fire and To Die For. He is the author of Move Fast and Break Things: How Facebook, Google and Amazon Have Cornered Culture and Undermined Democracy, and his latest book is The End of Reality: How 4 Billionaires are Selling a Fantasy Future of the Metaverse, Mars and Crypto.


Powerful Leaders, Investors and Celebrities Suck Up to MbS’s Sovereign Wealth Fund

Then finally we look into the recent gathering in Miami of powerful leaders, investors and celebrities sucking up to the head of the Saudi sovereign wealth fund who doles out $70 billion per year to obsequious panderers like Jared Kushner and Steve Mnuchin. Joining us to discuss the whitewashing of Saudi’s murderous Crown Prince by Larry Summers, Eric Schmidt, Gwyneth Paltrow Rob Lowe etc. is Sevag Kechichian, a senior researcher at Democracy for the Arab World Now with more than 20 years of experience in designing and executing research projects, including on human rights in Gulf countries. He was previously Amnesty International’s lead Researcher on Saudi Arabia, and he worked on human rights violations in Yemen, Qatar, and Oman.