Accuracy in Media

Pat Robertson is to blame for President Donald Trump’s election, according to a piece in Salon.

It was Robertson’s show, The 700 Club, that got the ball rolling toward electing Trump president, wrote Chauncey DeVega in “How Pat Robertson’s Christian TV empire created a ‘shadow government’ – and led to Donald Trump” – subhead: “Former Christian broadcaster Terry Heaton on how ‘The 700 Club’ pushed the Republican Party toward Donald Trump.”

Trump’s voters don’t care that he’s a thrice-married former playboy who once was a major player in the gambling business because they see him as a messiah of sorts thanks to their indoctrination by “The 700 Club,” goes the theory.

Trump shared “a message on Twitter from a racist conspiracy theorist proclaiming that he, the president, was viewed by Jewish people as the ‘Second Coming of God” and the “King of Israel” and how the “mytho-religious aspects of this ‘endorsement’ likely have no meaning” for Trump because “such claims matter to Trump primarily because they stoke his megalomania. Trump, being a “malignant narcissist authoritarian and fascist seeks praise from wherever it may come,” according to DeVega.

The reason “Christian nationalists, evangelicals, ‘reconstructionists’ and ‘dominionists’” support Trump is because “they see him as a means of overturning the U.S. Constitution and its rules separating church and state, with the ultimate goal of creating a Christian theocracy,” DeVega wrote. “Trump’s racists supporters are buoyed and encouraged by his sharing (another) message from a member of their movement. Collectively, these Trump supporters are eager to put an end to America’s multiracial democracy.”

Trump never called himself the ‘King of Israel’ or the ‘second coming of God.’ Those references relate to a series of tweets the president sent thanking Wayne Allyn Root, a conservative radio host, “for the very nice words.”

He quoted Root’s tweet, which read: “President Trump is the greatest President for Jews and for Israel in the history of the world, not just America, he is the best President for Israel in the history of the world … and the Jewish people in Israel love him … like he’s the King of Israel. They love him like he is the second coming of God … But American Jews don’t know him or like him. They don’t even know what they’re doing or saying anymore. It makes no sense. But that’s OK, if he keeps doing what he’s doing, he’s good for … all Jews, Blacks, Gays, everyone. And importantly, he’s good for everyone in America who wants a job.” 

 In introducing what he called a lightly edited transcript of an interview with Heaton, who has written books on Christian influence in society, DeVega wrote: “I spoke to Heaton recently about how and why right-wing evangelical Christians have come to worship and love Donald Trump, a man who is an unapologetic sinner. Heaton also offers insights on the direct connection between evangelical-oriented media such as his former employer at CBN, Christian nationalism, Fox News and Donald Trump’s conquest of the Republican Party and its voters.

“Heaton also warns about the power and influence of Robertson and his ‘shadow government’ of right-wing evangelicals, who have waged a decades-long campaign to overthrow secular democracy in America.”

DeVega first asks Heaton how he makes “sense of Donald Trump’s rise to power and why so many Christians support him, given his evident values and behavior.” Heaton concludes his lengthy answer by saying “He also promised to ‘drain the swamp,’ which these voters find to be very appealing and compelling language.”

“But Trump has not in fact ‘drained the swamp.’ He is the head swamp-monster. He is violating the Emoluments clauses of the United States Constitution. He has put crony capitalists in charge of his administration. Trumpism is a version of what is known as ‘state capture’ by private interests – the kind of thing that happens in Third World countries and so-called banana republics.”

“Trump supporters do not see it that way,” Heaton answered. “And that is the problem.”

Ready to fight back against media bias?
Join us by donating to AIM today.


Comments are turned off for this article.