I just finished reading Elizabeth Dias’s New York Times piece on Christian Broadcasting Network journalist David Brody. The evangelical journalist and the co-author of The Faith of Donald J. Trump: A Spiritual Biography has had some intimate access to the White House.
Here is a taste of Dias’s piece:
“The access has been phenomenal,” Brody said later in an interview. “I’m very appreciative to God for allowing it.”
While Trump attacks major news organizations and suggests revoking media credentials for outlets he deems “Fake News,” Brody and his network enjoy a closeness to the White House that is foreign to most reporters. In return, Trump gets a direct line to his most supportive voters, the conservative evangelicals who make up CBN’s core audience. Their allegiance is critical to his success; more than 80 percent of white evangelicals who went to the polls in 2016 voted for Trump.
The Christian Broadcasting Network has become an important outlet for the president. Brody interviewed Trump eight times during the campaign. A week after the inauguration, he scored a landmark interview in which Trump called the media “the opposition party.” White House surrogates routinely appear on Brody’s program, and Brody himself has been a guest both on Fox News and on programs on other networks like “Meet the Press.”
“What you are seeing in the White House is base-tending,” said Kathleen Hall Jamieson, co-founder of FactCheck.org and a professor of communication at the University of Pennsylvania.
Viewers of Christian media, she added, are often presented with more favorable information about Trump than they would find in the mainstream media. “It is agenda control,” Jamieson said.
Read the entire piece here.
Brody knows his audience and, of course, is perfectly free to report the kind of news that the viewers of CBN want to hear. But I wonder if Brody is ever bothered by having such access to the White House. It would seem that a journalist’s integrity can be corrupted pretty quickly when one gets such access.