Shadow Network: Media, Money, and the Secret Hub of the Radical Right
by Anne Nelson
Non-Fiction: Politics / Bloomsbury Publishing
Published: October 29, 2019
There’s a book that came out this past October: Shadow Network: Media, Money, and the Secret Hub of the Radical Right by Anne Nelson.
Ready for this?
“In 1981, emboldened by Ronald Reagan’s election, a group of some fifty Republican operatives, evangelicals, oil barons, and gun lobbyists met in a Washington suburb to coordinate their attack on civil liberties and the social safety net. These men and women called their coalition the Council for National Policy. Over four decades, this elite club has become a strategic nerve center for channeling money and mobilizing votes behind the scenes. Its secretive membership rolls represent a high-powered roster of fundamentalists, oligarchs, and their allies, from Oliver North, Ed Meese, and Tim LaHaye in the Council’s early days to Kellyanne Conway, Ralph Reed, Tony Perkins, and the DeVos and Mercer families today.”
It’s all about the intertwining of Christian-Americans with Koch brothers and other similar nefarious types. Focus on the Family, 700 Club, Left Behind books…this book went through all the cheeze we were surrounded with growing up in the church or in pop culture in general. (Nicolas Cage starred in the 2014 Left Behind movie.)
Their long game includes placing conservative judges at all court levels to of course influence abortion, guns etc. The usual stuff right? You know the agenda.
Last night at the State of the Union Trump said: “In the Senate, we have confirmed a record number of 187 new federal judges.”
According to the Washington Post Fact Checker: “It’s not a record. Trump has a long way to go to have appointed the most federal judges. Reagan has the record, with 383, followed by Bill Clinton with 378 and then Obama with 329. Through Jan. 18, 2020, 187 judges nominated by Trump have been confirmed by the Senate.” (The Fact Checker is a bit snarky…sensing some tone there.)
Still, that’s their basic plan: control the judges and you control the laws; control the laws and you control the land. Which of course you saw with the recent Supreme Court judge fights. That Trump has only appointed 187 judges means that while Trump will do damage he also continues to suck at the job: his evil lacks efficiency.
It’s why (according to the Shadow Network) “Christians” can tolerate Trump. How else are you gonna get all these judges appointed? They’re fundamentally opposed to the direction(s) America is heading in terms of openness, inclusivity etc. Basically, if they had their way Modern Family would not be on tv or a reality of any kind.
This sounds grim until you factor in that we’ve never ever successfully got rid of the flat earth premise. There was a time when that belief was universal than it got dramatically reduced but it never went away. Nothing any of us believe is truly universal (except for bad ideas will always stay with us). You just hope the opposition isn’t big or loud or road blocky.
I was so excited to talk to Anne Nelson about all of this and…2 hours before the interview Kobe died. Bah! So my mind is all scattered and unfocused. But I like doing these ones like the I Kissed Dating Goodbye interview showcasing the sins of our past so we understand how we got here. I’m not interested in the toothless online judgments; it has to start with comprehension. I’m not angry that we’re lost; I wanna know how we got lost. Great book; check it out.
(That My Summer Lair interview is not up yet…I did another one too with Meghan Daum super bright writer based in NYC. Speaking of toothless online judgments: her new book is The Problem with Everything: My Journey Through the New Culture Wars. I had so much fun with her! That’s another must read.)
Sammy Younan is the affable host of My Summer Lair: think NPR’s Fresh Air meets Kevin Smith: interviews & impressions on Pop Culture.