The World and Everything in It — November 6, 2020

MARY REICHARD, HOST: Good morning!

The biggest loser after the election may well be the media. Lopsided reporting and wrong polling data reveal continuing problems with journalism.

NICK EICHER, HOST: That’s ahead on Culture Friday.

Also Megan Basham has a review of a film that dramatizes The Trial of the Chicago 7. It’s a film set in the 1960s, but it has parallels with today.

And we’ll finish up this week as we’ve done each day: your prayers for our nation.

REICHARD: It’s Friday, November 6th. This is The World and Everything in It from listener-supported WORLD Radio. I’m Mary Reichard.

EICHER: And I’m Nick Eicher. Good morning!

REICHARD: Now the news. Here’s Kent Covington.

KENT COVINGTON, NEWS ANCHOR: President election still undecided as swing states tighten » The presidential election is still undecided. As of very early this morning, several critical battleground states were still too close to call. 

The race has tightened in Pennsylvania. With 95 percent of the votes in, Joe Biden now trails President Trump by just a fraction of 1 percent. 

Pennsylvania Secretary of State Kathy Boockvar urged the public to be patient. 

BOOCKVAR: It’s very close in Pennsylvania, right? There’s no question. So that means it’s going to take longer to actually see who the winner is. 

And in Georgia, the race is even tighter. On Thursday night, President Trump saw his lead shrink to less than 2,000 votes. That’s out of almost 5 million votes cast. Officials have counted 98 percent of the votes there. And Trump conceded that he may be trailing in Georgia when the count is complete. 

But the news is better for the president in Arizona. The race has tightened there in his favor. This morning, with 90 percent of the votes in, Biden’s lead was down to about 1-and-a-half percent. 

At the White House on Thursday, President Trump claimed that the only way Democrats can reclaim the White House is through voter fraud. 

TRUMP: This is a case where they’re trying to steal an election. They’re trying to rig an election, and we can’t let that happen.

He said if only legal votes are counted, he’ll win easily. 

TRUMP: We think there is going to be a lot of litigation, because we have so much evidence, so much proof. And it’s going to end up, perhaps, at the highest court in the land. 

But some Republicans immediately pushed back, including Trump adviser former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie. He told ABC News. 

CHRISTIE: If you’re going to say those things from behind the podium at the White House—It’s his right to do it. It’s his right to pursue legal action. But show us the evidence. We heard nothing today about any evidence.

But some GOP lawmakers joined Trump supporters in public protests Thursday, like Georgia Congressman Doug Collins. 

COLLINS: It always seems to be the counties that are run by Democrats that always seem to have the problem.

Many protesters have shown up to polling locations with signs that say “stop the steal.” Others say they only want more transparency from election officials. 

Senate Majority may be decided in January » While voters may have to wait a little longer to find out who won the White House, they may have to wait until next year to learn which party controls the Senate. 

If Democrats win the White House, they would need two more Senate seats to claim the majority. And there are currently two undecided races in the state of Georgia. 

One of those contests is already heading to a January 5th runoff election between GOP Senator Kelly Loeffler and Democrat Raphael Warnock. 

In Georgia’s other Senate race, incumbent Republican David Perdue still leads Democrat John Ossoff by 2 percent. But his share of the vote slipped under the 50 percent mark on Thursday. If that’s where it stays, then by state law, that race will also head to a January runoff. 

John Ossoff told CNN…

OSSOFF: I believe that history right now is unfolding in Georgia, with two Senate races, two Senate runoffs in a single state, and as you have pulled up on screen, the presidential hanging in the balance here as well. 

There is one other Senate race that is still too close to call. That is in North Carolina where GOP Senator Thom Tillis has a 2 point lead over Cal Cunningham with 94 percent of the votes in. Republicans are confident that lead will hold.

Republicans cut into Democratic House majority » Regardless of what happens in the Senate, Democrats will retain control of the House

But not only did they fail to expand their majority, Republicans have picked off at least eight Democratic seats while losing only two so far. 

Among the surprising GOP gains, a South Florida district held by former Clinton cabinet member Donna Shalala. Maria Elvira Salazar told supporters…

SALAZAR: I am honored to officially accept the position as your congresswoman for District number 27. 

And out of 27 House races that the New York Times classified as toss-ups, Republicans have won or are leading 26 of them. And they could ultimately flip as many as 12 seats. 

Democrats rode a 2018 midterm wave into a comfortable House Majority. They won 41 seats and now hold an edge of 232 to 197.

But when vote counting is finished, they could end up with the slimmest House majority in two decades.

Jobless claims fall slightly » The number of Americans seeking jobless benefits fell slightly last week to 751,000.

Thursday’s Labor Department report also said the number of people continuing to receive benefits declined to 7.3 million. 

But those numbers are still historically high, and Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell told reporters Thursday…

POWELL: We are committed to using our full range of tools to support the economy and to help ensure that the recovery from this difficult period will be as robust as possible. 

The Fed announced no new actions after its latest policy meeting but left the door open to further assistance in the coming months. And it kept its benchmark interest rate at a record low near zero. 

Powell has repeatedly urged Congress to provide further relief to Americans. He said amid the pandemic, the outlook for the economy is—in his words— “extraordinarily uncertain.”

AstraZeneca expects vaccine data to be available by year-end » But progress continues toward a coronavirus vaccine. 

One major drugmaker hopes to prove its COVID-19 vaccine is safe and effective by the end of this year. WORLD’s Anna Johansen Brown has that story. 

ANNA JOHANSEN BROWN, REPORTER: AstraZeneca is ramping up manufacturing so it can supply hundreds of millions of doses in January. That according to the company’s CEO Pascal Soriot on Thursday. 

The Anglo-Swedish drugmaker is working with the University of Oxford to develop one of the most closely watched COVID-19 vaccines. It’s now in late stage trials in the United States, Britain, and other countries. Once those results are reported, regulators will have to approve the vaccine for widespread use.

Soriot said the company plans to have doses ready to ship as soon as the clinical trials are over. And he added, “On a global basis, we’ll be ready to supply hundreds of millions of doses by January.”

Reporting for WORLD, I’m Anna Johansen Brown.

I’m Kent Covington.

Straight ahead: the election’s biggest loser.

Plus, your prayers for our nation.

This is The World and Everything in It.

MARY REICHARD: It’s Friday, November 6, 2020.

Glad to have you along for today’s edition of The World and Everything in It. Good morning, I’m Mary Reichard.

NICK EICHER: And I’m Nick Eicher. Before we get to Culture Friday, just a quick word about support for this program. 

Maybe you remember a comment I made on Monday’s program, specifically that we’re not starting our end-of-year giving drive early, but rather that in November we’ll be encouraging you if you’ve never given before to join the thousands of listeners who make this program possible.

What that also means is that hundreds of thousands have not given yet. That’s both a good thing and a less-good thing. It’s good in that listeners who do give tell us they happily do so in order to reach more people. At the same time, we know what kind of impact we could have if we could increase the number of people who support the program.

So one family brought an idea to us: These friends said, in the spirit of providing support to bless others, that they would love to provide an extra incentive, a matching gift. The terms are these: If you’ve never given before and you make a gift, this family will match it, dollar for dollar.

The idea is no one expects you to go it alone. We go together. So if you give 50 dollars, they give $50 and so your gift is doubled: $50 means $100—simple math—a single new gift is a double new gift.

So we’ll keep this short, we don’t want to presume on your time, but you should expect little reminders and encouragements this month.

REICHARD: It’s such a generous offer from the family to provide this matching gift to double your impact and encourage you to give for the first time.

Just visit to make your first-ever gift today.

EICHER: I should add that our friends are willing to provide up to 75-thousand dollars in matching gifts and they’re really hoping to give it all.

REICHARD: Well: The election was Tuesday. 

The counting was Tuesday night. Wednesday. Thursday…

EICHER: But one election result that seemed immediate was this one:

MONTAGE: Another rough night for pollsters … the polling was once again off … we’re heading for a polling reckoning … deja vu all over again … people who distrust institutions support Trump more and respond to surveys less …

That’s putting it mildly. The polling was really off but more than that, the behavior of legacy media can be considered scandalous.

REICHARD: And so let’s talk about it with John Stonestreet, the president of the Colson Center for Christian Worldview.

EICHER: John, good morning.


EICHER: Here’s what I think: It’s got to be some combination of contempt and living life in a bubble, journalists living life apart from a big slice of the population. 

Maybe pollsters just don’t know how to poll people who distrust them and possibly that’s understandable. 

But there’s no excuse for professional journalists. The job is to get to know people, understand them, and report fairly.

So my question: I don’t want to overly narrow the choices—answer as you like—but is it contempt or life in a bubble that explains the bias that caused the media to get this election so wrong?

STONESTREET: Well, probably the answer is yes at some level. It’s both. But both of those are sourced, I think, even more deeply, and it’s becoming more and more obvious of the worldview divide that exists. 

Look, I’m not saying that it’s Christian versus secular. I think that’s probably too simplistic, but I do think there’s a radical secularism or a militant secularism that dominates the media so much that it does affect who they actually think exists and what they think actually drives people. 

For example, from the very beginning of the Trump administration, the narrative was that the thing that is driving people who support Trump is some form of white supremacy. Some form of nationalism. Some form of racial superiority. I’m not saying that doesn’t exist. It does. It exists in certain corners. That’s just not where most Americans are, but it’s actually where people in kind of elite positions in America think most of America is. And so they just missed it, again.

And, you know, they’re not interacting on a daily basis with average people. But they’ve already got the answer. They’re hammers looking for nails. They’re actually looking for every way possible to support a narrative that they’ve already decided on that’s not driven by data at all. 

They think people operate off different operating systems. It’s not just that they’re talking to different people. They’re starting with completely different assumptions about who we are as human beings, what drives our deepest beliefs and therefore behaviors. And, of course, one of the things they missed—and this is, of course, something that’s been a narrative of the left for awhile, but really over the last couple of years is the idea of critical theory being that the thing that is most definitive about who we are is our tribal alignment, which isn’t based on belief, it’s not based on our independent thinking or rationality or reasoning, or even our emotional experience. It’s based distinctly off of things that we didn’t chose, things that we were born into—our race, our sex, or something like that. 

And so there was just no thought, for example, that Hispanic Americans in Florida would come out in the numbers that they did for President Trump. And why? Why did they not think that? It wasn’t because they weren’t talking to them. It’s because they came in with this lens, this worldview that starts with a different assumption about who we are as human beings. And what we found was that people are actually driven by more than just the race or the ethnic group or the sexual binary that they were born into. 

So, it’s a worldview issue at the end of the day. And, by the way, we probably should say it’s a pure mechanical issue. No one picks up their phone anymore because we can all see who’s calling and we’re all tired of it. So, that probably should be factored in at some point.

REICHARD: This idea of what drives people, I want you to interact with an idea. I’m working on analysis of a Supreme Court argument for Monday that happened this week. It’s Fulton v City of Philadelphia, about whether Catholic Social Services can abide by its religious belief and not place children in same sex households—as they’ve done for 200 years now. 

I’ll play a very direct question that Justice Samuel Alito asked the lawyer for the city, and then ask you to comment. But let’s listen to this:

ALITO: If we are honest about what is really going on here, it’s not about ensuring that same-sex couples in Philadelphia have the opportunity to be foster parents. It’s the fact the city can’t stand the message that Catholic Social Services and the Archdiocese are sending by continuing to adhere to the old fashion view about marriage. Isn’t that the case?

So, John, what about that idea? Philadelphia argues it sends a bad message to children who are LGBT that  Catholic Charities won’t work with same-sex couples, that gay people’s dignity is harmed by those religious beliefs. What’s the counter to that?

STONESTREET: Well, this is a huge case and it happened while everyone was distracted. This is such an incredibly important question because all of the—the main conflicts with our religious liberties have to do with sexual liberties. Those are the two forces that are colliding and it’s elevated right here. And that’s what I think Alito recognizes. Justice Kavanaugh clearly stated that as well in the oral arguments and in the questions that he asked, that this was basically Philadelphia looking for somebody to go out and get. 

But, again, this gets at the heart of why worldview fundamentally matters. The fact that someone would believe that our sexual preferences and orientation is not at the core of who we are and not the most important thing about us is an intolerable thing. It’s something that has already been predetermined to be part of who we are at the level of race or anything else. And so it’s determined to be harmful. 

And the attorneys for Catholic Social Services are actually asking the court to consider overturning it. It doesn’t look like—it looks like what we have here are clear evidences the city of Philadelphia engaged in animus. And we already know from the Masterpiece Cake Shop decision that the Supreme Court doesn’t like animus and that a state or a governmental organization can’t mistreat someone, some organization, or degenerate religious belief. And the evidence in this case is pretty obvious that that’s what they have done. 

And my guess is that’s what this is going to be decided on and it’s not actually going to get to employment. Which is going to be good. It’s going to mean that Catholic Social Services is going to continue the work that they’ve done for a couple centuries now. 

But at some point we’re going to have to get to this decision. We’re going to have to decide not only that the state can’t be mean to people of faith, but that the state is not going to trample on people of faith and are going to allow them to operate according to their deeply held views. We have to get there in some case. We might get there here, but it didn’t look like it from the oral arguments. Although, for the record, judging Supreme Court decisions on oral arguments is kind of like judging elections based on polls. It’s not a very reliable sort of thing.

EICHER: John Stonestreet is president of the Colson Center for Christian Worldview.

REICHARD: Thanks, John!

STONESTREET: Thanks, Nick. Thanks, Mary.

NICK EICHER: Today is Friday, November 6th. You’re listening to WORLD Radio and we are so glad you are! 

Good morning. I’m Nick Eicher.

MARY REICHARD: And I’m Mary Reichard. Coming next on The World and Everything in It: Megan Basham has a review of a hit new political drama.

AUDIO: [Chanting]

MEGAN BASHAM, FILM CRITIC: Riots, destruction, grandstanding for the camera. Radicals co-opting civil rights protests to advance their own agenda. Sounds like the last few months, doesn’t it? Actually, it’s the setting for Aaron Sorkin’s latest movie, The Trial of the Chicago 7.

CLIP: What if the police start hitting you? Why would the police start hitting me? What if they do? I’ll duck. David, he watches the news. I’ve organized 100 protests, this one will be no different in that it almost certainly won’t work. The police… I’m not worried about the police. I am worried about Hoffman and Rubin. It’s the Democratic National Convention, honey. Every camera in America is going to be pointed at it.

The film is based on the real 1969 court case that saw a group of young radicals charged for inciting a riot at the Democratic National Convention. It proves that the man beloved for his long-running drama series, The West Wing, is still a master at creating tight political drama. And yes, he still knows how to serve up those famous “walk and talk” scenes his fans love.

As he did with the movie, A Few Good Men, Sorkin makes the most of big personalities and the conflicts between them.

We have the fiery Black Panther leader, Bobby Seale.

CLIP: I’m tired of hearing that. I couldn’t care less what you’re tired of. What did you say? I said it would be impossible for me to care any less but you are tired of. And I demand to cross examine the witness.

The Falstaff-style jokester Abbie Hoffman.

CLIP: And the record should reflect the defendant Hoffman and I are not related. Father, no. Mr. Hoffman, are you familiar with contempt of court? It’s practically a religion for me sir.

The serious political operative, Tom Hayden.

CLIP: I don’t know what good it does to insult the judge in view of the jury, the press, and Foran and Schultz, who will recommend sentencing if we are convicted.

What’s missing from the story is a sense of complexity. Any hint that Sorkin can still see the point of view of those on the other side of the political aisle has disappeared.

Now, making mustache-twirling villains of the opposition isn’t a first for Sorkin. Jack Nicholson’s Colonel Jessup was fairly over the top. But Jessup was effective because had a motivation that resonated on some level even with those who see the world differently. Most do sort of want a bad guy like Jessup with a gun guarding us against worse guys.

Here, on the other hand, the Justice Department just seems offended by the sight of long hair.

One scene is so simplistic it would be embarrassing for an after-school special.

Complete with soaring music, cheering crowd, and a blustery old judge in the mold of Dean Wormer from Animal House calling for order. It’s clichéd, silly and disappointing from a writer/director who’s shown he’s capable of much better.

CLIP: Your honor, since this trial began, 4752 U.S. troops have been killed in Vietnam. And the following are their names. Private first class Dennis Walter Kip, 18 years old. Private Eric Allen Bosch, 21 years old. Mr. consular. Lance Corporal Robert Earl Ellis, 19 years old. Mr. consular. He will not read 5000 names for the record. There will be order. There will be order.

In fact, the cause of law and order is so caricatured, it falls to disagreement within the seven to bring the ideological heat.

Hayden and Hoffman clash throughout about how to advance the cause of the cultural left. Hayden believes in doing it through elections. Hoffman through fame and the force of personality. Hayden wants to make it respectable for the suburbs to vote for their side. Hoffman wants to lead the young and cool on a merry dance through the streets like the Pied Piper. 

CLIP: What’s your problem with me Hayden? I really wish people would stop asking me that. Answer it. One time. All right. My problem is that for the next 50 years when people think of progressive politics they’re going to think of you. They are going to think of you and your idiot followers passing out daisies to soldiers and trying to levitate the pentagon. They are not going to think of equality or justice. They are not going to think of education or poverty or progress. They are going to think of a bunch of stoned, lost, disrespectful, foul-mouthed lawless losers, and so we’ll lose elections.

The problem is that while these debates are highly entertaining. They’re also entirely fictional. And Sorkin’s purpose with them seems to be to rewrite history.

Aside from their constant swearing, Hayden, Rubin, Hoffman and company are laughably wholesome. While the real Hayden openly approved violence as a tactic, writing in 1967 that it “can create possibilities of meaningful change,” here, he and his cohorts are always eager to prevent clashes with the police. When they challenge the authorities, it’s with trembling, pleading voices, not angry, defiant ones. Forget free love and anonymous sex, here Hoffman and Rubin are romantics, the defenders of women’s virtue.

If anything, portraying the seven in this light shows the extent to which conventional morals still hold the American imagination. Sorkin is smarter than the men he’s writing about. He knows if you want to win a national argument, you have to appeal to the middle.

I’m Megan Basham.

MARY REICHARD: Today is Friday, November 6th. Good morning! This is The World and Everything in It from listener-supported WORLD Radio. I’m Mary Reichard.

NICK EICHER: And I’m Nick Eicher.

Before we close today, we have one more round of Scripture readings and prayers to share with you. Thanks again to each of you who contributed to this special presentation this week. 

You’ve written to say they’ve encouraged you, and they’ve certainly encouraged us! We are grateful.

REICHARD: Here with today’s offerings are Yancy Carpenter, Jackie Layne, Kevin Epperson, Sophia Elliot, and Ike Nicholson.

YANCY CARPENTER: Lord Jesus, you are the radiance of the glory of God. The exact imprint of His nature. You uphold the universe by the word of your power. After making purification for our sins, you sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on High. Jesus, our hope and our trust is in you alone. Be glorified through Your servants today. Amen.

JACKIE LAYNE: Second Thessalonians 3, verses 1 through 3: Finally, brethren, pray for us, that the Word of the Lord may be glorified and have free course, even as it is with you. And that we may be delivered from unreasonable and wicked men. For all men have not faith. But the Lord is faithful, who shall establish you and keep you from evil.

KEVIN EPPERSON: Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord, Jesus Christ. According to His great mercy, He has caused us to be born again to a living hope, through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in Heaven for you who by God’s power are being guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. Though you have not seen Him, you love Him. Though you do not now see Him, you believe in Him, and rejoice with joy that is inexpressible, and filled with glory, obtaining the outcome of your faith, the salvation of your souls.

SOPHIA ELLIOT: It is good to give thanks to the Lord, to sing praises to your name, oh Most High. To declare your steadfast love in the morning, and your faithfulness by night. To the music of the lute and the harp, to the melody of the lyre. For you, oh Lord, have made me glad at your work; at the works of your hands I sing for joy. How great are your works, oh Lord! Your thoughts are very deep.

Oh God, you are the only faithful and true. You are our rock. You are our sure foundation. No matter what the world looks like. No matter how crazy things get, or look, God we are safe in your hand because you are faithful, you are just. You are righteous. I thank you that you protect us. You keep us. And that we are safe in your hands. Amen.

IKE NICHOLSON: Oh God, who hast appointed a day when the kingdoms of this world shall become the kingdom of our Lord and of His Christ, quicken our loyalty to thee that we may now and always choose thy will as our will, thy ways as our way, thy peace as our peace. So lock our fortunes to thy purpose in these days of perplexity and suffering that we may be satisfied with nothing less than a world at unity with itself, and in abiding fellowship with thee, when for all people that freedom and mutual trust which will enable all nations to bring their glory and honor into thy kingdom through him who came to set us free—Jesus, our King. Amen.

NICK EICHER: Well it takes many people to put this program together each week, and this week late nights for some of us in particular! So we want to say thanks to: Megan Basham, Myrna Brown, Anna Johansen Brown, Kent Covington, Jamie Dean, Kristen Flavin, Katie Gaultney, Kim Henderson, Leigh Jones, Bonnie Pritchett, Jenny Lind Schmitt, Sarah Schweinsberg, and Emily Whitten.

MARY REICHARD: Our audio engineers Johnny Franklin and Carl Peetz stay up late to get the program to you early! Paul Butler is executive producer, and Marvin Olasky is editor in chief. 

And you. None of this happens without you! Your support is the fuel that powers this program. Thank you for your support. 

I hope you have a restful weekend. 

Go now in grace and peace.

WORLD Radio transcripts are created on a rush deadline. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Accuracy and availability may vary. The authoritative record of WORLD Radio programming is the audio record.

Like this story?

To hear a lot more like it, subscribe to The World and Everything in It via iTunes, Overcast, Stitcher, or Pocket Casts.







Pocket Casts

(Requires a fee)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.