Trump Buys Ad Touting Falwell Endorsement on Rap Station

It’s a jarring listen between “Let’s Talk About Sex” and “Changes.”

Jerry Mennenga/ZUMA

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Driving back to my hotel outside Des Moines following a Hillary Clinton event Wednesday morning, I thought I’d get a brief reprieve from politics by tuning into 98.3 FM The Vibe, Des Moines’ “new hip hop classics” radio station. But after bopping along in my seat to Salt-N-Pepa’s “Let’s Talk About Sex,” I heard a surprising voice during the subsequent commercial break. “I’m Donald Trump, candidate for president, and I approve this message,” the Republican front-runner said over soaring strings.

A Trump ad on a rap station seemed like an unusual pairing, but Iowa caucus season pushes candidates to reach out to unexpected voters. The rest of the radio ad, however, sounded very much out of place. Immediately following Trump’s statement, a narrator jumped in to introduce approving comments from Jerry Falwell Jr., president of Liberty University, who compared Trump to his late father, Jerry Falwell Sr., a controversial crusader for the religious right. “Dad explained that when he walked into the voting booth,” Falwell says in the ad, “he wasn’t electing a Sunday school teacher or a pastor, or even a president who shared his theological beliefs. He was electing the president of the United States to lead a nation. Matthew 7:16 tells us, by their fruits, you shall know them. Donald Trump’s life has borne fruit.”

“In my opinion,” Falwell says at the ad’s close, “Donald Trump lives a life of loving and helping others, as Jesus taught in the great commandment.”

You can listen to the full ad here.

After the commercial break, the station returned to its programming with the posthumous 1998 hit “Changes” by 2Pac. “I see no changes, all I see is racist faces,” Tupac rapped, “misplaced hate makes disgrace to races.”

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SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

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