Action Speaks: What's Eating Us, 1926 Father Coughlin On the Air and the Birth of Right Wing Radio
With the popularity of Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity and now Glenn Beck, we felt it was time to look at the original, nationally known conservative radio talk show host, Father Charles Edward Coughlin, who organized and addressed large rallies, called for a return to God and became a leading oppositional figure for a sitting President. Father Coughlin's reach was huge, establishing a national network of radio stations to carry his show and help him to raise funds for his preferred causes. Originally attracted by the New Deal, Father Coughlin veered right from FDR's policies, establishing ties eventually to Nazi and anti-Semitic elements in our society. In this episode host Marc Levitt and guest panelists radio historian Dr. Susan Smulyan of Brown University, political historian Dr. Evelyn Sterne of University of Rhode Island, Coughlin biographer Dr. Sheldon Marcus of Fordham University, and free speech advocate and radio industry expert Michael Harrison of Talkers Magazine examine Father Coughlin's career, discussing his methods of communication and distribution, and the accuracy and fairness of comparisons with our current group of conservative commentators in philosophy, method, and content.