Radioactive

Ep. 5: His Cross to Bear

President Roosevelt embraces radio while distancing himself from Father Coughlin, whose broadcasts are becoming increasingly antisemitic

November 2, 2021

President Roosevelt embraces radio while distancing himself from Father Coughlin, whose broadcasts are becoming increasingly antisemitic. Coughlin rants about the Rothschilds and singles out Roosevelt’s Jewish secretary of the treasury, Henry Morgenthau Jr., for attacks on air, and the Jewish community debates how to respond. Turning on Roosevelt, Coughlin starts his own political movement. Meanwhile, the Nazis gain momentum in Germany.

Radioactive is hosted by Detroit-based journalist Andrew Lapin and produced by Tablet Studios. The series weaves together archival material and present-day interviews to tell the dramatic story of Father Charles Coughlin’s embrace of radio, the nascent mass media of his day, to attain nearly unparalleled cultural influence and broadcast his antisemitic, nationalist views into millions of living rooms across America.

Our theme music is from The Ghost Writer and was composed by Alexandre Desplat. All speeches and material of Father Coughlin are authentic to the source, as well as music and other audio from his radio program.

For more information on all of Tablet’s podcasts, visit tabletmag.com/podcasts.

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