Radioactive: The Father Coughlin Story — Coming soon from Tablet Studios
A new podcast tells the story of how a crafty bigot used a new medium to spread hate and get much too close to political power
Before CNN and Fox News, before shock jocks and powerful pundits, there was Father Charles Coughlin, an ambitious priest who invented political talk radio as we know it, brought down one president and crowned another, and was himself at one point considered the most powerful man in America. He was also a rabid anti-Semite who wrote fan mail to Mussolini and cheered on Hitler, and who used his enormous platform to rail against the cunning international bankers who robbed decent, Christian Americans of their hard-earned dollars.
This limited-run podcast, hosted by Detroit journalist Andrew Lapin and produced by Tablet Studios, weaves together archival materials and dramatic recreations as well as interviews with radio hosts, historians, and others to tell the story of Father Coughlin’s rise from humble beginnings in a sleepy Canadian town to the pinnacle of influence, a cautionary tale, very much still relevant today, of how an unscrupulous bigot can manipulate mass media to spread hate and gather much too much political power.
- RadioactiveEp. 8: The Ghost of Royal OakIn the final chapter of this series, Father Coughlin disappears from the public eye, but his legacy looms largeNovember 23, 2021
- RadioactiveEp. 7: SeditionFather Coughlin incites his most extreme followers to violence, and the FBI uncovers the Christian Front’s plans for an anti-government uprisingNovember 16, 2021
- RadioactiveEp. 6: Social JusticeFather Coughlin’s political movement gains momentum as his church superiors look the other wayNovember 9, 2021
- RadioactiveEp. 5: His Cross to BearPresident Roosevelt embraces radio while distancing himself from Father Coughlin, whose broadcasts are becoming increasingly antisemiticNovember 2, 2021
- RadioactiveEp. 4: ‘Driving the Money Changers From the Temple’Father Coughlin blames the Great Depression on bankers, greedy politicians, and communists, expanding his pulpit to politics and mobilizing his listeners behind FDROctober 26, 2021
- RadioactiveEp. 3: The Sound of AmericaFather Coughlin starts broadcasting his religious services over the radio. As listeners flock to his broadcasts, he develops his signature sound and sharpens his message.October 19, 2021
- RadioactiveEp. 2: Radio DaysFather Coughlin builds his church, with a little help from some famous friendsOctober 12, 2021
- RadioactiveEp. 1: In the BeginningWho was Father Charles Coughlin, and what were the conditions that allowed for the rise of the first mass media demagogue? October 5, 2021
- RadioactiveRadioactive: The Father Coughlin Story — Coming soon from Tablet StudiosA new podcast tells the story of how a crafty bigot used a new medium to spread hate and get much too close to political powerSeptember 29, 2021