Radioactive

By Tablet Magazine

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Category: History

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Description

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.

Episode Date
Episode Three: The Sound of America
991
Father Coughlin’s decision to broadcast his sermons over the radio scandalizes the American listening public, with angry letters pouring in to radio stations and politicians. Preaching on the dial next to “Amos ‘n’ Andy” was sacrilegious, inappropriate, crass. But soon listeners were hooked by the radio priest's sonorous voice, and his increasingly deliberate messaging. 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.
Oct 19, 2021
Episode 2: Radio Days
1325
With some help from Babe Ruth, the KKK, and his friends, the Evil Four, Father Charles Coughlin gets on the air and becomes America's first talk radio celebrity. 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. For more information on all of Tablet’s podcasts, visit tabletmag.com/podcasts.
Oct 12, 2021
Episode 1: In the Beginning...
1699
In the first episode of this eight-part series, we take a look at beginnings. We uncover the humble origins of Father Charles Coughlin and his fellow antisemite, Henry Ford. We also investigate how the dawn of radio combined with world-shattering events to fuel Coughlin’s meteoric rise. 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. For more information on all of Tablet’s podcasts, visit tabletmag.com/podcasts.
Oct 05, 2021
Radioactive: The Father Coughlin Story — Coming soon from Tablet Studios
85
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.
Sep 30, 2021