Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Father Coughlin

The popularity of the radio created a new generation of super star. The radio was able to reach much wider and enthusiastic audiences than stage performances or newspapers. The radio created superstars in entertainment, sports, and politics.

Notice that the couple above are listening to the radio and reading a copy of "Social Justice". This was the newspaper of a radical political and religious figure named Father Coughlin. He was a socialist antisemite who was sympathetic to Hitler and Mussolini. He came to prominence through his radio program. At the peak of his popularity he had over 30,000,0000 Americans tuning into his broadcast.


  1. WOW, I can't believe that number. Was he able to sway 30 MILLION people that easily.
    People weren't that simple minded were they?

    Interesting, my VERIFIATION word is WAVES, as in radio waves.


    Before he leaves to help with that revolution, he might want to straighten that picture on the wall.

  3. Nice looking comfortable home,they wouldn't have had it under socialism.

    Can't you just see those two occupying Wall Street?

  4. You wrote:

    socialist antisemite who was sympathetic to Hitler and Mussolini

    Everything is right in that sentence except the first word. Coughlin was a rabid anti-socialist and anti-communist. In fact, his support for Hitler and Mussolini was, in part, a result of his anti-communism (he believed Hitler was the strongest anti-Bolshevik force in Europe; he also criticized FDR repeatedly for being a communist).

  5. Fascist - communist... potayto - potahto.

    When you look at the behavior of each you wonder why they think they are different from each other.


  6. Chris,
    You are confused . . . his news paper was SOCIAL justice. He was a rabid socialist.

  7. TO heck with the Wall St. Protesters! And the heck with Wall St. too!!!
    As far as I'm concerned if that hadn't had that danged bailout Wall Street would have been forced to cleanse itself and then there wouldnt be any need for protesting!!!
    Everyone wants and easy fix anymore. No one wants to be accountable for their mistakes so they cry for a bailout.
    In my time you took care of yourself. If you didn't have a job you found one. Dang!!!!

  8. Politically speaking I don't agree much with the socialists, communists, facists, marxsists, anti-semities, natzis and anti-dentites, etc. etc. but I do have 1most important question. What is that cabinet that the radio is sitting on? It looks like it opens up like a desk, but there is that round hole near the bottom that looks like it houses a speaker. It's got me baffeled.

  9. Boy! Even in the late 1950s you could get my grandfather in a lather by mentioning Fr. Coughlin. He absolutely loathed the man, even after all those years. He was generally a pretty peaceable person, but he'd start slamming things around and muttering, and then storm out the door. "And he called himself a Christian."

    My grandmother put it all to good use. He'd work up a good head of steam, and then she'd say, "Roy, hang up these pots and pans for me. Roy, stack up those newspapers, would you please" and he'd get the work done in no time at all!

  10. I think PJM has it right. I did a little reading on Father Coughlin and it appears that he was anti communisim and anti capitolism. He was indeed a big time socialist and anti-semite. Sounds like a Nazi to me. I've got to agree with Lady Anne's Grampa Roy. Coughlin would get my blood boiling too.

  11. Any time you hear the word "social Justice" even these days, watch out...

    And if he had over 30,000,0000 Americans tuning into his broadcast that was sympathetic to the likes of Hitler, then they were simple minded.

  12. Britain's Radio4 is going off the air -- a 'longwave' station (below what we call the "AM band"

    Radio4 longwave goodbye

    Also, another old radio photo included in the link above.

  13. PJM, I don't mean to belabor the point, as it's not really all that interesting (I just like the pictures), but no, "social justice" does not mean socialism. "Social justice," by Coughlin's time, was a phrase with almost a century of use within the Catholic Church, and with a history dating back to the middle ages within the Church under various names.

    If you read anything aboug Coughlin, one of the first things you'll learn about is his rabid anti-socialism and anti-communism. He was, it's true, anti-capitalist as well (he saw capitalism and socialism as two types of immoral materialism), but he was definitely NOT a socialist or a communist. Again, that's why he was pro-fascism and pro-Nazism.

  14. Chris,
    And the Nazis were the National Socialist Party.

    Yes, he was a socialist.

  15. I was going to let this go, but I just can't. The Nazi's called themselves the National Socialist Party in order to appear benign to the German people and get Hitler elected. They were fascists, however. Big difference.


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