Archive for October 2012

Will Talk Radio Tilt Election to Romney White House Correspondent Examines in The Right Frequency

October 28, 2012

Talk radio, a force that is never seen but heard in every corner of the nation, may be one that the Obama campaign will have difficulty countering. That one factor, has the potential to be an invisible force like the winds of an offshore hurricane. When it hits land, it levels everything in its way. President Obama may be standing on the shoreline today, his finger to the wind, his instinct pushing him to the security behind him. If the offshore power increases, however, the President may have a bad day. If the winds lose their power as they approach land he may be smiling when day is done.

Fred V. Lucas is making the rounds of talk radio to discuss his forthcoming book. The Right Frequency: The Story of the Talk Radio Giants Who Shook Up the Political and Media Establishment and the impact talk radio may have on the upcoming election. When he visits with Barry Farber on August 8th, the upcoming election will undoubtedly be a topic of discussion.

“There is no doubt that talk radio has had an effect on elections” says Lucas “If history is a guide, talk radio can play a huge role in national and state elections. Bob Grant had a huge effect on the governors races in both New York and New Jersey during the 1990s and talk radio was the driving force behind the California recall race in 2003. Perhaps the most pronounced effect was the new Republican majority that won control of Congress after the 1994 elections being called the ‘Limbaugh Congress.’ That was for the impact Rush Limbaugh’s show had on the campaign. Rush was even named an honorary member of the freshman class of congressmen that year. Certainly in 2010, talk radio helped fuel the Tea Party movement to sweep the Republicans to victory in the House.”

But Lucas who is also a White House correspondent for CNSNews is not sure about the effect talk radio has on presidential elections. “The medium’s sway on presidential races is hard to determine,” he says. “The drumbeat of conservative radio hosts didn’t stop the elections of Bill Clinton or Barack Obama. This year could be different. Conservative voters are unhappy with President Obama, but are not enthusiastic about Republican nominee Mitt Romney.”

Lucas is quick to add. “That might put extra pressure on leading conservative talk hosts to rally the troops about the importance of this year’s race. Most of the leading talk radio giants like Limbaugh and Mark Levin had reservations about Romney in the primary season. But Romney will need their support in the general election. Will he get it? The answer may well determine who shows up for the inauguration.”

That answer may be pre-determined in The Right Frequency. Lucas delves into the depth, reach and power of the talk radio giants in the American political landscape and provides some insight into the personalities of those larger than life figures among us.

For a copy of The Right Frequency, click here.

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Talk Radio and Presidential Elections – The Right Frequency Illustrates Influence

October 28, 2012

Talk radio was paramount in building the conservative movement’s role in presidential elections. This can be found with Barry Goldwater, the 1964 Republican presidential nominee and one of the intellectual leaders of the conservative movement. Political minds are wondering if it can help push Romney into the White House. for Romney.

The Right Frequency by Fred V. Lucas chronicles talk radio’s impact on presidential elections and politics from the days of Walter Winchell to modern day hosts such as Rush Limbaugh and Glenn Beck. The book is published by History Publishing Company.

It was talk radio show host Dean Clarence Manion who talked Goldwater into writing a book called “Conscience of a Conservative.” When the publishing industry was not receptive, Manion founded Victor Publishing for the express purpose of publishing Goldwater’s book, which became his launching pad to building a vast following to capture the Republican presidential nomination in 1964.

The book profiles the impact of radio other major radio giants such as Bob Grant, James Dobson and Neal Boortz.

Leading talk radio show host Mark Levin, a leader in the conservative movement, says the book captures the importance of talk radio in modern politics.

“Fred Lucas not only delineates the roots of talk radio as a venue for communicating conservative political thought in the 1930s and 40s, he explains how it has become, in the 21st century, the life force for the conservative movement and the voice for conservative ideals on the current political landscape,” Levin said. “Anyone who loves talk radio will love this book.”

For a copy of The Right Frequency, click  .

Father Charles Coughlin: Right Wing Radio Priest?

October 28, 2012

The following is an excerpt from The Right Frequency.

Just as Rush Limbaugh was becoming a superstar, U.S. News & World Report wrote “Some Democrats see Limbaugh as a direct descendant of demagogues like Father Charles Coughlin and Senator Huey Long, who used radio in the 1930s to stir hatred against panoply of enemies, from Big Oil to Jewish bankers.”

Limbaugh targets big oil and bankers?

It has been a comparison frequently made throughout Limbaugh’s rise to prominence during the Clinton presidency. Again, in 2009, just months into the Obama presidency the ultra-liberal but often thoughtful media commentator Neal Gabler wrote, “In another era, a vicious blowhard like Limbaugh would have been driven from the air just as Coughlin was because there wouldn’t have been sufficient numbers of listeners who would have wanted to continue to identify with him. He would have disgraced them. That Limbaugh, Beck, Sean Hannity, and others remain on the air is partly a testament to how ’nichified’ our media have become—how much the mainstream has divided into rivulets.” Newsweek, in a 2008 article, referred to Coughlin as a “right wing radio priest of the 1940s.” In 2009, former Clinton White House counsel Lanny Davis wrote about the “1930s right-wing radio commentator, Father Charles Coughlin” in an op-ed on the spat between Obama and Fox News.

In 2010, the Columbia Journalism Review ran a piece with the headline, “A Distant Echo: What Father Coughlin tells us about Glenn Beck.”86 The Guardian, a U.K. newspaper published a piece that said, “It is, in fact, a description of Father Charles Coughlin, the infamous rightwing ‘radio priest,’ whose broadcasts in the 1930s disturbingly echo those of Beck today. Indeed, some experts see Coughlin as a father figure to the extremist broadcasting Beck has honed so well.”
Harrison, of Talkers Magazine, considered the comparisons of Coughlin to modern radio show hosts a little ridiculous. “It’s not a good comparison. I think looking at history, Father Coughlin was far more of a negative influence on America and on the decisions facing America at that time than Glenn Beck or Rush Limbaugh could ever be accused of,” Harrison said. “The politics was different, and again the role was different. There was a specific anti-Semitism element to what Father Coughlin did that I do not believe exists with a Rush Limbaugh or a Glenn Beck. I do not believe that Rush Limbaugh or Glenn Beck are anywhere near as hateful as their detractors accuse them of being.”

Coughlin has so frequently been called “right wing” it became an article of faith despite the fact that nearly all of the policies he advocated were radically progressive. He was a staunch supporter of Franklin Delano Roosevelt, telling his vast audience in the 1932 election it was “Roosevelt or Ruin.” When Roosevelt took office, Coughlin insisted that no good Christian could oppose the policies of the New Deal, and he declared an end to capitalism. So how did he earn the label rightwing? He became a virulently anti-Semitic on the airwaves and grew to sympathize with Nazi Germany. It is difficult to understand how either of those would qualify someone as a conservative. But the justification for liberal writers would be that he
became just as virulently anti-Roosevelt. Never mind that the anti-Roosevelt tirades were because he thought the New Deal did not go far enough and simply lost patience with the president he so vehemently supported in the 1932 election.

Imagine 40 years or so from today, if media commentators refer to the conservative commentators of that day as the heir to “rightwing filmmaker Michael Moore.” Moore has been highly critical of President Obama for the last two years for not going all the way in implementing a single payer health care system and for not abandoning the wars the U.S. first entered in the previous administration and for entering another war in Libya. To say Obama is liberal, Moore criticizes Obama, thus Moore is right wing, is almost the same logic that allows critics of conservative radio today to refer to Coughlin as a man of the right.

To read more on Father Coughlin and other legendary talk radio voices, click here to get a copy of The Right Frequency.

Father Charles Coughlin: Right Wing Radio Priest?

October 28, 2012

The following is an excerpt from The Right Frequency.

Just as Rush Limbaugh was becoming a superstar, U.S. News & World Report wrote “Some Democrats see Limbaugh as a direct descendant of demagogues like Father Charles Coughlin and Senator Huey Long, who used radio in the 1930s to stir hatred against panoply of enemies, from Big Oil to Jewish bankers.”

Limbaugh targets big oil and bankers?

It has been a comparison frequently made throughout Limbaugh’s rise to prominence during the Clinton presidency. Again, in 2009, just months into the Obama presidency the ultra-liberal but often thoughtful media commentator Neal Gabler wrote, “In another era, a vicious blowhard like Limbaugh would have been driven from the air just as Coughlin was because there wouldn’t have been sufficient numbers of listeners who would have wanted to continue to identify with him. He would have disgraced them. That Limbaugh, Beck, Sean Hannity, and others remain on the air is partly a testament to how ’nichified’ our media have become—how much the mainstream has divided into rivulets.” Newsweek, in a 2008 article, referred to Coughlin as a “right wing radio priest of the 1940s.” In 2009, former Clinton White House counsel Lanny Davis wrote about the “1930s right-wing radio commentator, Father Charles Coughlin” in an op-ed on the spat between Obama and Fox News.

In 2010, the Columbia Journalism Review ran a piece with the headline, “A Distant Echo: What Father Coughlin tells us about Glenn Beck.”86 The Guardian, a U.K. newspaper published a piece that said, “It is, in fact, a description of Father Charles Coughlin, the infamous rightwing ‘radio priest,’ whose broadcasts in the 1930s disturbingly echo those of Beck today. Indeed, some experts see Coughlin as a father figure to the extremist broadcasting Beck has honed so well.”
Harrison, of Talkers Magazine, considered the comparisons of Coughlin to modern radio show hosts a little ridiculous. “It’s not a good comparison. I think looking at history, Father Coughlin was far more of a negative influence on America and on the decisions facing America at that time than Glenn Beck or Rush Limbaugh could ever be accused of,” Harrison said. “The politics was different, and again the role was different. There was a specific anti-Semitism element to what Father Coughlin did that I do not believe exists with a Rush Limbaugh or a Glenn Beck. I do not believe that Rush Limbaugh or Glenn Beck are anywhere near as hateful as their detractors accuse them of being.”

Coughlin has so frequently been called “right wing” it became an article of faith despite the fact that nearly all of the policies he advocated were radically progressive. He was a staunch supporter of Franklin Delano Roosevelt, telling his vast audience in the 1932 election it was “Roosevelt or Ruin.” When Roosevelt took office, Coughlin insisted that no good Christian could oppose the policies of the New Deal, and he declared an end to capitalism. So how did he earn the label rightwing? He became a virulently anti-Semitic on the airwaves and grew to sympathize with Nazi Germany. It is difficult to understand how either of those would qualify someone as a conservative. But the justification for liberal writers would be that he
became just as virulently anti-Roosevelt. Never mind that the anti-Roosevelt tirades were because he thought the New Deal did not go far enough and simply lost patience with the president he so vehemently supported in the 1932 election.

Imagine 40 years or so from today, if media commentators refer to the conservative commentators of that day as the heir to “rightwing filmmaker Michael Moore.” Moore has been highly critical of President Obama for the last two years for not going all the way in implementing a single payer health care system and for not abandoning the wars the U.S. first entered in the previous administration and for entering another war in Libya. To say Obama is liberal, Moore criticizes Obama, thus Moore is right wing, is almost the same logic that allows critics of conservative radio today to refer to Coughlin as a man of the right.

To read more on Father Coughlin and other legendary talk radio voices, click here to get a copy of The Right Frequency.

Boake Carter: ‘Far and Away the Most Daring’

October 26, 2012

The following is an excerpt from The Right Frequency about New Deal critic Boake Carter, who made a name for himself on radio covering the Lindberg kidnapping. To order a copy click here.

Boake Carter’s lasting legacy is probably the expression, during the 1930s that “In time of war the first casualty is truth.” For a time he had the biggest show on radio, as millions listened for his British accent denouncing President Roosevelt and the New Deal.

Carter was born in 1899 in Baku, Russia to British parents who gave him the name for the city of his birth, where the British Consular Service was located in Russia. He grew up in Great Britain and attended Christ College in Cambridge, and began his journalism career in London. But in 1920, after his diplomat father was reassigned to Mexico, Carter came to the United States. He went to work in Philadelphia for press associations.
He made the transition to radio in March 1932 at the CBS affiliate in Philadelphia WCAU. It was here where he made a national name for himself.
The kidnapping of famed aviator Charles Lindbergh’s 20-month old son from their home in Hopewell, New Jersey in March 1932 set off the sensational media firestorm for that era. The investigation involved the New Jersey State Police, the New York City Police and the FBI and lasted more than two years before the kidnapper—who left a dozen ransom notes as he kept upping his ransom—was brought to justice. Charles Lindbergh Jr. was never found.
The whole ordeal was a remarkable story. After the kidnapper took $50,000 in ransom money, the FBI was able to track the serial numbers on the ransom money, which led them to Bruno Richard Hauptmann, a German immigrant carpenter. He was arrested outside his Bronx home on September 18, 1934. A retired school principal, who acted as an intermediary between the Lindbergh family and the professed kidnapper, and a taxi cab driver who was pulled into the matter after the kidnapper told him to deliver a ransom note, both identified Hauptmann from their earlier encounter with him.
CBS wanted WCAU to send a mobile unit to cover the trial, and Boake Carter got his chance to provide all of the lurid details, with his accent that became a hit with a national audience. As he became a bigger star, he got his own show, with the Philco Radio Company as his sponsor and he gained a national audience.72 For several more years, Carter would open his broadcasts with an English sounding, “Hello everyone, Philco radio time, Boake Carter speaking.”
To learn more about Boake Carter and other radio legends, click here to get a copy of The Right Frequency.

Right Frequency Author Interviewed at NAIBA Conference

October 12, 2012

Fred Lucas, the author of The Right Frequency, was recently interviewed at New Atlantic Independent Booksellers Association conference in Washington. Click here to see the interview.

Click here to order a copy of The Right Frequency.

Talk Radio Not an Echo Chamber Parroting GOP Talking Points

October 7, 2012

Townhall.com published an excerpt from The Right Frequency.

The excerpt touches on some of the rivalries among conservative talk show hows and how these hosts don’t speak with one voice.

Click here to order a copy of The Right Frequency.