IRS Targeted Talk Radio Enemies
A politicized IRS is nothing new, as explained in this Wall Street Journal piece. The Journal article makes mention of President Franklin Roosevelt’s issues with Father Charles Coughlin, the radio priest.
“Roosevelt also dropped the IRS hammer on political rivals such as the populist firebrand Huey Long and radio agitator Father Coughlin, and prominent Republicans such as former Treasury Secretary Andrew Mellon,” the Journal article says.
The Right Frequency, available on Amazon now for a special deal through Memorial Day, provides a detailed account of the love-hate relationship between FDR and Coughlin. Coughlin was a super political radio priest with 40 million listeners who idolized Roosevelt, even spoke at the 1932 Democratic National Convention, before viciously turning on the president when he felt the New Deal didn’t go far enough.
The book also explains how the IRS hunted down another popular talk radio voice in the Rev. Billy James Hargis, a controversial conservative figure.
“The IRS alleged his tax-exempt church, which went from revenue of $63,000 in 1957 to about $1 million in the early 1960s, was involved in political activities. Christian Crusade lost its tax exempt status in 1964,” The Right Frequency said. “Hargis said he was being ‘persecuted’ and that ‘This action doesn’t affect our corporation, only the contributors to our cause. And even so, our average contribution is $4. Now what would tax-exempt status mean to these 250,000 people? They are not big-money.’”