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Democracy Unit Urges Federal Radio Body to Act on Coughlin As Inciter to Violence

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Charges that “radio priest” Charles E. Coughlin was “inciting to riot and civil war” through his weekly broadcasts were made today by the Friends of Democracy in a memorandum to the Federal Communications Commission and the National Association of Broadcasters.

The memorandum, signed by L.M. Birkhead, national director, urged that steps be take to cancel Coughlin’s contracts with radio stations carrying his weekly talks from Royal Oak Mich., or to see that they are not renewed upon their expiration.

The document cited particularly Coughlin’s July 30 broadcast in which the “radio priest” warned his opponents that “we will fight you in Franco’s way if necessary.”

“This quotation,” the memorandum stated, “is typical of Father Coughlin’s philosophy of violent and revolutionary utterances. Nearly every sentence is aimed at the destruction of our democratic civilization.” The document concluded: “Because of the fact that the temper and character of his radio addresses are such that they incite his vast audience to physical violence and racial hatreds, Father Coughlin has abused the radio as ‘an instrument of public service.'”

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