1938: Fr. Charles E. Coughlin calls out Rabbi for lying about Henry Ford & Jewish persecution in Germany
By Martin Hill
December 18, 2012
Fr. Charles E. Coughlin had one of the most popular radio shows in the country in the late 1930's. At his height of popularity, upwards of thirty million listeners tuned in to his radio show each week and he received 10,000 letters per week with a clerical staff of over 100 people. He advocated a sound money system, abolition of the Federal Reserve, a non-interventionist foreign policy, and was a stringent opponent of Communism, which he pointed out was funded by corrupt Jewish interests and international bankers. [Father Charles E. Coughlin warns of the war propagandists, their system of financial control and their evil "blood business".]
There is a well circulated clip of Fr. Coughlin on stage at an Illinois rally shouting about the treasonous politicians in Congress who refused to oppose the Federal Reserve Bank's control of American money, noting "They're not even Americans, these so-called Democrats and Republicans!" [Father Coughlin speaks against the Federal Reserve.]
Wikipedia has an informative, albeit negatively biased, article on the good Father. They point out how FDR launched a personal vendetta against the anti-war priest and his messages, going so far as to pass laws which would put an end to both his radio show and newsletters:
"...After giving early support to Roosevelt, Coughlin's populist message contained bitter attacks on the Roosevelt administration. The administration decided that although the First Amendment protected free speech, it did not necessarily apply to broadcasting, because the radio spectrum was a "limited national resource" and regulated as a publicly owned commons. New regulations and restrictions were created specifically to force Coughlin off the air. For the first time, authorities required regular radio broadcasters to seek operating permits. When Coughlin's permit was denied, he was temporarily silenced. Coughlin worked around the restriction by purchasing air-time and having his speeches played via transcription. However, having to buy the weekly air-time on individual stations seriously reduced his reach and strained his resources."The U.S. Social Security Administration even has a page featuring Fr. Coughlin, with links to text and audio of his speeches:
"...Coughlin reasoned that although the government had assumed the right to regulate any on-air broadcasts, the First Amendment still guaranteed and protected freedom of the written press. He could still print his editorials without censorship in his own newspaper, Social Justice. After the attack on Pearl Harbor and the US declaration of war in December 1941, the anti-interventionist movements (such as the America First Committee) began to sputter out, and isolationists like Coughlin acquired the reputation of sympathy with the enemy. The Roosevelt Administration stepped in again. On April 14, 1942, U.S. Attorney General Francis Biddle wrote a letter to the Postmaster General, Frank Walker, and suggested the possibility of revoking the second-class mailing privilege of Social Justice, which would make it impossible for Coughlin to deliver the papers to his readers."
"By 1936, he would support a third-party candidacy against FDR's reelection bid and would even say this of Roosevelt:On Sunday December 4, 1938, in a rebutal of all the criticism he had received for condemning Jewish support and promotion of international-banker financed Communism, Fr. Coughlin gave an address titled "Not AntiSemitism But AntiCommunism". In that address, Fr. Coughlin gave a "concrete example" of media manipulation and dishonesty on the part of a Michigan Rabbi - a "new low", as he put it. He pointed out a blatantly false news story involving Henry Ford, and how his "Social Justice Magazine" set the record straight with a signed letter by Henry Ford himself. Below in the green section is an excerpt of that part of the speech. The full audio of this and many other speeches by Fr. Coughlin can be found at Iamthewitness.com. At the bottom of this page are images of this transcript from the book which Fr. Coughlin refers to and offered for free to his listeners. Fr. Coughlin's memorial website, FatherCoughlin.com.
"The great betrayer and liar, Franklin D. Roosevelt, who promised to drive the money changers from the temple, had succeeded [only] in driving the farmers from their homesteads and the citizens from their homes in the cities. . . I ask you to purge the man who claims to be a Democrat, from the Democratic Party, and I mean Franklin Double-Crossing Roosevelt."
Father Coughlin's influence on Depression-era America was enormous. Millions of Americans listened to his weekly radio broadcast. At the height of his popularity, one-third of the nation was tuned into his weekly broadcasts. In the early 1930s, Coughlin was, arguably, one of the most influential men in America. Although his core message was one of economic populism, his sermons also included attacks on prominent Jewish figures--attacks that many people considered evidence of anti-Semitism. His broadcasts became increasingly controversial for this reason, and in 1940 his superiors in the Catholic Church forced him to stop his broadcasts and return to his work as a parish priest."
"As to the newspapers and their adverse editorials of the past week, do you recollect the complaint which I utterred two Sundays ago?
On that occasion I expressed the thought that when millions of Christians in Russia, Mexico and Spain were made targets of the machine gun, little or no publicity was given by the public press to these persecutions which future generations will regard as the worst atrocities of all times. Then there was a silent press. Then there was a venal press that eulogized those responsible for establishing a policy of recognizing Russia. Then there was a calloused press that belittled the grief of Spain and Mexico.
Although many newspapers have not taken a position of "hands off the Communist question" and "hands off those whose silence supports it," yet a powerful group of papers practically have adopted that attitude. They gloss over our recognition of Russia. They applaud when congratulations are cabled to the haters of Christ. They vacillate between the Spanish loyalists and rebels. They praise the liberalism of Mexico.
And why? You ask me "Why?"
"Do men gather grapes of thorns or figs of thistles?" (Matt. 7:16) or "Can the fig tree, my brethren, bear grapes; or the vine figs?" (Jas. 3:12)
[NOTE: AUDIO PORTION BEGINS NOW. YOU CAN CONTINUE READING THE TRANSCRIPT WHILE LISTENING TO THE AUDIO ON THE YOUTUBE VID.]
It is not in a spirit of retaliation that I remind you of these things; for you know that the editorial content of many papers is colored by the logic of the advertising dollar - the advertising dollar which manages editorials. Nor is it in a spirit of revenge that I use the following concrete example to prove the viciousness of an inspired press whose editorials and news articles manifest a serious lack of responsibility and honesty. But in a spirit of truth and of courage to defend truth, I dare to unfold for you the following concrete story of a typical controlled newspaper- a story where those, or their representatives, who control the advertising dollar, control the freedom of the press.
Last week Rabbi Leo M. Franklin of Temple Beth El, Detroit, Michigan, sought an interview with Mr. Henry Ford to discuss with him, among other things, the possibility of the Ford organization's engaging the services of certain refugee Jews whom the Rabbi expected to be expelled from Germany.
In the presence of Mr. Ford and his executives, this matter was discussed at some length. A resume of Mr. Ford's conversation was written by the Rabbi. Confessedly, it was the Rabbi's composition - not Mr. Ford's. It was the Rabbi's concept of not what Mr. Ford actually said but what Rabbi Franklin would prefer he had said.
Following this meeting, "The Detroit Free Press" printed a purported first person interview with Mr. Henry Ford.
It was captioned by front-page headlines which read:
"Ford Assails Nazis' Persecutions and Welcomes Jewish Refugees as Valuable Addition to U.S. Life.
"In a statement severely critical of the Nazi persecution of the Jews, Henry Ford Wednesday Night declared that he favored the admission of persecuted Jews to this country under the selective quota system."
The purported interview quoting Mr. Ford and carried in all the newspapers at home and abroad- this purported interview quoting Mr. Ford, in the first person singular throughout- was not given by Mr. Ford. The interview which "The Detroit Free Press" said was given out at Dearborn, Michigan, on Wednesday of last week was not given out by Mr. Ford or by any of his executives on Wednesday night or at any other time. Here, my friends, was a gigantic attempt to put into the mouth of America's foremost manufacturer words he did not say. To my mind, a new low in editorial responsibility- a mark seldom equalled in the history of American journalism- was attained.
"Social Justice Magazine," distrustful of the purported interview carried in "The Detroit Free Press" of December 1st relative to Nazi persecution, sent its investigators to ascertain the facts of the case.
Mr. Harry Bennett, speaking officially for the Ford Motor Company and in the presence of Mr. Henry Ford- the same Harry Bennett who arranged the meeting between Rabbi Franklin and Mr. Ford- permits ("Social Justice Magazine") us to say the following in a signed statement:
"1. The direct quotation carried in the paper is torally inaccurate and was not written by Mr. Ford but was composed by Rabbi Franklin.
"Moreover, while Mr. Ford expressed his humanitarianism for all people, yet he believed that Jews wouldn't be content to work in factories.
That was the essence of the talk between Mr. Ford and Rabbi Franklin. But the story handed to "The Detroit Free Press" was written by Rabbi Franklin and handed to it by Rabbi Franklin and not by Mr. Ford."
Ladies and gentlemen, the above quotation from an article which will appear in "Social Justice magazine," on this travesty in journalism, is authentic.
There is a sample of inspired news of a controlled newspaper dispensing for public reading, as if it were a direct statement composed by Mr. Ford himself. For what purpose, I ask?
Possibly for the same purpose and subject to the same influences as when some newspapers find it profitable to adopt the policy of silence on Christian persecution abroad, they are willing to headline the $400-million fine levied against 600,000 Jews day after day.
By their fruits these news journals shall be known."
Following his December 4th address, newspapers cast aspersions on Fr. Coughlin and implied he was lying about the events concerning the statement of Henry Ford. The newspapers had also refused to print the signed letter from Mr. Ford which Fr. Coughlin had delievered for verification and publication. So a week later on Sunday December 11, 1938, Fr. Coughlin gave an update, which can be heard in the video below. It stated, in part,
|"Because news reports printed last Monday tended to discredit the statement, I secured a second signed statement from Mr. Harry H. Bennett from the Ford Motor Corporation last Monday afternoon. It reads as follows: Dearborn Michigan December 5, 1938: "A statement which resulted in casting reflections of an exceedingly serious nature upon the veracity of Father Coughlin appeared in the Detroit Free Press Monday December 5, 1938, based upon a statement which it was alleged I made. It labels statements of Father Coughlin regarding Rabbi Franklin's recent visit to the Ford offices for the purpose of getting an expression of the Jewish situation in Germany as untrue. This is to definitely state that absolutely no interview was given in response to Rabbi Franklin's request by Mr. Ford to be printed as Mr. Ford's own statement in the press. But merely agreed with certain written expressions. And the statement given by Fr. Coughlin on December 4, 1938 was an absolute correct verbatum report of a statement having my own approval and signature. Signed Harry H. Bennet December 5, 1938."|
Despite the correction by Father Coughlin in 1938 as well as the written statements by both Henry Ford and his corporate agents, the fraudulent version of the story made up by Rabbi Franklin is still propogated today on many websites, as if it were fact:
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Martin Hill is a Catholic paleoconservative and civil rights advocate. His work has been featured on LewRockwell.com, WhatReallyHappened, Infowars, PrisonPlanet, Economic Policy Journal, FreedomsPhoenix, ZionCrimefactory.com, Antiwar.com, IamtheWitness.com, Rense, The Wayne Madsen Report, Devvy.com, Veterans Today, National Motorists Association, WorldNetDaily, The Orange County Register, KNBC4 Los Angeles, Los Angeles Catholic Lay Mission Newspaper, KFI 640, The Press Enterprise, BlackBoxVoting, and many others. Archives can be found at LibertyFight.com