Chapter

Populism, War, and the American System

David Goodman

in Radio's Civic Ambition

Published in print April 2011 | ISBN: 9780195394085
Published online May 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780199894383 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195394085.003.0007
Populism, War, and the American System

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Populist challenges to the American system of broadcasting increased in intensity from the late 1930s – from below, and from above in the form of the FCC's anti-monopoly policies and 1938 inquiry, as the FCC under chairmen Frank McNinch and Lawrence Fly entered its most activist era. The civic paradigm compact began to fray in the conditions of WW2, as quite different demands were made of broadcasters by government. The pre Pearl Harbor isolationist controversy began to shake George Denny's faith in the potential of reasoned discussion to promote tolerance and save democracy; populist and isolationist listeners angrily accused his Town Meeting program of speaking only for an unrepresentative cosmopolitan elite.

Keywords: populism; anti-monopoly; Federal Communications Commission; Frank McNinch; Lawrence Fly; World War II

Chapter.  6673 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Musicology and Music History

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