Fun_People Archive
1 Mar
Buchanan and Father Coughlin

Date: Fri, 1 Mar 96 17:36:32 -0800
From: Peter Langston <psl>
To: Fun_People
Subject: Buchanan and Father Coughlin

Forwarded-by: (Keith Bostic)

ABC anchor Ted Koppel apologized at the end of Tuesday night's edition of
"Nightline" for remarks made Friday in his profile of presidential candidate
Pat Buchanan.  In his report, Koppel said the GOP candidate's father "had
been a regular listener to the radio broadcasts of Father Coughlin."  The
exact remarks for which Koppel apologized were the following:  "Buchanan's
sense of certitude also derived from the other imposing force in his life,
his father Bill 'Pop' Buchanan, an arch- conservative, a supporter of
Senator Joe McCarthy.  Buchanan Senior also listened to the bigoted and
isolationist radio orator Father Coughlin, who stirred populist passion and
controversy on the eve of World War II." During his apology, Koppel also
pointed out that he had made "particular reference to Father Coughlin's
anti-Semitism" in the broadcast. Koppel said that multiple publications had
reported that Buchanan's father had been a fan of Father Coughlin.  "Still,
we should have checked it out for ourselves.  The Buchanan family insists
the story is not true, and they, after all should know.  My apologies to
all the Buchanans," he said.  Some, however, found comments made by Koppel
an attack on the Catholic church, not just the Buchanans.  "By combination
of interview and commentary, your show mocked the Church, its sacrament of
confession, nuns who have dedicated their lives to the Church and to the
education of young people," wrote Richard V. Allen, a Reagan administration
national security advisor and Buchanan campaign advisor. "In a most
tendentious way, you suggest that the 'aura of certainty' in the Catholic
tradition, i.e., a deeply held belief that man is a rational being, capable
of distinguishing between right and wrong and of making prudential judgments
accordingly, somehow accounts for 'extremist' views..."  (Washington Post)

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