8 episodes

“The Flamethrowers” captures the punch-you-in-the-mouth energy and sound of right-wing talk radio. Host Justin Ling takes us from the fringe preachers and conspiracy peddlers of the 1920s to the political firestorm that rages today. With humour and candour, Ling examines the appeal of broadcasters like Rush Limbaugh, who found a sleeping audience, radicalized it, and became an accidental kingmaker — culminating in the election of Donald Trump.

The Flamethrowers CBC Podcasts

    • History

“The Flamethrowers” captures the punch-you-in-the-mouth energy and sound of right-wing talk radio. Host Justin Ling takes us from the fringe preachers and conspiracy peddlers of the 1920s to the political firestorm that rages today. With humour and candour, Ling examines the appeal of broadcasters like Rush Limbaugh, who found a sleeping audience, radicalized it, and became an accidental kingmaker — culminating in the election of Donald Trump.

    Ep. 1: The Father of Hate Radio

    Ep. 1: The Father of Hate Radio

    Our story begins with Canadian priest Charles Coughlin — a populist crusader who winds up espousing conspiracy and hate. Right-wing radio flexes its muscle with a boycott of Polish Ham. And the Kennedy government almost wipes right-wing talk off the map.

    For transcripts of this series, please visit: https://www.cbc.ca/radio/podcastnews/the-flamethrowers-transcripts-listen-1.6852997

    • 42 min
    Ep. 2: What A Rush

    Ep. 2: What A Rush

    President Ronald Reagan takes the shackles off right-wing radio and inaugurates a golden era of conservative politics. And Rush Limbaugh — almost by accident — becomes a kingmaker in the Republican party and changes radio forever.

    For transcripts of this series, please visit: https://www.cbc.ca/radio/podcastnews/the-flamethrowers-transcripts-listen-1.6852997

    • 43 min
    Ep. 3: The Information Wars

    Ep. 3: The Information Wars

    Welcome to the world of conspiracy and paranoia. A horrifying act of domestic terrorism brings right wing radio some unwanted attention, which pushes one fan of the supernatural away from politics, while a pair of anti-government broadcasters dig their heels in.

    For transcripts of this series, please visit: https://www.cbc.ca/radio/podcastnews/the-flamethrowers-transcripts-listen-1.6852997

    • 48 min
    Ep. 4: The Echo Chamber

    Ep. 4: The Echo Chamber

    The terror attacks of September 11th have Americans turning the dial to talk radio, where a whole new generation of broadcasters are eager to capitalize on anxiety and fear.

    For transcripts of this series, please visit: https://www.cbc.ca/radio/podcastnews/the-flamethrowers-transcripts-listen-1.6852997

    • 31 min
    Ep. 5: The Rage Industry

    Ep. 5: The Rage Industry

    Right-wing radio finds their greatest foe in Barack Obama: As they try to take him down at every turn, they find the perfect formula to manufacture outrage.

    For transcripts of this series, please visit: https://www.cbc.ca/radio/podcastnews/the-flamethrowers-transcripts-listen-1.6852997

    • 30 min
    Ep. 6: The Talk Radio President

    Ep. 6: The Talk Radio President

    Donald Trump takes the style, tactics, and issues straight from the right-wing radio playbook. The only question now is: Where does it go from here?

    For transcripts of this series, please visit: https://www.cbc.ca/radio/podcastnews/the-flamethrowers-transcripts-listen-1.6852997

    • 49 min

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