Headlines of Yore

The Philly-area televangelist who attempted to broadcast from a pirate ship

Carl McIntire was a conservative talk radio preacher who went toe-to-toe with the FCC.

Broadcast preacher Carl McIntire in 1962 purchased the historic Admiral Hotel in Cape May and founded the Christian Admiral Bible Conference and Freedom Center there

Broadcast preacher Carl McIntire in 1962 purchased the historic Admiral Hotel in Cape May and founded the Christian Admiral Bible Conference and Freedom Center there

Wikimedia Commons
aviwolfmanarent

Before there was Joel Osteen, there was Oral Roberts. And before there was Oral Roberts, there was Carl McIntire, Pennsylvania’s own televangelist juggernaut.

Though he was born in Michigan, the epicenter of McIntire’s religious empire was the Philadelphia area. He had ministries in Cape May, Collingswood, and Atlantic City, plus a conservative talk radio station based in Media that targeted everyone from labor unions and gay people to the Catholic Church and Richard Nixon.

At one point, his sermons were simulcasted by over 600 radio stations across the United States — that is, until the Federal Communications Commission got involved.

In 1967, the FCC charged McIntire with violating the Fairness Doctrine, which basically mandated that radio stations give equal time to opposing viewpoints. McIntire lost appeal after appeal before attempting to broadcast from a ship in international waters (to skirt FCC purview, duh), which backfired.

After that, McIntire’s brand of religious conservatism faded into obscurity, save for one interview in 2002 where he got the last word.

For details on that quip, and more on Pennsylvania’s original talk radio empire, scroll through the thread below.

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