Studs Terkel: Radio Host(WFMT), Raconteur and Oral Historian


Born today was the great Studs Terkel*
Legend in WFMT’s circle.
The champion of the Blue-collar,
Who could talk Bluegrass  or Gustav Mahler.

*In his own words:

1. “I hope for peace and sanity—it’s the same thing.”

2. “But once you become active in something, something happens to you. You get excited and suddenly you realize you count.”

3. “I want a language that speaks the truth.”

4. Chicago is not the most corrupt city. It’s the most theatrically corrupt.”

5. I always love to quote Albert Einstein because nobody dares contradict him.”

6. I hope that memory is valued—that we do not lose memory.”

7. I want people to talk to one another no matter what their differences of opinion might be.”

8. “People are ready to say’Yes, we are ready for single-payer health insurance.’ We are the only industrialized country in the world that does not have national health insurance. We are the richest in wealth and the poorest in health of all the industrial nations.”

9. “We are the most powerful nation in the world, but we’re not the only nation in the world. We are not the only people in the world. We are an important people, the wealthiest, the most powerful, and, to a great extent, generous. But we are part of the world.”

10. “I’ve always felt, in all my books, that there’s a deep decency in the American people and a native intelligence—providing they have the facts, providing they have the information.”


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  • I wonder if he would have concurred with only "theatrically" corrupt if he knew what the U.S. Attorney has found here in the past about dozen years. Supposedly, New Orleans has been cleaned up.

    "Native intelligence, if they have the facts": Internet comment boards, again maybe before his time, more often negate that than not.

    Thus is progress, or isn't it?

  • In reply to jack:

    Jack, two thumbs up on your first point.

    I'll agree with your second point, but this phenomenon is easily dwarfed by our debt, tax code, welfare, birthing laws and idolatry of Angelina Jolie's tits.

    And if you want to see progress just look at that computer your typing on, or our medically extended life spans. Our older generation can now hope to eat cat food to at least 78 to 81 years of age.

  • In reply to 4zen:

    On your second paragraph, I don't think Terkel's political philosophy was congruent with most of that. Also, Angelina's story is being portrayed more on Health Watch segments, discussing advances in DNA research.

    As for the computer, not necessarily the one I am typing on, but apparently those of others on, say, Yahoo Finance, who click thumbs down on a simple statement of fact. For instance, it seems incomprehensible to them that Bush was the first President to give TARP money to GM and Chrysler. But they could have looked it up. Hopefully on something authoritative, not Wikipedia.

    But maybe your cat food comment explains Dennis Byrne. Of course, I look only at the right pane--I told him I will not click, and I will not.

    And given his headline in the right pane today "Full frontal nudity could be the future of network TV", maybe he's the one who wants to see what Angelina doesn't have. ABC put the smear filter over a painting of Bea Arthur topless last night. And it wasn't even "This Week in Unnecessary Censorship" day.

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