This is part two of a forty five minute interview with Studs Terkel. Terkel speaks of many other social and political issues of the time including: The Gulf War, military spending, George H.W. Bush, and a WWIII scenario. He also talks about his thoughts on Christianity, the Bible, and the negative aspects of television.
00:00Copy video clip URL Tape begins with color bars. The audio from the interview is heard in the background.
00:07Copy video clip URL Terkel talks about Labor Day and the Haymarket Affair in great detail. Terkel also talks about the Air Controller’s Strike of 1981. Terkel states that the strike was broken by President Reagan because of “mean spiritedness.”
03:30Copy video clip URL The crew refits Terkel’s microphone before he begins to speak about President Bush. He jokes with the crew about airing the raw interview instead of editing it.
04:03Copy video clip URL The interviewer asks Terkel a hypothetical question about what kinds of questions he would ask the president if he had the chance to do a one-on-one interview. Terkel quickly looks directly in the camera and says, “What the hell are you doing in the Middle East? Explain that to me.” Terkel goes on in greater detail about some of the questions he would asks the president including issues such as the war on drugs, homelessness, and unemployment. He would urge President Bush to “think originally for a change.”
05:39Copy video clip URL The interviewer then asks Terkel what he would ask President Bush about the budget. Terkel speaks of cutting down military spending and taxing the rich. He also talks about military weaponry construction and how it has gotten much more complicated since WWII, which has in turn, eliminated many of those jobs.
07:46Copy video clip URL The interviewer then asks whether the U.S. will ever have a balanced budget. Terkel speaks about the importance of government regulation.
08:49Copy video clip URL The interviewer asks Terkel to give Charlie Rose a few tips on interviewing. Terkel first compliments Charlie Rose on his interviewing prowess and then breaks down his own interview style. Terkel emphasizes the importance of truly listening while interviewing. He also recalls a memorable interview with a mother of six children.
11:10Copy video clip URL The interviewer asks Terkel what his plans are for the future. Terkel quickly says, “What I’m doing now. Making trouble. Rocking the boat, hopefully, and that’s the only thing, you know, to prove I’m alive, I’m here. If things are cockeyed you want to kind of make the filed of playing a little more even if possible.” Terkel also emphasizes the need to have a “little sense of outrage.” Terkel talks about the controversy over the Vietnam War and states that “if it was wrong to begin with, what’s wrong with losing it?” Terkel goes on to talk about America’s strong sense of machismo.
13:37Copy video clip URL The interviewer asks Terkel about the apocalypse and WWIII. Terkel responds by stating that the Bible is a great piece of literature, but that there is a lot of danger in taking it literally. He then goes on to talk of Jesus Christ and calls him a “labor agitator.” Terkel then talks about Good Friday, the day Christ was crucified, and states that he wishes he could have been there with a tape recorder more than any other time. He then briefly describes the scene of Christ’s crucifixion like he was actually there. This is a great moment.
17:47Copy video clip URL The interviewer asks Terkel about his thoughts on television. Terkel responds by calling it horrendous and unimaginative. He goes on to talk about a notion of self-censorship in the television world. Terkel also talks about the negative aspects of Sesame Street, but gets cut off by the end of the tape.
19:32Copy video clip URL Tape ends.