Terkel vs. Calloway | Letters | Chicago Reader

Terkel vs. Calloway 

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To the editors:

Too much may be made of John Callaway's confession (Reader, January 11). When asked why he neglected to name WFMT (his target) in his parable that appeared in the WTTW journal, Eleven, he explained, "It might look like I'm writing out of a vested interest." (Callaway is, of course in the employ of WTTW, which has been accused in some quarters of destroying WFMT.)

It appears that Callaway wants it both ways. He is John The Good, the objective (his favorite adjective) journalist, serious of thought, serious of face, seeker after truth. He must under no circumstances be mistaken for Johnny The Sleaze, getting in his sneak punch at the battered, bloodied enterprise, WFMT. ("How'm I doin', boss?")

Had Callaway, the objective journalist, really sought the truth in re WFMT-WTTW, he'd have found several witnesses to the five-year massacre. At least, he could have spoken to them.

Personal note: About four years ago, Callaway invited me to be on his Channel 11 program to discuss WFMT. I was touched by his naivete and yet deeply moved by his impulse. Of course, the following day his secretary called to tell of technical difficulties and a postponement. I assume the difficulties have since been repaired; I'm still available, Johnboy.

However, this is no big deal. Callaway did not commit a felony; merely a misdemeanor: indecent exposure. He revealed himself to be just your ordinary, everyday, comfortable-as-an-old-shoe corporate toady.

Studs Terkel


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